The NSF Expeditions Project

This Expedition will significantly contribute to US agendas concerning information technology and big data research by exploring novel computational methodologies for quantifying, characterizing, and improving human health behaviors. Understanding and predicting behaviors, an unreachable goal to date, is closer at hand because of the recent confluence of advances in sensor and information technology, pattern recognition, machine learning, and computational modeling.

Our objectives are to:

(1) advance integrated, unobtrusive sensing (at home and mobile) to monitor behaviors in natural environments;

(2) formulate and investigate models that relate data collected in the wild to underlying physical, behavioral, cognitive, and affective states;

(3) develop a real-time intervention and coaching platform to improve health behaviors and to care for older adults (>65 yrs), emphasizing the needs of older minorities with health disparities.

Executive Leadership

hollyProfessor Holly Jimison, PhD – Director
Northeastern University

Professor Jimison is a faculty member of both the College of Computer & Information Science and Bouvé College of Health Sciences. She came to Northeastern from the National Institutes of Health, where she was a technology advisor involved in the Big Data Initiative for Monitoring Health Behaviors at Home and in the Environment. She previously was an associate professor in medical informatics and clinical epidemiology with a joint appointment in biomedical engineering at Oregon Health & Science University, where her research involved technology for successful aging and scalable remote care. She is now the director of the Northeastern-based Consortium on Technology for Proactive Care, which has been created to develop a technology infrastructure for sustainable interventions that support continuity of care outside a hospital setting and promote long-term health behavior change.



Professor Ruzena Bajcsy, PhD – Executive Committee
University of California, Berkeley

For pioneering researcher Ruzena Bajcsy, fostering cutting-edge technology to improve people’s lives is a noble challenge. Dr. Bajcsy led CITRIS from 2001 to 2005, after devoting more than 30 years of her life to research in the fields of robotics, artificial intelligence and machine perception. Bajcsy’s credentials reach across the traditionally discrete fields of neuroscience, applied mechanics and computer science. She is a member of both the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine, a distinction few people can match. She is a Director Emerita of the CITRIS Program at UCB.


Professor Diane Cook, PhD – Executive Committee
Washington State University

Diane Cook is a Huie-Rogers Chair Professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University. Diane’s research interests include artificial intelligence, machine learning, data mining, robotics, smart environments, and parallel algorithms for artificial intelligence. She is one of the directors of the AI Laboratory and heads the CASAS smart home project.


Skubic_MarjorieProfessor Marjorie Skubic, PhD – Executive Committee
University of Missouri – Columbia

Dr. Skubic is a Professor in the departments of Computer Science and Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Her research interests include sensory perception, pattern recognition, and human-machine interaction. Her current research projects focus on understanding and using sensor signals. In particular, she and her team are investigating computational intelligence techniques for studying real-time sensory perception and interactive human-machine interfaces, and applying them to robotics (especially human-robot interaction), spatial referencing interfaces, gait analysis, and now eldercare and rehabilitation. They are especially interested in proactive healthcare models, which include early detection of health changes and screening tools to detect high risk of injury. She is the Director of the Center for Eldercare and Rehabilitation Technology.


Faculty Affiliates


Professor Javed Aslam, PhD
Northeastern University

Dr. Aslam is a Professor and Associate Dean of Faculty in the College of Computer and Information Science at Nortehastern University. His research interests include information retrieval, machine learning, and the design and analysis of algorithms. In machine learning, he has focused on developing algorithms that are capable of learning in the presence of noisy or erroneous training data. In information retrieval, he has applied techniques from machine learning, information theory, and social choice theory to develop algorithms for efficient search engine training and evaluation, automatic information organization, and metasearch and data fusion. He has also been involved in the fields of scheduling, ad hoc networking, computer security, and functional magnetic resonance imaging.


demiris_400Professor George Demiris, PhD
University of Washington

George Demiris is the Alumni Endowed Professor in Nursing at the School of Nursing and Biomedical and Health Informatics, at the School of Medicine, University of Washington. He is the Graduate Program Director of the Biomedical and Health Informatics Graduate Program at the School of Medicine and the Director of the Clinical Informatics and Patient Centered Technologies Program at the School of Nursing. His research interests include the design and evaluation of home based technologies for older adults and patients with chronic conditions and disabilities, smart homes and ambient assisted living applications and the use of telehealth in home care and hospice.



