James L. Carmon Scholarship Award 2005
Congzhou He, a doctoral student in computer science, uses computers to study and analyze speech patterns, especially of people with schizophrenia. For her master’s degree, she developed a computer program that detects the effects of a drug that produces schizophrenia-like impairments in speech patterns. Like people with schizophrenia, individuals who take the drug tend to speak slowly and monotonously and use simple sentences, although these symptoms are not always audible even to the trained ear. Ms. He’s program detected inaudible effects with 97 percent accuracy and helped reveal distinctive speech patterns common to schizophrenia. Ms. He is now combining her original algorithms with natural-language-understanding techniques to develop software that can can detect, analyze and diagnose speech patterns associated with schizophrenia.