Orianna DeMasi

Graduate Student in Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley
Data Science Fellow at the Berkeley Institute of Data Science

I am currently a PhD candidate in the Computer Science Division at UC Berkeley and a Data Science Fellow at the Berkeley Institute of Data Science. I work with Benjamin Recht and James Demmel on applications of machine learning for mental health.


I am excited about the development of tools and quantitative methods for mental health. There has been a spectacular rise in the sophistication and ubiquity of computing. This development has lead to rapid changes in other areas of health care and I believe that now there is a similarly unprecedented opportunity for mental health to benefit from the development of computing. Because humans are vital to providing quality care, I focus on developing tools to help professionals provide better care.


Currently my main research focuses on developing a dialog system to augment suicide prevention hotline counselor training. Our system seeks to provide a low-risk environment for counselors in training to practice counseling and to receive feedback for improvement. Previously, I was working on quantitative monitoring tools, as these are a necessary preliminary step in understanding disorders and evaluating treatments.


In addition to my research, I am passionate about making science more accessible. Towards this end, I work with undergraduate research assistants, and have been involved with the organization of Women in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering (WICSE) in a variety of roles, including as co-president for the 2016-2017 year. I was previously a member of the BIDS Education and Training Working Group, which looked at improving data science education, and currently lead the BIDS working group on Diversity and Inclusion.


Good ways to start conversations with me include asking about my cats or my garden.