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CPS Undergraduate Students Participate in Medical Informatics Research

Monday, August 29, 2016

This past year two students in the College of Professional Studies, Computer Science major Alexis King and Healthcare Informatics major Cristina Diaz worked with professors Dr. Bonnie MacKellar and Dr. Christina Schweikert of the Division of Computer Science, Mathematics and Science, on a research project that was supported by the Collaborative Research Experiences for Undergraduates (CREU) program. The program seeks to increase the representation of women and other groups in computer sciences. Alexis and Cristina contributed to the faculty members' research project on developing a system that will help patients search for clinical trials. In particular, the students were focused on the analysis of interactions between clinical trials by means of their treatments and eligibility criteria. Both students learned how natural language processing can be used to create rules that can identify phrases in text. This is key in processing the eligibility criteria in clinical trials, which is written in free text.

In addition, both students worked on developing an algorithm to compute the number of conflicts between two clinical trials, having presented their work, "Pediatric Cancer Clinical Trial Eligibility Criteria Analysis", in poster sessions during research month here at the University and at the Consortium for Computing Science in Colleges (Northeastern) at Hamilton College. They also have an upcoming poster presentation, "Clinical Trial Eligibility Criteria Analysis for Patient Search", at the 2016 ACM Tapia conference in Austin, TX