Orianna DeMasi

I have recently graduated with a PhD from the Computer Science Division at UC Berkeley!

While at Berkeley, I was co-advised by Benjamin Recht and James Demmel and worked with Marti Hearst on applications of machine learning for for empowering mental health professionals. I also spent some time as a Data Science Fellow at the Berkeley Institute of Data Science.


I am excited about the development of tools and quantitative methods for health care and mental health care in particular. 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 care to benefit from the development of computing. Because humans are vital to providing quality care, I and interested in developing tools to help professionals provide better care.


My most recent research focuses on developing a dialog system to augment suicide prevention hotline counselor training. The desired 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 with smartphones, as these are a necessary preliminary step in understanding disorders and evaluating treatments. I am particularly concerned with the evaluation of methods for these tools, as tools for health care must work and be relaible.


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. I also lead the BIDS Working Group on Diversity and Inclusion, which organized a series of workshops in spring 2019 to help undergraduates from underrepresented backgrounds pursue data science.


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