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I am an associate professor of pediatrics in OHSU’s Center for Spoken Language Understanding in Portland, Oregon. I earned my doctorate in developmental psychology, with a concentration in quantitative methods. I focus on developing more sensitive tools to capture subtle yet meaningful clinical changes in children’s language and social functioning. Currently, my research is driven by the need for good outcome measures to evaluate the impact of new treatments and interventions for children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders such as Fragile X Syndrome. I am passionate about using technology to improve how we measure children’s behavior in a way that is both objective and quantitative. I believe using technology like eye-tracking makes participating in research studies more fun, and reduces the burdens placed on participating families.
In addition to research, I teach graduate-level courses at OHSU on statistics, data science, and data visualization using R. I also have developed and led several R workshops and smaller team-based training sessions, and love to train new “useRs”.
PhD in Developmental Psychology & Quantitative Methods, 2008
MSc in Developmental Psychology, 2005
BSc in Applied Psychology, 2002
Georgia Institute of Technology
Improving conversational use of spoken language is an important goal for many new interventions and treatments for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. However, progress in testing these treatments is limited by the lack of informative outcome measures to indicate whether or not an intervention or treatment is having the desired effect on a child’s conversational use of language (i.e., discourse skills). The goal of this project is to evaluate whether Natural Language Processing methods can be translated into meaningful outcome measure for individuals with a range of neurodevelopmental disorders. This project was recently funded by the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
The goal of this project is to develop and validate a novel objective measurement tool, the Multi-modal Autism Phenotype Snapshot (MAPS), for use in clinical trials targeting core symptoms of autism. This project was funded by a Catalyst Award from the Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Institute.
The objective of this project is to further understanding of sex differences in the fundamental patterns of behavioral and social functioning relevant to the clinical presentation of ASD. Guided by our previous research, we applied Natural Language Processing based methods to transcripts of natural language samples in order to quantify features of atypical language use in females with ASD.
I teach the following courses in OHSU’s Computer Science and Electrical Engineering (CSEE) graduate education program: