Featured Speaker – Fiorenzo G. Omenetto

Fiorenzo G. Omenetto holds the Frank C. Doble Professor of Engineering Endowed Chair, and is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering and of Physics at Tufts University.  His research interests are in the convergence of technology, biologically inspired materials and the natural sciences with an emphasis on new transformative approaches for sustainable materials for high-technology applications.

He has proposed and pioneered the use of silk as a material platform for advanced technology with uses in photonics, optoelectronics and nanotechnology applications, is co-inventor on several disclosures on the subject, and is actively investigating applications that rely on this technology base both for technical and design applications. Prof. Omenetto was formerly a J. Robert Oppenheimer Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratories, a Guggenheim Fellow, and is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and of the American Physical Society.

Featured Speaker – Marco Maria Pedrazzo

MArch cum laude double-degree program in Architecture for Sustainabilty (Politecnico di Torino and Politecnico di Milano), with the thesis “Open Source Emergency Shelter”, Marco Maria also graduated from the Alta Scuola Politecnica, with a project regarding Social Computation strategies applied to urban mobility issues.

Before joining CRA he spent two years as a collaborator in Politecnico di Torino for the Design Studio, Technology Studio and thematic workshops. As vice president of ASP Alumni Association, he works for structuring its professional network.

As a freelance, he consults mainly startups over their customer experience, pulling form his experience on both digital and physical products design, in order to identify their strengths, create a compelling story and maximize the value delivered to clients.

Featured Performer – LJ Rich

As a kid LJ Rich loved both music and technology – but she was also a very fussy eater, did not like thunder and couldn’t understand why others didn’t struggle with the world’s inputs the way she did. In fact, LJ only became aware of her synaesthesia right here in Boston in March 2014 – when she found out other people didn’t think foods and landscapes had particular keys, or fill in music from footprints or use colours to play songs instantly after listening.  Earlier this year she collected her Master’s degree at Oxford and met up with her former music tutor – who said he’d never before or since heard anyone talk about Bach in terms of food!
As well as seeking out delicious music and meals across the globe, LJ is fascinated by the nexus of liberal arts, technology and social tech trends – and enjoys finding unexpected connections between those areas. As a regular presenter on the BBC technology show ‘Click’, she has interviewed everyone from the founder of Twitter to the CEO of Google. She’s driven driverless cars, zapped her brain with an iPhone app, and ridden roller coasters while wearing a virtual reality headset.
Synaesthesia has always inspired LJ‘s classical composing but perhaps it also compels her to invent and build musical interactive audience experiences in attempts to share her sense of cross-modality with others. These range from live installations at festivals and events to intimate performances or live-streaming with 3D sound. Her Multi-Sensory Symphony involves food, scents and physical movements for the audience!  Check out her talks on ‘Glitching’ and ‘A Musician’s Guide to Invention’ at her website ljri.ch – or catch @ljrich on Twitter or livestreaming app Periscope.

Suzanne Higgs (Laboratory Studies Panelist, Hackathon Judge)

Suzanne Higgs is Reader in the Psychobiology of Appetite at the University of Birmingham, UK.  Suzanne leads a research group interested in cognitive processes in food intake and food choice. Work in this area includes examination of the role of learning and memory in food choice and social influences on dietary decision making. Suzanne has published 80 peer-reviewed publications. She is Editor of the journal Appetite and President of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior.

Jeff Brunstrom (Laboratory Studies Panelist)

Jeff Brunstrom is a Professor of Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol (UK) where he co-leads the Nutrition and Behaviour Unit (NBU). The NBU researches human appetite and weight control, with emphasis on the role of cognition in food choice and energy intake. In particular the NBU has pioneered the development of recent methods in this field, including software and techniques to study the ‘expected satiety’ of foods and the role of expectations in food choice and portion selection.

Susan Carnell (Laboratory Studies Panelist)

Susan Carnell is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The goal of her research is to understand why some people become obese while others do not. To answer this she has studied eating behavior in children ranging from infancy through to adolescence, as well as in adults, using a mix of eating tests, questionnaires, and biological measures such as genetics and hormones. Her current interests include neuroimaging studies of appetite and obesity, parental and genetic influences on children’s eating, and emotionally-driven forms of eating behavior like stress-induced eating and binge eating.

Sai Krupa Das (Laboratory Studies Panelist)

Sai Krupa Das is a Scientist at the Energy Metabolism Laboratory of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) and an Assistant Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University (Boston, MA). Her research interests include human energy metabolism and obesity including the effects of diet and lifestyle interventions and bariatric surgery, energy restriction and aging, and in improving methodology for tracking food intake and body composition.

