Professor Jeff Huang of Brown CS has just received an Army Research Office Young Investigator Award, which is given to support the research and encourage the careers of outstanding young university faculty members. Jeff's Brown HCI research group focuses on behavior-powered systems, and their goal is to invent new, personalized applications from remotely-captured user behavioral data. The award will support Jeff and his students in research investigating how emotional cues can be inferred from large-scale social messages, particularly on mobile devices.
The goal is to identify which aspects of social messaging affect emotion, and in what way do different social features such as frequency, content, timing, and recipients of messages influence affect. This research builds on existing work the HCI group has done with Sochiatrist, a social extractor that automatically dumps and anonymizes social communication data (like texting and Facebook messages) and combines it with biomarker data and qualitative interviews done by clinical researchers to find correlations. The project is in collaboration with clinical psychiatrists from Rhode Island Hospital who have collected data about mental health patients and the funded research proposes to work with veterans, who are particularly at risk of mental health issues.
“I’m eager to start this research, and we’ve already started exploring the unique nature of messaging, which is noticeably different from formal English, and how to find signals of social support and moments of reveal,” Jeff explains. “I’m excited about working on this with students in my group who have thought about the machine learning aspects of messaging, together with graduate students admitted into our group in the fall who have both computer science and psychology backgrounds.”
Jeff has previously received another early CAREER award from the NSF for research on modeling user behaviors on mobile devices.
For more information, click the link that follows to contact Brown CS Communication Outreach Specialist Jesse C. Polhemus.