Selected Projects



Wellness through sensing and reflection.

A system for sensing, rating, and reflecting on how older adults carry out tasks for indepedence. It combines unobtrusive sensing, heuristic-based activity recognition, and multiple forms of feedback mechanisms based on behavioral theory to empower individuals with greater self awareness of their abilities and empower clinicians and caregivers with early, actionable signs of cognitive or functional decline in older adults.

Lee, M.L. Task-based Embedded Assessment of Functional Abilities for Older Adults Doctoral Dissertation, August 2012 (abstract) (pdf)
Lee, M.L. and Dey, A.K. 2011. Reflecting on Pills and Phone Use: Supporting Self-Awareness of Functional Abilities for Older Adults. In Proceedings of CHI 2011. (pdf)
Lee, M.L. and Dey, A.K. 2011. Smart Lifelogging Technology for Episodic Memory Support. In Smart Healthcare Applications and Services: Developments and Practices. Röcker, C. & Ziefle, M. (Eds.) IGI Global, 2011. (link)
Lee, M.L. and Dey, A.K. 2010. Embedded Assessment of Aging Adults: A Concept Validation. In Proceedings of PervasiveHealth 2010. (pdf)
Lee, M.L. 2010. Creating Salient Summaries of Home Activity Lifelog Data. CHI 2010 Doctoral Consortium. (pdf)

"CMU to research sensors to track elderly" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
"Testing The Ability Of Embedded Sensors To Detect Onset Of Dementia, Infirmity" (Medical News Today)
"High tech helps elderly, impaired" (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)



Capturing missing memories for Alzheimer's disease.

An experience capture and access system designed specifically for individuals with episodic memory impairment such as those with Alzheimer's disease. The system records the user's personal experiences with wearable ubiquitous sensors, leverages both automated content/context analysis as well as the expertise of the human caregiver to highlight the most salient memory cues, and presents the cues in a way that enables people with Alzheimer's to engage in memory-exercising reminiscence of recent meaningful experiences.

Lee, M.L. and Dey, A.K. 2008. Lifelogging Memory Appliance for People with Episodic Memory Impairment. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing, 44-53.  (pdf)
Lee, M. L. and Dey, A. K. 2007. Providing good memory cues for people with episodic memory impairment. In Proceedings of the 9th international ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (Tempe, Arizona, USA, October 15 - 17, 2007). Assets '07. ACM, New York, NY, 131-138.  (pdf)

A Little Black Box to Jog Failing Memory (New York Times) A Helping Hand from a Robot (IEEE Spectrum, NSF, and NPR)


Forgetting and Remembering

An ethnographic-style field study of the memory practices of people with Alzheimer's disease.

This ethnographic-style study explore what people with Alzheimer's disease struggle with the most: the first symptom of the disease, episodic memory loss. By following a process of shadowing and interviewing community-dwelling individuals with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers, this study identified what people most often forget, what mechanisms they use to compensate for their memory loss, and the breakdowns that occur as a result of their memory loss.


(email me for a copy)


Connected Giving

Studying the appropriation of online communities for coordinating disaster relief after Hurricane Katrina.

This study investigated how people across the United States used online forums, blogs, and personal websites to coordinate the donation of goods to Hurricane Katrina victims. In the months immediately following the hurricane, personal blogs with their centralized authority structure was more effective at coordinating donations but were not self-sustaining without the authority of the site owner. Forums with their de-centralized authority structure had a greater amount of off topic posts but lasted longer because it relied on the community rather than specific individuals.


Torrey, C., Burke, M., Lee, M., Dey, A., Fussell, S., and Kiesler, S. Approaches to Authority in Online Disaster Relief Communities after Hurricane Katrina. Atwater, L. and Weisband, S. (Eds.). Leadership at a Distance Erlbaum, 223-245.