Brad Appelhans (Intervention Studies Panelist)

Brad Appelhans is an Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine and Behavioral Sciences at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. His research examines novel weight loss interventions for adults and children, as well as neurobehavioral factors associated with eating behavior and obesity risk. His ongoing projects focus on food purchasing decisions as key “upstream” influences on eating behavior.

Graham Thomas (Intervention Studies Panelist)

Graham Thomas is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Brown Alpert Medical School and the Weight Control & Diabetes Research Center of The Miriam Hospital. Dr. Thomas conducts research on the use of technology for the assessment and treatment of health behaviors, with an emphasis on obesity and related health conditions. In particular, Dr. Thomas has used an Ecological Momentary Assessment approach to study eating behaviors related to obesity and adherence to recommended behaviors after bariatric surgery. He has also developed and tested behavioral weight management interventions using Internet, mobile, and virtual reality technologies.

Susan B. Roberts (Intervention Studies Panelist)

Susan B. Roberts is Director of the Obesity and Energetics Laboratory and Professor of Nutrition at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and Professor of Psychiatry and Staff Member in Pediatrics at the Tufts Medical Center. One area of her research focus is the development of more effective and more sustainable weight management interventions for adults, both in the US and other countries. Following on from her research she developed the iDiet program, which is an online group-delivered weight loss program, and will be adapting that for worldwide use through the International Obesity Consortium, which she co-founded with her collaborator Sai Das. In addition, Dr Roberts is collaborating with engineers and computer scientists at MIT and Tufts to develop natural voice recognition software and sensor technology for assessment of dietary intake.

Diana Thomas (Intervention Studies Panelist)

Diana Thomas is a Professor of Mathematics and the Director of the Center for Quantitative Obesity Research at Montclair State University in NJ. She holds joint research appointments at the Columbia University New York Obesity Research Center and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and serves on the editorial board for the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, PloS One, and The Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Research.  Several of Dr. Thomas’ models have been developed into professional grade software for clinical application available at http://pbrc.edu/research-and-faculty/calculators/ and are currently being applied in a number of clinical interventions.  Recently, Dr. Thomas’ models have been applied in a highly successful smartphone delivered weight loss intervention, SmartLoss™. She has also developed similar models within smartphone apps to guide recommended weight gain during pregnancy.

Sharon Kirkpatrick (Public Health Studies Panelist)

Sharon Kirkpatrick is Assistant Professor at the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo (Canada). Her work focuses mainly on methodologic issues associated with measuring what people eat and drink and strategies to mitigate measurement error in dietary assessment. She was previously a nutritionist with the U.S. National Cancer Institute and continues to work on enhancing and testing the Automated Self-Administered 24-hour Recall (ASA24), an online tool that allows researchers to collect high-quality dietary data in a range of studies.

Katherine L. Tucker (Public Health Studies Panelist)

Katherine L. Tucker is Professor of Nutritional Epidemiology in the Department of Clinical Laboratory & Nutritional Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Dr. Tucker also holds adjunct appointments at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. Her research focuses on dietary intake and risk of chronic disease, and on dietary methodology. She is the director of an NIH funded Center for Population Health and Health Disparities (CPHHD), which includes the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study, a longitudinal study on diet, health behavior and genetic predisposition in relation to health disparities. She has collaborated for many years with the Framingham Osteoporosis Study, and leads a Vanguard data analysis center with the Jackson Heart Study. She is the Editor-in Chief of Advances in Nutrition, the review journal of the American Society for Nutrition (ASN), and was a co-editor of the 11th edition of the textbook, Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. She currently serves as a member of the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine.

Edward Sazonov (Speaker, Hackathon Judge)

Edward Sazonov is Associate Professor and head of the Computer Laboratory of Ambient and Wearable Systems (CLAWS) at the University of Alabama. His research interests span wireless, ambient and wearable devices, and methods of biomedical signal processing and pattern recognition.  Edward has pioneered the development of new devices for objective quantification of ingestive behavior via noninvasive monitoring of chewing and swallowing.

Stephen Intille (Speaker, Hackathon Judge)

Stephen Intille is an Associate Professor in the College of Computer and Information Science and Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University. His research and teaching focuses on the development of novel healthcare technologies, specifically sensor-enabled mobile technologies that support measurement of health-related behaviors and assist with health behavior change. Areas of special interest are longitudinal measurement type, duration, intensity, and location of physical activity, sedentary behavior, sleep, and dietary decision making.

