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008 Robinson Hall
Boston, MA 02115


  • Triple BS in Psychology, Computer Science, and Cognitive Science, University of Richmond

About Me

  • Hometown: Bucharest, Romania
  • Field of Study: Computational Behavioral Science, Personal Health Informatics
  • PhD Advisor: Matthew Goodwin


Catalina Cumpanasoiu is a PhD student in the Computational Behavioral Science program at Northeastern University’s Khoury College of Computer Sciences, advised by Professor Matthew Goodwin. Catalina is primarily focused on researching Autism Spectrum Disorders through advancements in technology. She earned a triple Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Richmond in Psychology, Computer Science, and Cognitive Science.  While there, Catalina worked with Dr. David Landy on an algebra teaching software and on the role of grouping and space in making mathematical operations easier to learn and understand. Her honor thesis in psychology, supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Crawford, was on spatial cognition and emotion recognition as a function of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Along with her undergraduate work, she also participated in two summer internships working with children with autism.

At Northeastern, Catalina works with Professor Matthew Goodwin at the Computational Behavioral Science Laboratory and has shifted her research interest toward clinical psychology and personal health informatics with an emphasis on researching Autism Spectrum Disorders.

What are the specifics of your graduate education (thus far)?

As part of an interdisciplinary program, I had the opportunity to take classes and gain experience in areas that span most of my interests: statistical modeling, behavioral science, psychology, health behavior theory, human-computer interaction, mobile app development and interface design just to name a few.

What are your research interests?

My research interests have shifted toward the clinical psychology field and autism in particular. I chose the Personal Health Informatics program because of Professor Matthew Goodwin’s lab and the work that they do there. I am interested in how we can use technology to answer questions in the autism field.

What’s one problem you’d like to solve with your research/work?

One research idea in progress is looking at how we can use electrodermal activity (EDA) as well as other physiological measurements and wearable technology (sensors) to decrease the number of challenging behaviors and increase the learning rate during therapy for children with autism.

What aspect of what you do is most interesting?

I believe autism is a main issue in psychology since it affects the lives of so many children and their families, and implicitly, society. I am interested in how we can use advances in technology to inform our research in autism. The questions have always been there, but now we may have new ways of finding answers to those questions and solutions to the problems.

What are your research or career goals, going forward?

I’m still undecided, but I am considering a career in research in the clinical field, as well as directly working with children with autism, the clinical population of interest.

Where did you grow up or spend your most defining years?

I was born and raised in Romania and I moved to the US to start college when I got a scholarship. I completed 4 years of undergrad at the University of Richmond in Virginia. During this time, I also studied abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland for a semester.