2023 Portraits: Lesa Begley

Lesa Begley

Lecturer, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering


117 NAME



Additional Title(s)

  • ABET Associate Coordinator
  • Research Seminar Series Coordinator

After growing up in southeast Michigan, I came to Ann Arbor immediately after high school to start my studies at the University of Michigan as an undergraduate. I stayed for grad school and beyond, and am definitely a lifelong Wolverine! My scientific areas of publication have included age-related prostate disease, pancreatic cancer, asthma and COPD / microbiome associations, and bacterial physiology. Endlessly curious, I’m always on the lookout for an intriguing topic to explore.


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Research Interests

Currently, I am engaged primarily in teaching; however, my research interests are varied. I am particularly interested in the intersection of programming and biomedical research; as very large and multi-faceted data sets are becoming more available the need for computer-driven analysis to reveal otherwise occult associations is also becoming increasingly important. 


ENGR 101 – One of the required courses for incoming engineering students. This is a large course that I teach in both the fall and winter semesters, with 600 – 800 students enrolled per semester. 

No programming experience is required or expected for students entering Engineering 101. 

Engineering 101 focuses on solving engineering problems with computer programming. Every engineering discipline uses computing to solve relevant and interesting problems, and this class prepares students to effectively apply computing to their future classes and careers. 

We start with basic programming concepts and work up to more advanced topics. By the end of the class, students will have a working knowledge of how to assess an engineering problem, plan out a solution using computer programming, and implement the solution. This class covers both MATLAB and C++, two complementary programming languages used in different settings. Engineering 101 teaches to the strengths of both of these languages.