Spotlight On: Duo Helen Wei

Duo Helen Wei

Duo Helen Wei, associate professor of Computer Science, with her poster presentation, "Artificial Intelligence in Mental Health for Aging Population - A Scoping Review."

Galloway, N.J. – Duo Helen Wei, associate professor of Computer Science and faculty associate at the Stockton Center on Successful Aging (SCOSA), recently engaged in two conferences, showcasing her research and contributing actively to the academic area.

First, Wei, who has taught at Stockton for more than 11 years, presented a compelling poster and flash presentation, "Artificial Intelligence in Mental Health for Aging Population - A Scoping Review," Nov. 9-12 at the Gerontological Society of America's Annual Scientific Meeting (GSA) in Tampa, Florida.

This collaborative effort involved Bianca Hernandez, a New Jersey Institute of Technology student, and David Burdick, director of SCOSA and professor of Psychology. Driven by the promise of AI in mental health research for the aging demographic, their work explores early-stage diagnosis, mental well-being monitoring, severity assessment, cognitive trajectory prediction and treatment support. The research provides a brief overview of AI's evolving utilization, incorporating insights into research methods, data sources and predictors of mental health.

"The generative language models, such as ChatGPT, represent a cutting-edge advancement in AI mental health research," Wei noted. "The poster and flash presentation received positive feedback, and ongoing work remains as audiences pose intriguing questions. I am committed to advancing this research domain alongside Burdick and our dedicated students."

Following GSA, Wei attended the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Annual Symposium Nov. 12-14 in New Orleans. Her contributions were multifaceted, including the organization of a workshop and service as a poster session chair.

Additionally, she played a key role in a panel discussion on "Empowering Women in Biomedical Informatics: Pivoting for Success in the Post-Pandemic World," acting as the co-chair for the Women in AMIA Networking, Mentoring, and Lifecycle Subcommittee.

Wei's first-authored journal paper in JAMIA, "Assessing Perceived Effectiveness of Career Development Efforts Led by the Women in American Medical Informatics Association Initiative," received special recognition in the Year in Review at the AMIA conference. Her impactful research and leadership in empowering women underscore her vibrant contributions to SCOSA and the broader academic community.

When asked why experiences like these are important, Wei responded, "I think participating in conferences holds significant importance for several reasons. Firstly, it allows me to stay abreast of the latest advancements in the rapidly evolving field of computer science. Keeping our knowledge up to date is essential as educators to provide our students with the most cutting-edge information. For example, my attendance at the GSA conference shed light on how AI can positively impact the health and longevity of the aging population. Moreover, conferences serve as invaluable platforms for building collaborations. Establishing connections with fellow professionals fosters a rich collaborative research environment and enhances teaching quality.

"These interactions provide opportunities to exchange ideas, share expertise, and contribute to the collective knowledge of our field. Lastly, participating in conferences allows me to give back to the community. During the AMIA conference, I had the privilege of serving as the chair for the Women in Informatics Networking, Mentoring, and Lifecycle Subcommittee. Through organizing workshops, participating in panel discussions, and contributing to published papers, I worked toward advocating for women in leadership roles and supporting work-life balance in the informatics community. It's a fulfilling experience to contribute to the professional community that has played a crucial role in my own growth and learning."

Reported by Mandee McCullough

Photos submitted