Expressive Interviewing
Expressive Interviewing

The Research Team

This project is a collaboration between researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of Texas, led by Prof. Rada Mihalcea and Prof. James Pennebaker. If you would like to contact the team please email
Charlie Welch is a PhD candidate (Computer Science) with a focus on natural language processing, dialog systems, and personalization, and has worked previously on applications of artificial intelligence to motivational interviewing. He has a passion for research, as well as developing useful and educational web applications.
Twitter: @ytaipsw

Rada Mihalcea is the Janice M. Jenkins Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan and the Director of the Michigan Artificial Intelligence Lab. Her research interests are in natural language processing, with much of her recent work being around developing methods to facilitate an understanding of people’s beliefs, opinions, and behaviors from their language use. Her recent studies have uncovered new insights into perceptions of social roles, value systems across cultures, word use differences between groups, mental health, life outlook, and more. She is the recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers awarded by President Obama (2009), and currently serves as the Vice-President of the Association for Computational Linguistics.
Twitter: @radamihalcea
James W. Pennebaker is the Regents Centennial Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. He and his students are exploring natural language use, group dynamics, and personality in real world settings. His earlier work on expressive writing found that physical health and work performance can improve by simple writing exercises. His cross-disciplinary research is related to linguistics, clinical and cognitive psychology, communications, medicine, and computer science. Author or editor of 9 books and over 250 articles, Pennebaker has received numerous awards and honors.
Twitter: @jwpennebaker
Veronica Perez-Rosas is an Assistant Research Scientist at University of Michigan. Her research focuses on developing computational methods to analyze, recognize, and predict human affective responses during social interactions. She works on research problems such as deception and misinformation detection, affect recognition, conversational analysis of clinical interactions, and other medical and human-centric applications.
Kenneth Resnicow is the Irwin Rosenstock Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education at University of Michigan School of Public Health and Professor of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine. He is the Associate Director for Community Engagement and Health Disparities Research at the University of Michigan Cancer Center and Chief Scientific Lead at the University’s Center for Health Communications Research. His work focuses on designing and evaluating behavior change programs for a wide range of health behaviors including substance use. In recent years, his work has included individual-level tailoring and the use of technology to deliver health messages. Much of his work, both interpersonal and electronic, has used Motivational Interviewing and is influenced by Chaos Theory and Self-Determination Theory. Dr. Resnicow has published over 290 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has served on numerous advisory panels and review groups.
Larry An is a general internist and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan, as well as the Co-Director of the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center’s Center for Health Communications Research (CHCR) and the Health Communications Shared Resource (HCSR). As Director of HCSR, he oversees an established multi-disciplinary group of behavioral scientists, computer programmers and design experts that has developed over 100 programs utilizing a wide array of technology and communication channels. Dr. An has also worked extensively in the areas of clinical guideline implementation, quality improvement and health systems change.
Siqi Shen is a graduate student of Computer Science Engineering at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on language generation and dialogue systems. He has participated in previous research to generate reflections for counselor responses in motivational interviewing.
Allie Lahnala is a PhD candidate (Computer Science) with a focus on natural language systems and is studying how to generate empathetic text for counseling applications. She has previously worked with music and text data, primarily investigating the usefulness of distributed representations of musical chords.
Sarah Seraj is a social psychology PhD student in the Pennebaker Language Lab at the University of Texas at Austin. Using language as a lens, her research looks at how people handle deeply emotional upheavals such as breakups, divorce and infidelity. Previously, she worked as a researcher in the field of air quality engineering, conducting air quality field campaigns in multiple cities around the world and analyzing urban trends of fine particulate matter. She switched fields after realizing that many of the world's largest engineering problems are social and psychological in nature.
Twitter: @SerajSarah
Sashank Macharla is a UX designer and a graduate student (Information Studies) focusing on human-computer interaction through linguistics, AI systems, and spatial interfaces. Previously, he has worked in architecture and is passionate about interlacing digital interactions with physical and social behavior based interfaces.
Twitter: @sashankmac

This study has been determined exempt by the University of Michigan IRB (HUM00182586).

Additional Credits
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