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Research and Projects

MAIN RESEARCH: 

My research lies in the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and heavily intersects the fields of Behavior Change and Affective Computing. The focus of my thesis is in the topic of Human Potential and Stress Management Technology. I focus my attention in three topics: a. Sensing “without” Sensors, b. Intervening “without” Interventions and c) Mining Stress Meaning. I apply this research to improving people’s productivity and mental health and recently I am studying the relationship between stress and poverty. I coordinate the team working on this project and currently I also do research in collaboration with Microsoft Research and Northwestern University. Follow this link to get all the info you need on my main research activities.

WORK IN PROGRESS PAPERS:

Loud e-motion: Towards multi-sensorial affective communications – We investigate the ability to mix sound and vibration to create different emotions.

UnDoStress: Understanding Attrition in Mobile Stress Management Apps – We explore the reasons behind attrition and lack of adherence for key users of stress management mobile applications.

Photo on 3-10-14 at 1.58 AMLATEST PAPER: My latest paper in collaboration with Microsoft Research focuses on the use of Pop-Culture to generate stress interventions. We call it “Pop-Therapy” and it was presented at Pervasive Health 2014: PopTherapy

Photo on 3-19-14 at 8.59 PM #4I am co-author in a couple of ground-breaking papers in the use of PC Peripherals (mouse and keyboard) for Stress Detection to appear at CHI 2014. Access them through my Publications link.

ADDITIONAL PROJECTS:
I am involved in several projects focused on alternative sensing and intervention technologies for difficult mental health or behavior change problems. Most of this research is developed in the intersection of Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Data Mining and Game design. Some of my current interests are reflected in the following projects:

Gamification:
Work in conjunction with the Universidad Politecnica Salesiana in Cuenca-Ecuador, focused

Addiction Relapse Prevention App:
Work in conjunction with the Universidad Politecnica Salesiana in Cuenca-Ecuador, focused on supporting recovering substance abuse addicts to improve their chances to continue their recovery specially right after their in-patient treatment “graduation”.

Happy Cube:
In collaboration with Javier Rosa, a fellow PhD student, we are slowly developing an alternative way to support wellbeing by providing a desktop or tabletop device armed with sensors and actuators such as temperature surfaces, vibration, colors, screen. This device should help sense the need for a positive uplifting experience and provide activities and content to create positive emotions.

Machinima for Behavior Change:
Part of the interest to advance interventions that leverage people’s current technological habits is to use technology that people consume on a daily basis, such as cinema and television. Machinima a term created from the union of two words, Machine + Cinema, is a cinematographic technique to create movies from 3D games or alternate worlds such as The Sims, Grand Theft Auto, Second Life, among others.

Pressure Sensing Devices:
In collaboration with Microsoft Research, we have explored the use of new devices including pressure sensors to sense stress. Both a pressure-sensitive mouse and a keyboard have proved to be able to sense stress in a lab setting experiment. This is our latest paper to be presented in CHI 2014: Under Pressure

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