Alex Ahmed

Ahmed_Alex_003Computational Behavioral Science Lab
Northeastern University
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I’m a PhD student in the Personal Health Informatics program at Northeastern, advised by Matthew Goodwin. I studied cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology, biology, and programming at UC San Diego. While there, I worked with Gedeon Deak studying cognitive development and joint attention sharing in infants and young toddlers, and with Gentry Patrick studying the regulation of the ubiquitin-proteasome system. After graduating, I was awarded the Yale Computational Neuroscience Fellowship and moved to New Haven to work with Brent Vander Wyk at the Child Study Center, where I used fMRI techniques to measure brain activations to social stimuli in children with autism. I then joined the Machine Perception Lab at UC San Diego as a Research Associate. There, I worked under the mentorship of Marian Bartlett on a project that used computer face recognition and machine learning to categorize instances of post-operative pain in children. I also worked with Leanne Chukoskie on gathering behavioral and physiological data from video games.

At CBSL, I was involved in on-site research with robotic teddy bears at Boston Children’s Hospital. I also worked with Rick Palumbo on developing window analysis algorithms for skin conductance data. In 2015, I was awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to support my doctoral work. My long-term research interests involve the development and distribution of patient-facing health technology to marginalized and underserved communities.


Media & Projects

December 2016: Mapping Stop-and-Frisk in Boston

December 2015: Smithsonian Magazine


Publications & Presentations

Ahmed, A. A. (in press). Trans Competent Interaction Design: A Qualitative Study on Voice, Identity, and Technology. Interacting with Computers. [pdf]

Ahmed, A. A. & O’Donnel, P. J. Visualizing Stop-and-Frisk in Boston. Data-Driven Research, Policy, & Practice: Lessons from Boston, for Boston, 2017. Online. [abstract]

Ahmed, A.A., Goodwin, M.S. Automated Detection of Facial Expressions during Computer-Assisted Instruction in Individuals on the Autism Spectrum. CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2017. [pdf]

Jeon, S., Logan, D., Goodwin, M. S., Graca, S., O’Connell, B., Anderson, L., Goodenough, H., Stenquish, N., Ahmed, A. A., Smith-Freedman, D., Jamieson, K., Breazeal, C., Weinstock, P. Challenges Conducting Child-Robot Interaction Research in a Pediatric Inpatient Care Context. ICSR Workshop on Evaluating Child-Robot Interaction, 2015. [pdf]

Sikka, K., Ahmed, A. A., Diaz, D., Goodwin, M. S., Craig, K. D., Bartlett, M. S., & Huang, J. S. (2015). Automated Assessment of Children’s Postoperative Pain Using Computer Vision. Pediatrics, peds-2015. [pdf]

Ahmed A. A. & Vander Wyk B. C. (2013). Neural processing of intentional biological motion in unaffected siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder. Brain and Cognition, 83(3), 297-306. [pdf]

Ahmed, A. A. & Vander Wyk B.C. Functional Neuroimaging Correlates of Intentional Biological Motion Processing in Unaffected Siblings of Children with ASD. San Sebastian, Spain: International Meeting for Autism Research, 2013. Online. [abstract]

Ahmed, A. A. & Vander Wyk B.C. Superior temporal sulcus activity to unexpected goal-directed motion decreases longitudinally in neurotypical children. Program No. 837.01. 2012 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. New Orleans, LA: Society for Neuroscience, 2012. Online. [abstract]

Ahmed, A. A. & Vander Wyk B.C. Neuroendophenotype Discovery Using an fMRI Social Battery Task. Toronto, Canada: International Meeting for Autism Research, 2012. Online. [abstract]