Carlos Cardenas (Speaker, Hackathon Judge)

Carlos’ career has focused on exploring the connections between technology, design and the human experience. He is Vice-president of THE MEME, a strategic design consultancy focused on discovering opportunities for innovation and developing human-centered product and service experiences. He has led multi-disciplinary design research projects for diverse organizations including Samsung Electronics, LG, Microsoft, iRobot, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital. He is currently spearheading efforts to develop tools that help bridge the nuances of human-centered qualitative research with agile design practices. He has been guest lecturer and panelist at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Stevens Institute of Technology, and at the IDSA’s international conferences, teaching and speaking about strategic design research, experience design, and innovation. Prior to joining THE MEME he was co-founder of CAPO interactive design as well as researcher at Harvard’s Center for Design Informatics.

Sylvia Cheng (Speaker, Hackathon Judge)

Sylvia Cheng is a User Experience Designer based in San Francisco. Most recently, she was at Jawbone, makers of the UP fitness tracker, reporting to the CTO and VP of R&D to bring products to market globally. Her work at Jawbone comprised of the ideation, design, and engineering of product experiences surrounding nutrition, health sensors, wearable technology, and entertainment. Sylvia is the lead inventor on 6 patents and a co-inventor on 10 patents. Before Jawbone, Sylvia was the 8th employee at Silicon Valley based Massive Health. Massive Health (acquired by Jawbone) launched the Eatery — an iPhone app that makes it easier for people to track their food intake by taking photos of their meals. The Eatery was featured in: Wired, NBC Nightly News, Fast Company, and Forbes. Sylvia is also a published researcher for her work on wearable computing.

Jacques Lépine (Speaker)

Jacques Lépine is CEO and founder of Slow Control, a Paris based company focused on healthy eating habits, providing connected tools to enhance meal experience. Namely, a baby bottle to prevent colic and help follow up by the parents, a children spoon with educative and motivation gamification, and a fork to follow up and bio feedback chrononutrition patterns, all connected to a web and mobile data platform. Slow Control is now a 10 people start-up that is looking into settling in the US in 2016. Jacques has led his career as a patent and innovation engineer. He has founded several innovative companies with a focus interest on medical device and addiction follow up.

Susan Persky (Speaker)

Susan Persky is an Associate Investigator and Head of the Immersive Virtual Environment Testing Area (IVETA) within the Social and Behavioral Research Branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health. Using immersive virtual reality, she conducts experimental research at the intersection of genomics, health behavior, and health care. She spearheaded the development of a virtual reality buffet restaurant to measure food choice behavior, which has been applied to better understand parental choices for child feeding.

Joshua M. Kotfila (Speaker)

Joshua M. Kotfila is the Lead Organizer of the Boston chapter of The Quantified Self, an international collaboration of users and tool makers who share an interest in self knowledge through self-tracking. Today the global community has over two hundred groups in 37 countries around the world, with the largest groups in San Francisco, New York, London, and Boston having over 1500 members each.

Liesbeth Luijendijk (Speaker)

Liesbeth Luijendijk is Business Development Manager at Food & Biobased Research, one of the research centers of Wageningen UR, in The Netherlands. The Restaurant of the Future is one of Wageningen UR’s research facilities, where a wide range of controlled research is carried out in the area of consumer taste (sensory insights), consumer behavior and consumer emotions. Unlike standard research methods, where behavior is inferred from surveys and interviews, the Restaurant of the Future additionally monitors and investigates actual consumer behavior and the way behavior changes upon an intervention. It is a ‘living laboratory’, in which also observational methods in retail, health care, home and/or virtual settings are applied.

Kirsten Davison (Hackathon Judge)

Kirsten Davison is an Associate Professor of Nutrition and Director of the Public Health Nutrition concentration at the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her PhD at the Pennsylvania State University in Child and Family Development. Her research focuses on family and community contributions to child obesity. Most recently, her research has focused on family-centered interventions to prevent child obesity in low-income populations. These interventions, which have been implemented in WIC and Head Start settings, are based on the principals of community-based participatory research and were developed, implemented and evaluated in collaboration with parents. Current projects focus on parenting around children’s snack food intake, strategies to engage fathers in obesity prevention programs and research, and a large scale community intervention integrating evidence-based programs in multiple sectors (WIC, childcare, schools, afterschool programs and community health centers).