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Office Location

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


Stefan Olafsson is a PhD student in the Personal Health Informatics program at Northeastern University’s College of Computer and Information Science, 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.


  • 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

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.