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Office Location

805 Columbus Avenue
5th Floor, Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Complex (ISEC)
Boston, MA 02120


  • MS, Cornell University
  • BS, Tsinghua University – China

About Me

  • Hometown: Beijing, China
  • Field of Study: Personal Health Informatics
  • PhD Advisor: Timothy Bickmore


Shuo Zhou is a PhD student in the Personal Health Informatics program at Northeastern University’s Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University, advised by Professor Timothy Bickmore. A native of Beijing, China, Shuo earned her Bachelor of Science from Tsinghua University in China and her Master of Science from Cornell University.

Shuo’s research area includes personal health informatics, and she is in the Relational Agents Group at Northeastern. She is interested in promoting health behavior changes using embodied conversational agents. Shuo is currently collaborating on a project with the Boston Veteran’s Administration Medical Center, where she uses conversational agents to help counsel primary-care patients on alcohol misuse.

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

I received my master’s degree from Cornell University in human factors and ergonomics, and I am currently pursuing my PhD degree in personal health informatics.

What are your research interests?

My interests lie in the intricate relationships among design, human behaviors, culture, and interfaces. I have a background in engineering, design and ergonomics, and I’ve always been interested in human computer interaction. I’m particularly interested in how a long term human relationship can be simulated with a computer agent and what characteristics would contribute to the formation of a successful one.

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

I am currently working on a project in collaboration with the Boston Veteran’s Administration Medical Center, using conversational agents for screening and brief counseling for alcohol misuse problems in primary care patients.

What aspect of what you do is most interesting?

With the belief that computer agents can be the catalyst for better patient care, I plan to study how a relationship between patients and physicians can be simulated and facilitated by conversational agents, and how the interaction process and information displayed can be enhanced to achieve better outcomes.

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

I grew up in Beijing, China.

Where did you study for your undergraduate degree?

My undergraduate degree is about vehicle engineering and car design, which leads to my current interest in human centered design.