Alumni Participation Challenge

Diane Paverman '13Diane
Paverman ’13

Computer science major and philosophy minor from Pleasantville, N.Y.

For the past two summers, Diane Paverman ’13 has been working with a team of researchers on a project that uses functional near-infrared spectroscopy to monitor brain activity in computer users. The researchers then apply a machine-learning algorithm to data in order to predict the users’ level of fear, frustration and suspicion. Funded by the U.S. Air Force, the results may prove useful to government agencies conducting online surveillance or in infiltrating crime and terrorist activities via the Internet.

"I thought I’d be pre-med until I took a class with Professor Hirshfield [in my] sophomore year. His dynamic approach to teaching showed me that computer science isn’t boring or nerdy but exciting and applicable to real-world issues. Seeing how problem solving fits in — and having the opportunity to do cutting-edge research — changed everything about my Hamilton College experience. I’m planning to pursue my Ph.D. and eventually develop medical software."

— Diane Paverman ’13

"Diane has been a valuable contributor to this project, not just because she’s a computer science major. What she brings is her ability to collaborate, ask the right questions and motivate people. From her first semester in an intro-level course for non-computer science majors, I could tell that she had 'it.' It’s rewarding to help a student find something she’s in love with and great at."

— Stuart Hirshfield
Stephen Harper Kirner
Professor of Computer Science


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