Undergraduate Research

As an undergraduate I conducted research at Cornell’s Interactive Design Lab in the Information Science Department. The lab is headed by Geri Gay who is a professor in both the Communication and Information Science departments at Cornell. At the lab I assisted graduate students in quantitative analysis to help provide evidence for their publications.

At the time of my arrival in Summer 2011 there were a few studies complete on a mobile application named Vera. The early version of Vera allowed users to upload photos of an activity or food, create a caption, rate the healthiness of the activity, and how they were feeling at the time. These posts could be seen by other users that could then comment and send messages. Each participant filled out a questionnaire before and after the two week study took place. Given all of this data my first assignment was to help a PhD student Mary Beth Deline create a “codebook” and understand how emotions, valence, affect, and other measures of a person’s well-being could be quantitatively measured. These measures could then be analyzed and subject to statistical testing.

Most of the graduate students that were interested in this application were investigating whether mobile phone applications could make a person become aware of their health habits and find areas to improve their lifestyle. I paired up with PhD student Phil Adams and Post-Doc Eric P.S. Baumer and helped flush out some of the quantitative analyses necessary to provide insight into the effects of mobile phone applications and health.

Starting in Fall 2011 and throughout the Spring of 2012 I was analyzing most of the quantitative data along with Phil with mentoring and direction from Eric. Some of the prime analysis included the use of programs such as:

  • R Statistical Package
  • Rapid SQL
  • Minitab
  • Microsoft Excel (including some Macros)

With these programs I was able to use statistical methods such as:

  • Statistics
    • T-tests
    • Model Selection
    • Multiple Linear Regression
    • Correlation
    • Principle Component Analysis
    • Kolmogrov-Smirnov Test
    • General Statistical Data Mining
  • Network/Graph Analysis
    • Eigenvector Centrality
    • In-degree / Out-degree
    • Complex Graph Construction

In Fall 2012 I worked to help organize and enter scheduling information for Weill Cornell Medical College graduate students participating in a study that monitors the affect and moods of medical residents. In addition to this I worked with Jamie Guillory on a study relating to the lab’s newest release of the mobile application, Vera+.