Joel Schooler is working on his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz with an emphasis in Human Computer Interactions. His research interests involve the quantified self, personal information management and digital memory. He is also an avid cook, photographer and a founder of the Lewis & Clark College Psych Club.
So Joel, what have you been working on this summer at PARC?
Since joining PARC in June, I’ve been working on the Fittle Project, which is a health and fitness app that helps people help achieve and maintain healthy behavior changes in diet and physical activity, using artificial intelligence and predictive models. It’s a great project, some of its basic ideas have already been published by the team.
What is your role in the project?
I’m helping to build the coaching agent which is able to implement “Just-in-Time Adaptive Interventions.” JITAIs are an intervention design that looks to provide the right kind of support, at the right time, by adapting to an individual’s changing internal and contextual state. It’s really exciting because the idea of JITAIs can make a major impact on the world, to help change really any kind of behavior. In this case, health and fitness behavior.
How’s the project going so far?
It’s been going really well. I’ve learned a lot of programming skills and am utilizing a combination of my programming and psychology background to make the most impact I can. I’m always really fascinated by how cognitive processes like thinking about goal completion can influence our ability to complete goals, how thinking about an action affects the action.
What have you enjoyed most about interning at PARC?
I’ve enjoyed having a bit more structure rather than working as a grad student, it helps me focus and work more efficiently. Plus, I’ve been able to learn a lot about the industry life. In the future, my dream is to be able to do both, industry and academia. To be a professor and consult with companies, for example.
What was the last show you binge-watched?
I watched the entire 8th season of Archer in one day, on Netflix, in Italy.
If you could invent anything, what would it be?
I would invent an engine that could convert one element or substance into another element or substance. A molecule re-arranger, if you will. So for example, this engine could convert CO2 into oxygen and still power your car.
What’s one thing you could not live without in the office?
My laptop charger. Hands off.
Find out more about PARC’s current and future internship opportunities.