Barbara Barry

I create new technologies and social programs fueled by open-source knowledge, advances in science, and the human power of optimism. Story generation by people and computers is the groundwork for my design research and innovations, which use technology for positive change in education and health care.

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About me…

I’m a research scientist who studies and develops new technologies and social programs to improve education and health care. My work currently explores how technology can provide access to tailored mental health interventions for children and older adults, those on the extreme ends of the developmental spectrum. In my position in the Computer and Information Sciences Department at Northeastern, I collaborate with clinicians, engineers, and social scientists on design pilots and clinical trails that promote health behavior change. 

I spent my joyous geek-time at the M.I.T. Media Lab (Post-doc, PhD, MS) delving into commonsense reasoning and story generation by computers, and their application to health and education. 

I then co-founded Energy Inside a web-based mental health care company that leveraged social networks to distribute positive psychology activities. As Director of Learning for the One Laptop per Child Foundation, I worked with the United Nations Relief Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees to improve education for refugee children in Gaza and the West Bank and championed OLPC’s membership in the Global Education Cluster Working Group. 

I’ve consulted on an NIH-funded projects about tuning doctor/patient interactions to reduce anxiety and pain during surgeries and painful diagnostic tests. I also recently wrote a study about the use of technology for education in emergencies for the ECWG and UNESCO by reflecting on the recent emergencies in Haiti, Pakistan, and Libya. 

As you might have guessed, my work thrives in the spaces where technology, science and humanism meet. 

My designs include: wearable computers for children; intelligent cameras; story generation systems; knowledge capture websites; adaptive talk-therapy software; commonsense models of user emotion; and community-driven learning programs. 

You can read more about my projects here!


Research Trail - Recent Talks & Participation

Psychiatric Genetics Translational Seminar - Mass General Hospital (11/2012)
World Innovation Summit on Education - WISE Conference (11/2012)
NSF Cyberlearning Conference (1/2012)
Crisis Mappers Conference (11/2011)
MD Anderson Cancer Center (11/2011)
MRI Unit - Tufts Medical Center (10/2011)
Pediatric Cardiology - Sick Kids Hospital  (7/2011)
Education Cluster Working Group Meeting (10/2011)
UNESCO Workshop for Policy Decision Makers: Role of ICT4E (4/2011)
J-Pal Executive Training Program (4/2011)
UNRWA Aid to Development Conference (10/2010)
Education Cluster Working Group Meeting (10/2010)
Better World By Design @ RISD (10/2010)
Sesame Street Workshop (9/2010)
UNRWA Education Conference (7/2010)
UN Leaders Program (5/2011)
Perez Center for Peace (5/2010)
UNRWA OLPC Kick-off Event, Gaza (4/2010)
Games for Health Conference (6/2009)
American Psychological Association (6/2009)

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