Week 10

Week 10 has come and gone! I can’t believe how great of an experience this REU has been, and I am very sad it’s over. Although this blog post is a little late (my apologies), here is what happened during my last week at Pro-Health REU:

Firstly, due to lack of responses from our initial group of those with rare diseases whom we had distributed the survey to, we spent all of week 9 trying to get the survey to more populations. Sadly by the time we had to print our poster (Wednesday) we had only 5 responses. Come Friday when we actually presented our work,  we had 17 responses and lots more data 🙂 yes!

Our results were looking pretty clear too – most participants liked being notified of vocabulary similarities and posts (Scenario 1) and being asked to friend others with similar diseases and symptoms (Scenario 2). However, Scenario 3 – the one where they would be asked to friend others with similar interests, was not a big hit. Since we offered a place for suggestions to add to our scenarios, we got a lot of responses about the addition of location based notifications on doctors in the area, as well as included reviews and ratings from others. Since we plan on sending our survey out to a bigger population after adapting it to these initial responses, we will most likely change our 3rd scenario to a mechanism that notifies users of doctors in the area.https://wii.luddy.indiana.edu/wp-admin/post-new.php

Anyways, most of the beginning of this week was spent making our poster as pretty as possible. Although not winning anything at the Symposium on Friday for our poster, we did get a lot of comments on how great our poster looked and how smoothly our presentation was. I feel that if we had more data present on the poster, or perhaps we had achieved more work over this summer that we could have been in the running for an award. I know you all want to see our poster though, so here it is – final edition! Poster

We did happen to clutch best paper award from the Pro-Health division at the Symposium on Friday. We were pretty happy as we had worked pretty hard on retrieving citations and always editing to make our paper the best it could be – of course as of right now the final findings/future work our not complete – and the diagrams are not as well, but we are only going to change our paper further come the fall-time to make sure we have a paper that maybe could even be accepted into CHI. Read our paper as it is right now here: Paper 🙂

Although this REU has come to an end, I have a feeling that things have just begun for me! In the fall, we will continue our research with the rare disease population and Prof. Patrick Shih and Fernando Maestre, as well as with Haley MacLeod whom I have previously worked with. On top of that, I was recently announced as one of the 5 recipients of the Robert C. and Mariol A. Luddy fund of the Schnabel Scholars.  I am completely excited to be able to keep in touch with Bobby Schnabel, the IU School of Informatics and Computing past dean, as I continue working on what I have found to love – my research!

To anyone thinking about doing an REU, DO IT! The opportunities it can provide you with our endless…on top of that, you will not only get to connect with professors and research professionals but also future colleagues and friends. I could not have had a better summer, and I’m sad it finally ended. But, as Week 10 came to a close it was a great feeling to explain what we had worked so hard on and how interested others were. For instance, Professor Sriraam Natarajan said that he could possibly assist us on the algorithm used in our future application when it came to detecting similar vocabulary among posts. Super exciting! I cannot wait to work alongside my new friend and research partner in the fall, along with Prof. Shih and everyone else I worked with this summer. Two more weeks and I’ll be back 🙂