Professor Matthew Goodwin, PhD
Northeastern University

Dr. Goodwin is an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University with joint appointments in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences and College of Computer & Information Science. He has 20 years of research and clinical experience working with children and adults on the autism spectrum and developing and evaluating innovative technologies for behavioral assessment and intervention, including video and audio capture, telemetric physiological monitors, accelerometry sensors, and digital video/facial recognition systems.


Boston, Massachusetts, USA - August 3, 2010 - Steve Intille, Associate Professor of Health Informatics at CCIS/BHS at Northeastern University. PHOTO: Mary Knox Merrill

Professor Stephen Intille, PhD
Northeastern University

Dr. Intille is an Associate Professor in the College of Computer and Information Science and Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University. His research focuses on the development of novel healthcare technologies that incorporate ideas from ubiquitous computing, user-interface design, pattern recognition, behavioral science, and preventive medicine. Areas of special interest include technologies for measuring and motivating health-related behaviors, technologies that support healthy aging and well-being in the home setting, and mobile technologies that permit longitudinal measurement of health behaviors for research, especially the type, duration, intensity, and location of physical activity.


KayeProfessor Jeffrey Kaye, PhD
Oregon Health and Science University

Dr. Kaye is the Layton Professor of Neurology and Biomedical Engineering at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). He directs the NIA – Layton Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Center at OHSU and is a geriatric neurologist at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center.  He also directs ORCATECH – the Oregon Center for Aging and Technology. Dr. Kaye’s research has focused over the past two decades on the question of why some individuals remain protected from dementia and functional decline at advanced ages while others succumb at much earlier times. This work has relied on a number of approaches ranging across the fields of genetics, neuroimaging, physiology and continuous life activity monitoring.


mishaProfessor Misha Pavel, PhD
Northeastern University

Professor Pavel holds a joint faculty appointment in the College of Computer & Information Science and Bouvé College of Health Sciences. His background comprises electrical engineering, computer science and experimental psychology, and his research is focused on multiscale computational modeling of behaviors and their control, with applications ranging from elder care to augmentation of human performance. Professor Pavel is using these model-based approaches to develop algorithms transforming unobtrusive monitoring from smart homes and mobile devices to useful and actionable knowledge for diagnosis and intervention. Under the auspices of the Northeastern-based Consortium on Technology for Proactive Care, Professor Pavel and his colleagues are targeting technological innovations to support the development of economically feasible, proactive, distributed, and individual-centered healthcare. Previously, Professor Pavel was the director of the Smart and Connected Health Program at the National Science Foundation, a program co-sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. Earlier, he served as the chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Oregon Health & Science University, a Technology Leader at AT&T Laboratories, a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories, and faculty member at Stanford University and New York University.


yeh-eProfessor Edmund Yeh, PhD
Northeastern University

Dr. Yeh is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Northeastern University. His research interests include future internet architecture, cross-layer design and optimization of wireless networks, wireless network science, network economics, wireless sensor networks, network information theory and coding, and smart power grids.


ZareAlinaProfessor Alina Zare, PhD
Washington State University

Dr. Zare is an Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Missouri. Her research interests include machine learning, image analysis, remote sensing, hyperspectral image analysis, sparsity promotion and pattern recognition. She has been actively involved in landmine, explosive object and trace explosives detection research using hyperspectral imagers in a variety of modalities. Zare has conducted research on the fusion of multiple sensor types including multispectral, synthetic aperture radar, ground-penetrating radar, LIDAR and hyperspectral imagery.