Student Successes

Preethi Srinivas

Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction

What degree are you working toward?

I am pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).

Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?

I have always wanted to pursue education in a well-renowned research–focused institution, and School of Informatics and Computing (SOIC) at IUPUI is run by a group of well-renowned faculty that fit well with this criterion.

What makes IUPUI more unique is its location and the surrounding hospitals and research hubs such as Regenstrief Institute and Sandra Eskenazi Center for Brain Care and Innovation. There are very few places in the US that can provide the kind of real-world based learning experience that I gained as part of the IUPUI campus. I have had rewarding experiences collaborating with my department faculty, IU physicians and research scientists as I worked towards the completion of my dissertation.

What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?

Every achievement that I have made at IUPUI has been a rewarding experience both in terms of knowledge as well as in terms of personal growth and hence, it is difficult to pick favorites. However, my most recent research involving ICU clinicians optimally managing interruptions from their mobile devices is something that I feel have significant real-world applications and is close to my heart. This research suggests a set of novel design guidelines that can be adopted while creating ICU mobile applications. These design guidelines will be published at the Human Factors in Computing ’16 conference, one of the most leading conferences in HCI. I am proud of this little accomplishment although this research is a small, design-based contribution to the medical and HCI communities.

What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?

I really love walking/biking on the canal or the cultural trail on a day with pleasant weather. I also love the people here – I have always noticed people who hold the door for others, or smile or wish others on streets.

Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.

My doctoral research addresses an emerging critically needed area within the field of healthcare related to human-centered computing, with a focus on the use of health information technology to support safe, effective, and efficient patient care in the intensive care unit (ICU). After a medical emergency that forced me into becoming a part-time student and as I progressed into the program while making my way back to full-time status, I started developing an interest for health and mental wellness research. This interest came to me in the wake of having been a patient in the ICU myself. I was fascinated by the concept of using technology interventions to support everyone in the care-giving process, from the physician to a nurse to a patient who might be suffering from a brain-related disorder.

My recent research efforts focus on the problem of task and goals management of ICU teams. The result has been a novel application that addresses the cognitive/behavioral outcomes of interruptions generated by a notification system built into a task management application. I feel that one of the significant contributions of my doctoral research would be a set of design guidelines that can help in managing notification interruptions from mobile health technology in the ICU. This can significantly reduce or avoid unwanted interruptions or alert fatigue induced by smartphone text messages or phone calls in the ICU through improved communication systems that use patient-centric information.

Parallel to my dissertation research, I have also collaborated in conducting experiments to study the extreme mediation of smartphones and social media on human health and well-being. I have also contributed to the better part of several conference papers as a co-author.

Outside of research, I serve as a member of the Women in Technology group and the chair of ACM-W student chapter at SOIC. I am also the local leader for the Interaction Design Foundation (IDF), Indianapolis Chapter, a non-profit group that brings together students and professionals to promote conversations about interaction design and user experience with an eye towards individual members’ careers and interests. I actively organize, host, and facilitate meetings where I presents my ideas and encourage the research interests of attendees. I have solely been involved in fund-seeking with external organizations such as Yahoo and GravityDrive to fund the chapter meetings. Some of the past events include a design challenge and a scavenger hunt, which enabled students from different disciplines and professionals in the Indianapolis area to participate and compete.

Outside of school, I am very interested in physical fitness and am currently training to run a marathon soon.