24 Mar
Friday, 03/24/2017 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Computer Science Building, Room 150/151
CSSI Lunch
Speaker: Shannon Roberts
"Engaging Teenage Social Networks to Enhance Driving Safety"
Lunch will be provided, beginning at 12:00
Talk begins at 12:30

Abstract:  Technology is changing the way teenagers interact with devices and with each other. In some cases, such as in driving, these interactions can have negative consequences. This talk will describe a study designed to reduce the number of teenage traffic fatalities by utilizing a feedback brochure and social influence to alter behavior. Compared to past research in the area of teenage driving, this study leveraged the current teenage social network and the prevalence of social influence to change behavior. This network-based perspective has far-reaching consequences for how changes in driving behavior might change within a social network. It also highlights a feedback system that moves beyond a focus on individual driving behavior and acknowledges behavior of the social network, which engages the collective teenage driving system. This research has implications outside of transportation safety in other domains given the methodological/statistical techniques, social network analysis, and data visualization via the feedback system.

Bio:  I am a Human Factors engineer focused on transportation safety. My research foci are in three areas: (1) developing driving feedback systems, (2) using computational models to predict driver behavior, and (3) leveraging social influence and social network to change driver behavior. The first research focus is aimed at designing and implementing feedback systems to improve driving behavior, with particular attention paid to teenagers and older adults. Within the context of automated vehicles, I am interested in developing feedback systems that inform drivers of the state of their vehicle as well as other vehicles on the road. The second research focus concerns the implementation of computational models, such as agent-based modeling and exponential random graph models, to predict and evaluate the dynamic effects of behavior change within driving systems. The third research focus aims to leverage social influence and social networking techniques to study and positively change driver behavior. This third research area is particularly relevant for teenage drivers given their frequent use of social media and their rather limited driving expertise.