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Human-Computer Interaction and Behavior Science- PhD application in Computer Science

amyning 1 / -  
Sep 29, 2011   #1
Hello, everyone! I am not a native English speaker. Please help me to refine my statement. This is for PhD application. Thank you!

I am applying for Ph.D program in the Department of Computer Science, University of XXX. Currently I am a master candidate at XXX Lab, U of A. Before that, I received my Bachelor degree in B University. After four years' undergraduate study and three year's graduate study, I intend to focus my research interests on Human-Computer Interaction.

In my undergraduate study, the first time I found the beauty and fun of programming is the development of a game called "Greedy Sneak" in which I added many new functions to improve the challenging. With the passion in computer science, I was interested in mathematics as well. In the beginning of the third year, I participated in China Undergraduate Mathematical Contest in Modeling(CUMCM). Our group designed a Bus and Subway Lines Transfer System

to solve traffic problem during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. I first built a model applied on this big and complicated dataset. As the leader of the team, my main contribution was designing the data structure and improving the Ant Colony algorithm which provide users with 3 optional solutions. Besides, I also completed our thesis. Finally, our team got the first prize among hundreds teams in CUMCM in XXX province. Gradually, I possessed strong interests and developed good abilities in several subjects in computer science. My final year dissertation-xxx-was rated top 5 in the Software Engineering Department.

After I joined U of A, I realized the significance of web behavior because folks today are more likely to live in a virtual community on the Internet. Many factors and incidents on the web influence people's lives. Thus I helped to build the Mental Coach website using ASP, JavaScript and AJAX technologies to help web users to adjust their feelings and cognition. In this period, I have been adept in the data transfer methods between server side and client side. Besides, I also become familiar with website frame and Document Object Model (DOM) which are very helpful for my further research. Moreover, I offered myself as a volunteer in the 2nd IEEE International Symposium on Web Society in which I learned some insightful perspectives related to web society from the experts and improved my social skills in the communication. At last, I was honored as Excellent Conference Coordinator.

After reading a myriad of literature materials and doing some experiments, my research topic is decided as studying intention model based on web behavior. In the flood of information, web users are more and more difficult to find the exact knowledge that they want. Some web services such as content recommendation and search engine optimization did not take users' intention into account and thus the results may not meet the need of web users. I am engaging in building an intention model to analyze web users' behavior and predict the intention in order to make behavior targeting advertisements or other recommendations more effective.

In the preliminary stage, I designed and completed an online advertising recommendation using web users' browsing history. This demonstration system records users' browsing log and analyzes the web pages to get the keywords collection that expressing users' intention. Using the intention keywords, I drove both academic search engine of my college and Google to get the recommended pages for users.

My first study was a sentiment classifier which can automatically classify Chinese news articles into mood categories in the readers' view. Traditional ways of news classifier are based on the subject and ignore the emotional effect on readers, while I tried to figure out which kind of mood that an article could incite(Affective-Word based Chinese Text Sentiment Classification. ICPCA2010). I presented integrating affective words into the classification and choosing 2 test to extract features. Besides, I also employed the metadata of the news in the training to improve the effect and it turns out to be good. In the later sentiment analysis, I conducted a user study and applied t-test in statistics to learn about the relations of online mood labels and our true experiences(Are Online Mood Labels A True Reflection of Our Experiences? SWS2011). On the other hand, I employed decision tree to predict mental status such as "Depression" based on web behavior. Because mental disorders can be expressed in the web usage behavior and habits, I proposed to learn this mapping from mental health status to web usage and found some kinds of explicit web behavior indicate several negative mental statuses. This is a new method for Behavioral Psychology(Using Decision Tree to Predict Mental Health Status based on Web Behavior. SWS2011). The results of both studies were impressive and creative.

Studying in GUCAS improves my resolution in research related to human behavior analysis. I am invited to go to Port Elizabeth, South Africa to participate in the international conference in web society and give the presentation in October 2011. I believe that this abroad trip will definitely help me to improve myself in both academic research and personal experience.

In my free time, I like swimming and reading which help me exercise in physical and mind. As the team leader, I also participated in the undergraduate students debate from which I learned the power of organization and logic. In the final round, we got a second place in our school.

Having experience in academic, I desire to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Department of Computer Science at University of XXX referring to Human-Computer Interaction and Behavior Science. I believe that human beings are the principle part of activities in the social environment. Social behavior, which is very complex, usually gives valuable expressions to individual's mind in different contexts. Learning behavior requires capturing the patterns, rules and characteristics in the context. I am capable of hard work and will persevere in research with strong confidence even facing difficulties. I wish to become a faculty member in a university and I believe that the advanced training in University of Wisconsin-Madison will help me fulfill my career goal.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

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