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NSF awards $10M to develop computing techniques for measuring and analyzing child behavior
Date:8/19/2010

A team led by the Georgia Institute of Technology has received a $10 million "Expeditions in Computing" award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop novel computing techniques for measuring and analyzing the behavior of children.

These technologies will be used to enable new approaches for identifying children at risk for autism and other developmental delays. In addition, these methods may potentially improve the delivery and evaluation of treatment.

The award -- one of only 10 given out by the NSF since 2008 -- provides up to $2 million in funding each year for five years and is designed to push boundaries in computer science. This project will push the limits by catalyzing a new scientific discipline called computational behavioral science, which will draw equally from computer science and psychology to transform the study of human behavior.

"There is a great deal of creativity in the computer science research community today," said Deborah Crawford, acting assistant director of Computer and Information Science and Engineering at NSF. "Our intentions with the Expeditions in Computing program are to stimulate and use that creativity to expand the horizons of computing. For example, several of the projects will be exploring new computational approaches to some of the most vexing problems we face in the science and engineering enterprise as well as in the larger society."

Autism affects one of every 110 children in the United States and the long-term outcomes for a child who is at risk for autism can be significantly improved if the child is treated at an early age. As a result, it is widely accepted that all children should be screened for developmental delays as early in life as possible.

"Direct observation of a child by highly trained specialists is an important step in assessing risk for developmental disorders, but such an approach cannot be easily scaled to the large number of individuals ne
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Contact: Abby Vogel Robinson
abby@innovate.gatech.edu
404-385-3364
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News
Source:Eurekalert  

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