Eric Corbett





Participant: PROMISE AGEP Research Symposium, 2014

: Information Systems – Human Centered Computing
Institution: University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)




Ubiquitous Computing in Physical Therapy

Recent research has shown that for people living with Parkinson’s Disease patient empowerment through increased self-efficacy plays a large role in perceived Quality of Life. One key element to empowerment is access to knowledge of one’s condition and how it may fluctuate from day to day over time. In this paper we explore the use of a home based personal informatics application, LEAP PD, which provides patients with data visualizations on both mental and physical state. We tested the application with 10 PD patients for 4 weeks to determine what, if any effect having access to this information would have on self-efficacy. Initial results from post interviews with study participants indicate having access to this data does increase sense of empowerment however a longer study is necessary to determine overall effects on quality of life.



 My name is Eric Corbett. I am currently pursuing a master’s degree in Human Centered Computing at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. I have my bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Savannah State University located in Savannah, Georgia. I am a first generation college student originally born in Connecticut, but I have spent the majority of my life in Georgia where my mother and younger siblings still reside. I originally became interested in computer science around the age of 15 through my love of video games! I was the stereotypical hardcore teen gamer; I owned every major console, hundreds of games, and spent an unhealthy amount time gaming. In time, my love of gaming lead me to become interested in developing games. In studying the video game industry, I learned the most common way to get your foot in the door was through programming so choosing computer science as my major when I entered college was a natural choice. Throughout undergrad, my interest in computer science began to expand beyond gaming into scientific areas through a series of summer research internships I participated in: summer 2010 at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign studying parallel computing, summer 2011 at Carnegie Mellon University studying assistive technology, the summer 2012 at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory working on flight software. I eventually determined I was more interested in the in people’s interactions with technology which lead me to major in Human Centered Computing in graduate school.



My research in grad school has been mainly in the area of assistive technology. My first project was looking at using brain computer interface technology in replace of traditional input technologies such as keyboard and mouse for people with severe physical disabilities. My next project was looking at how to assist inventors, creators of intellectual property, to create and collaborate using a social networking site, Would people be willing to collaborate over the internet on sensitive intellectual property issues? What would be the best way to design to encourage such an interaction? Also, what tools/features should a social network with these aims include to allow for co-design? My current project is looking at how to inform better patient care of people with Parkinson’s disease through shared decision making using whole body assessment. A key element to quality of life for people with PD is self-efficacy, one’s sense of their ability to control the outcome of their disease progression. People who are empowered to play an active role in their treatment are much more likely to have a positive outlook on the disease and their life in general.



  1. 2013 UMBC 34th Annual Graduate Research Conference
  2. 2012 Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in STEM Atlanta, GA: Won 2nd Place Poster Presentation in Computer Science
  3. 2012 10th MGE@MSA\WAESO Student Research Conference University of Arizona Phoenix, AZ: Won 3rd Place Poster Presentation in Computer Science
  4. 2011 Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (Peach State LSAMP) 6th Annual Fall National Symposium and Research Conference Savannah State University: Won 3rd Place Poster Presentation in Computer Science


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