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2015 i3 Research Projects

Leveraging Social Media to Generate Narrative for Virtual Patient Simulations

Jonathan Velez, University of Central Florida
Taylor Neal, Rice University
Rae Wallace, Virginia Tech
Sean Jenkins, Tennesee State University

Research Advisor: Dmitriy Babichenko, University of Pittsburgh, School of Information Sciences

This work describes the research and development of semi-automated, user-supervised narrative generation for virtual patient (VP) simulators. We outline the system architecture required of such a system, and propose leveraging data from the health-related content of social networking websites (specifically, Facebook, PatientsLikeMe, and Inspire), in addition to electronic medical record (EMR) datasets. Our research focuses on four key areas as we work toward finalizing our system design: 1) Exploring the utilization of the Open Biomedical Ontologies and other natural language processing tools to facilitate concept identification, synonym generation, and knowledge base construction; 2) Designing templates that structure the presentation of narrative content according to author-selected parameters that serve as queries into the knowledge base; 3) Comparing various user interfaces to best support the author’s interaction with the plot graph and the logical design of narrative cases; 4) Piloting protocol for evaluating the quality of simulation narratives and its influence on simulation fidelity.

Accepted for Publication at iConference 2017

Exploring the Role of Social Media in the Information Seeking Behavior of Millennials in Search of Safe Sex and Sexual Health Information

Jarime Chaco, University of Houston
Caroline Contreras, California State University at Channel Islands
Darryl Ramgoolam, Marquette University
Jasmine Rodriguez, California State University at Fullerton

Research Advisor: Connie Pascal, Rutgers University, School of Communication and Information

The purpose of this research is to explore millennials’ preferences when seeking safe sex (SS) and sexual health information (SHI) and whether or not this population views social media sites as preferred sources. Understanding the information preferences of millennials in this context can help educators better disseminate accurate and timely information. This study consisted of an online survey (n=82) which revealed that millennials are not using social media for SS and SHI, primarily due to concerns of accuracy. The survey did reveal that even though millennials believe medical professionals and schools are the best source for acquiring SHI, a majority of respondents (63%) indicated that they use internet websites as their primary source of information. Our research is meant to provide dialogue and background information for future research.

Accepted for Publication at iConference 2017

Welcome New Americans! Investigating the Role of Hyper-Local Online Communities in Integration of Immigrants

Grace Ahmed, University of Vermont
Yvette Espinoza, California State University at Fresno
Natalie Euley, University of Alabama at Huntsville
Marissa Villarreal, University of Houston

Research Advisor: Rosta Farzan, University of Pittsburgh, School of Information Sciences

The United States has a continuously growing immigrant population. A problem for many of these New Americans may face is adapting to the new culture. Researchers have been investigating ways technology can play a role in supporting accultration of the immigrant population. In this work, we studied the fole of a particular class of technological support, hyper-local online communities, designed to support individuals living in the same geographical boundaries. Through a survey of 50 immigrants from two distinct areas in the US, we investigated whether utilization of hyper-local online communities can be associated with better integration with the local community demonstrated as increased sense of belonging and satisfaction. We also investigaed potential factors contributing to utilization of such platforms. We report the results of our study; highlight potential implications for design of technology for immigrants, and discuss future directions of research in this area.

Accepted for Publication at iConference 2017

Examining the Role of Cognitive Maps and Familiarity in Wayfinding Over Time

Aderin Falana, University of Pittsburgh
Maryam Hedayati, Carleton College
Trishia Domingo, University of Maryland Baltimore County
Nekia Hampton, University of Baltimore

Research Advisor: Cristina Robles Bahm, La Roche College, Information Technology

This project presents preliminary results on the examination of cognitive maps and familiarity in terms of wayfinding. A user study is presented where 22 participants gae 11 verbal wayfinding descriptions from several landmarks at the University of Pittsburgh. The general premise being that participants who had been at the university for more years would produce different wayfinding descriptions, thus portraying different cognitive maps. The data was then analyzed in three ways, all taking into account the number of years the participant had been at the university. Preliminary results show that participants who had been at the university longer attempted more route descriptions and were more accurate in their descriptions. There was also a slight trend towards using more words in their route descriptions, although this was not statistically significant. Future work should focus on route descriptions using graphical modeling methods and a different premise to define familiarity.

Accepted for Publication at iConference 2017