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Office Location

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


  • MA in Language Technologies, University of Iceland and Reykjavik University – Iceland
  • BA in English Studies, University of Iceland – Iceland
  • BA in Chinese Studies, University of Iceland – Iceland

About Me

  • Hometown: Watertown, Massachusetts
  • Field of Study: Personal Health Informatics
  • PhD Advisor: Timothy Bickmore


Stefan Olafsson is a PhD student in the Personal Health Informatics program at Northeastern University’s Khoury College of Computer Sciences, advised by Professor Timothy Bickmore. Stefan is a member of the Relational Agents Group, and his research is primarily focused on using virtual agents to improve healthcare as well as human-computer interaction. Before coming to Northeastern, Stefan earned a double bachelor’s degree in English and Chinese studies at the University of Iceland, as well as his master’s degree in language technologies from the University of Iceland and Reykjavik University.

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

I am currently in my fourth year as a PhD student, and so far I have completed the core courses of the program and passed the qualifying exam. I am currently focusing on developing my dissertation proposal.

What are your research interests?

Generally, I am interested in working on developing and evaluating the use of virtual agents in healthcare. I aim to develop research based health interventions using this technology and improve the state-of-the-art in human-agent interaction.

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

I’m interested in automating aspects of face-to-face counseling sessions that involve techniques such as Motivational Interviewing.

What aspect of what you do is most interesting?

What I find most interesting is working on the problems which no one has the answers to.

What are your research or career goals, going forward?

My career goals are to become a successful researcher and a professor.