Research Group: GroupLens
Adviser: Professor Lana Yarosh


Creation of a Self-updating Global List of AA Meetings

[Extended Abstract]   [Poster]   [Crowd-sourcing Interface (under development)]

People who are trying to recover from substance use disorders like alcoholism or addiction get a lot of support when they attend physical or online meetings. However, they face challenges to find the right meetings when they are traveling or are new to recovey. Because, the list of meetings in a particular location is maintained locally and is often outdated. This is frustrating particularly for people who are new to recovery and desperately require a meeting. We are trying to solve this problem by creating a global self-updating list of all AA meetings using machine learning, pattern detection techniques, and crowd-sourcing. This list may one day be used as a resource for people in recovery and help people to more easily get to the recovery communities they rely upon.

Interpretations of Online Anonymity in Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous

[PACMHCI Article]

How do individuals in twelve-step fellowships like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) interpret and enact “anonymity”? We try to answer this question through a mixed-methods investigation. Through secondary analysis of interview data from 26 participants and an online questionnaire (N=285) we found three major interpretations of anonymity among AA and NA members: “unidentifiability,” “social contract,” and “program over individual.” While unidentifiability has been the focus of computing investigations, the other interpretations provide a significant and novel lens on anonymity. To understand how and when the unidentifiability interpretation was most likely to be enacted, we conducted a quantitative analysis of traces of activity in a large online recovery community. We observed that members were less likely to enact “unidentifiability” if they were more connected to the particular community and had more time in recovery. We provide implications for design of online recovery spaces and online health communities.

Video-Mediated Peer Support in an Online Community for Recovery from Substance Use Disorders

[CSCW 2017 Paper]   [Video]  

A list of all of my undergraduate projects can be found here.