Seminar by Prof. Geri Gay, Cornell University, 17th October 2014

Large Conference Room, O’Reilly Institute, 12:00 17th October.

The Rhythmic Self: chronobiology and computing

Like almost all of life on Earth we have evolved to live in light and sleep in
darkness. Within our bodies there are billions of biological clocks, controlled
by a ‘master clock’ in our brain. Overwhelming evidence indicates that these
biological clocks have a rhythmic effect on our mental and physical processes
that follows a roughly 24-hour cycle. They affect our mood, levels of
concentration, digestion, sleep patterns and much more and are profoundly
important for our health, quality of sleep, and mood. Yet the technologies we
use are ignorant of our biology. Indeed, some of our most impactful technologies including the light bulb, central heating and the computer, can interfere with these biological rhythms – keeping us up later, making us more distracted and enabling us to work against our biology.

In this talk, Professor Gay and Dr. Matthews will provide an overview of the
work they are doing at the Interaction Design Lab, which explores social and
technical issues in the design, implementation, and evaluation of technologies
for health and wellness. We will focus on our recent research in Circadian
Systems – technologies that play to the strengths of our biology. We illustrate
the potential of this work by reference to our ongoing research projects on
passively detecting variations in our daily biology (Clockwise) and stabilizing
daily circadian rhythms in serious mental illness (Mood Rhythm).


*Geri Gay* is the Kenneth J. Bissett Professor of Communication at Cornell
University and a Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow. She is also a member of
the Faculty of Computer and Information Science and the Director of the
Interaction Design Lab at Cornell University. Her research focuses on social and technical issues in the design of interactive communication technologies.
Specifically, she is interested in social navigation, affective computing,
social networking, mobile computing, and design theory.

*Mark Matthews* is a Marie Curie fellow jointly with the Interaction Design Lab
at Cornell University and the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College  Dublin. His research focuses on the design and evaluation of low-cost ubiquitous support systems for individuals with serious mental illnesses and is currently investigating the interplay between Bipolar Disorder and technology. He received  his PhD in Computer Science from Trinity College Dublin.

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