This year, three students working with Prof. Emily Mower Provost were recognized for outstanding projects in their areas. Katie Matton and Matt Perez won two of the Emerging Research categories, Engineering Innovation and Science Communication, respectively; and John Gideon earned honorable mention for the Richard and Eleanor Towner Prize for Outstanding Ph.D. Research.
John Gideon – Richard and Eleanor Towner Prize for Outstanding Ph.D. Research
Gideon researches bipolar disorder, a chronic mental illness characterized by periodic mood changes. Ideal treatment for bipolar involves costly, time-consuming, and intense clinical monitoring to mitigate episode severity. His research seeks to passively detect mood changes in individuals affected by this disorder using variations in their emotions and speaking patterns captured in smartphone speech. He hopes that this will eventually allow more practical levels of clinical monitoring to be supplemented with a new system for early episode detection.
Katie Matton – Emerging Research, Engineering Innovation
Matton’s research is focused on detecting mania and depression in individuals with bipolar disorder using smartphone speech data. She analyzes how language usage changes as a function of mood state in order to develop language-based mood prediction models.
Matt Perez – Emerging Research, Science Communication
Perez researches Huntington disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that impairs motors skills, cognition, and speech. Monitoring disease progression is a key component to clinical research involving the development of new treatments. His research focuses on a speech-based biomarker for characterizing HD severity.