2016 Speakers

Dr. Eric Horvitz is distinguished scientist and director at the Microsoft Research Lab at Redmond, Washington. He has pursued principles and applications of artificial intelligence, making contributions in reasoning under uncertainty, machine learning, bounded rationality, time-sensitive action, and human computation and crowdsourcing. His research and collaborations have led to fielded systems in healthcare, transportation, human-computer interaction, robotics, operating systems, networking, and aerospace. He was recently awarded the Feigenbaum Prize for sustained and high-impact contributions to the field of artificial intelligence. He has been elected fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and he has been inducted into the CHI Academy. He has served on multiple academic and governmental advisory boards, including DARPA’s Information and Technology Study Group (ISAT), the Naval Research Advisory Committee (NRAC), the NSF CISE Advisory Committee, and the Computing Community Consortium (CCC). More information can be found at http://research.microsoft.com/~horvitz.


Thomas R. Insel, M.D., is  fomer Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the component of the National Institutes of Health charged with generating the knowledge needed to understand, treat, and prevent mental disorders. He is currently with Verily, Google’s Life Sciences division. His tenure at NIMH has been distinguished by groundbreaking findings in the areas of practical clinical trials, autism research, and the role of genetics in mental illnesses. Prior to his appointment as NIMH Director in the Fall 2002, Dr. Insel was Professor of Psychiatry at Emory University. There, he was founding director of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, one of the largest science and technology centers funded by the National Science Foundation and, concurrently, director of an NIH-funded Center for Autism Research. From 1994 to 1999, he was Director of the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center in Atlanta. While at Emory, Dr. Insel continued the line of research he had initiated at NIMH studying the neurobiology of complex social behaviors. He has published over 250 scientific articles and four books, including the Neurobiology of Parental Care (with Michael Numan) in 2003. Dr. Insel has served on numerous academic, scientific, and professional committees and boards. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and is a recipient of several awards including the Outstanding Service Award from the U.S. Public Health Service. Dr. Insel graduated from the combined B.A.-M.D. program at Boston University in 1974. He did his internship at Berkshire Medical Center, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and his residency at the Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute at the University of California, San Francisco.

Prof Helen Christensen, is an Australian mental health researcher with an interest in using the Internet to prevent suicides.[1] She is Director of the Black Dog Institute, at the University of New South Wales   and a National Health and Medical Research Council John Cade Fellow. She is the author of over 400 refereed journal articles, seven consumer books and a number of open access websites and apps.  Her areas of interest include the evaluation of internet applications/ online programs for the prevention and treatment of mental disorders, the quality of websites, the integration of new technologies into health care, the development of evidence-informed policy and methods to measure impact and dissemination.

Prof Matthew K. Nock, PhD is a professor of psychology and director of the Laboratory for Clinical and Developmental Research in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. Professor Nock received his PhD in psychology from Yale University (2003) and completed his clinical internship at Bellevue Hospital and the New York University Child Study Center (2003). Nock’s research is aimed at advancing the understanding why people behave in ways that are harmful to themselves, with an emphasis on suicide and other forms of self-harm. His research is multi-disciplinary in nature and uses a range of methodological approaches (e.g., epidemiologic surveys, laboratory-based experiments, and clinic-based studies) to better understand how these behaviors develop, how to predict them, and how to prevent their occurrence. This work is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and several private foundations, has been published in over 100 scientific papers and book chapters. Nock’s work has been recognized through the receipt of four early career awards from the American Psychological Association, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and the American Association of Suicidology; and in 2011 he was named a MacArthur Fellow (“Genius Grant”). In addition to conducting research, Nock has been a consultant/scientific advisor to the National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization’s World Mental Health Survey Initiative, the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychiatric Association DSM-5 Childhood and Adolescent Disorder Work Group. At Harvard, Professor Nock teaches courses on statistics, research methods, self-destructive behaviors, developmental psychopathology, and cultural diversity—for which he has received several teaching awards including the Roslyn Abramson Teaching Award and the Petra Shattuck Prize.

Dr. Robert R. Morris earned his AB in psychology from Princeton University and his PhD in media arts and sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is co-founder of   ItsKoko.com, a crowd-sourced platform for dissemination of CBT. His research lies at the intersection of affective science, crowdsourcing, and computer-based interventions for mental health. He is an award winning designer and his work has been featured in Time, New Scientist, the BBC, and the Boston Globe, among others. Prior to MIT, Morris worked as a research technologist in the departments of clinical and cognitive neuroscience at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital.