Welcoming students looking for research opportunities

We are welcoming students (undergrad, grad, postdoc) looking for research opportunities. The student will assist the project under the mentorship of a postdoc and faculty with diverse expertise in human-computer interaction, computer science, statistics, biomedical informatics, and pediatrics. Please email Jina Huh (jinahuh at ucsd dot edu) for all inquiries.

  1. Overall project description

    In this 4-year project, we are developing an unobtrusive sensing and awareness system to help Latino families improve family routines. Family routines improvement can lead to various wellness improvements, including child obesity prevention. The system will use mobile phones to detect family routines (screen viewing activities, sleep, family dinner frequency), and children participants will wear wearable devices to sense physical activity level. These sensor data will be visualized as a virtual garden / farm that gives awareness to children about their daily routines. The system collects all family users’ data and strategically shares them among families to increase motivation for family routine improvement.

2. The sub-tasks involved in this project include:


  • Interviews with families
  • Observe families’ home settings
  • Brainstorm design
  • Prototype (low-fi, high-fi)
  • Generate animation of the objects

*Development & implementation

  • Develop middleware between the interface and the backend
  • Data management (sensor data collected)


  • Deploy prototypes to families to get their feedback
  • Data collection

3. Skills good to have (one of below):

  • User-centered design (interviews, observation, sketching)
  • Advanced prototyping (Adobe Flash or Unity)
  • Programming (Language: TBD, to build middleware that communicates between the interface and the backend database)
  • Spanish speaking (to communicate with the Latinos families)
  • And any other you suggest you can bring to this project

4. Incentive

  • Earn independent study credits
  • Build research experience, including co-authoring in papers (For those applying to graduate programs)
  • Build project portfolio (For those going to industries as a designer/engineer)
  • Internship closely working with faculty in medicine, with potential opportunities to shadow (for those in Pre-med programs)
  • Paid hours depending on skill level

People involved in this project:

Jina Huh, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Informatics
Lizbeth Escobedo, PhD, Postdoctoral fellow
Robert El-Kareh, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor, Biomedical Informatics, UCSD Hospital
Kyung (Kay) E. Rhee, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Jihoon Kim, MS, Principal Statistician, Biomedical Informatics

Michigan State University
Guoliang Xing, PhD, Associate Professor, Computer Science
Wei Peng, PhD, Associate Professor, Media and Information
Barbara Smith, PhD, RN, Professor, Nursing
Olga Napolova, MD, MSU Pediatrics

Heather Cruz, Director of Health and Wellness, Chula Vista Elementary School District




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