ECE Seminar Lecture Series

Sensory Interventions: Real-time integration of passive sensing and adaptive passive interventions

Tanzeem Choudhury, Professor of Computing and Information Sciences at Cornell Tech

Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Noon–1 p.m.

The proliferation of mobile and IoT devices and the development of passive sensing methods have revolutionized the way we collect information about people’s lives. By leveraging sensors, it is now possible to detect various behavioral patterns, including physical activities, sleep, emotions, and social interactions. Although there has been much attention to the role of passive methods of data collection and analysis, another essential component has not received the same level of attention: passive interventions. Currently, the state of the art of interventions relies on active participation of the user, either by presenting feedback for the user to reflect about their behavior or mood, or by sending just-in-time messages to prompt the user to take an action. Despite the increasing usage and appeal of these approaches, they also have a limitation: they require significant attention and effort from users to be effective. Many interventions, for instance, prompt users to direct their attention to the technologies, which can interrupt people’s current activities and compromise their task performance. Because of these issues, it becomes harder to “close the loop”, so mobile technologies effectively capture relevant information about people’s lives, but the data collected often does not lead to improvements in people’s behavior or emotions. In this talk, I will present the work ongoing in the People Aware Computing lab around sensory interventions which deliver seamless passive interventions in real-time in response to users’ behavioral state.  


Tanzeem Choudhury is a Professor of Computing and Information Sciences at Cornell Tech where she holds the Roger and Joelle Burnell Chair in Integrated Health and Technology and a co-founder of HealthRhythms Inc, a company whose mission is to add the layer of behavioral health into all of healthcare. At Cornell, she directs the People-Aware Computing group, which is inventing the future of technology-assisted well-being. The group's innovations in sensing to intervention is helping transform healthcare from a reactive to proactive system. Tanzeem received her PhD from the Media Laboratory at MIT and her undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Rochester. She has been awarded the MIT Technology Review TR35 award, NSF CAREER award, TED Fellowship, Kavli Fellowship, ACM Distinguished Membership, and Ubiquitous Computing 10-year Impact Award. For more information, please visit: