11-16-2022 DINS Seminar Series to Feature Christopher M. Danforth

On November 16th, the Department of Informatics and Networked Systems will host Professor Christopher M. Danforth of the University of Vermont as the speaker for the DINS Seminar. Dr. Danforth, who is in the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, will discuss "The Lived Experiences Measured Using Rings Study (LEMURS)." The seminar will be offered via Zoom (https://pitt.zoom.us/j/92863524224) from 11 am to 12 noon on November 16, 2022.  

Abstract: Building on a decade of work quantifying mood using social media activity, this talk will describe our group’s new longitudinal wearables study of health and well-being. A cohort of 600 first-year students at the University of Vermont have been recruited to take part in an experiment incentivizing behaviors associated with human flourishing. During the Spring semester of 2023, three groups of 150 students will be randomly assigned to engage in expert guided (a) exercise classes, (b) nature experiences, and (c) group talk therapy. Changes in stress, mental health, and sleep will be assessed through a series of weekly surveys deployed through a dedicated app, as well as continuous physiological heart-rate monitoring through the Oura Ring, and compared to a fourth control group of 150 students.

Bio: Professor Chris Danforth received a B.S. in Mathematics & Physics from Bates College in 2001, and a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics & Scientific Computation from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2006. His early work applied Chaos Theory to improve forecasts made by numerical weather models, and his current work focuses on sociotechnical systems. He is the co-inventor of http://hedonometer.org, an instrument measuring daily happiness based on social media, and has also developed algorithms to identify predictors of depression from Instagram photos. Along with Peter Sheridan Dodds, Danforth runs the Computational Story Lab research group and the Vermont Complex Systems Center. Danforth is Director of the Vermont Advanced Computing Center, and his work has also been funded by NIH, NASA, NOAA, DARPA, DOE, and the MITRE Corporation. Danforth has co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications applying mathematical techniques to many fields including atmospheric science, linguistics, psychology, literature, finance, physics, engineering, and biochemistry. He has advised over 50 research dissertations including 20 PhD students, 20 MS students, and 15 undergraduate thesis students. 

This event is part of the DINS Seminar Series, a weekly series of speakers from around the globe, who address their leading-edge work on topics at the intersections of information and data, organizations and society, and systems and networks. For more information about the DINS Seminar Series, please this this web site