Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"Visual interpretation of accelerometer and GPS data"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Spring 2014 - DURI
Research area(s):
GIS data visualization, physical activity assessment
Project Description:
The purpose of this research is to objectively assess duration and intensity of physical activity obtained during dog walking in a small sample (n=65) of dog walkers during a one week period. Despite a growing body of research on dog walking, little is known about how much physical activity is accumulated during this activity. These data will be used to inform a physical intervention study that Dr. Richards is developing. Specifically, the pilot data will help to refine data collection methods using hip-mounted accelerometers and small global positioning system (GPS) units in dog walkers, as well as data processing and statistical analysis methods. It will also inform the development of research hypotheses related to physical activity obtained during dog walking.
Expected Student Contributions:
The student will conduct visual interpretation of GPS and accelerometer data overlaid on aerial photography. The purpose of the interpretation is to evaluate and encode the likely mode of travel (e.g., walking, cycling, driving) and spatial context (e.g., on a street or trail, in a park, at home or work) in support of research examining built environment correlates of physical activity and dog walking.
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
Self-motivated, independent student. Strong computer skills and a quick learner to new computer technologies. Data will be examined using a software program, ArcGIS. The student will be given a self-paced tutorial to the software. It is possible that we may have research work related to this that leads into the summer if a student is interested. This is an interesting but tedious task and will require a student who can focus on data for chunks at a time.
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?

Professor in Charge

Richards, Elizabeth (Libby)

Student Supervisor

Dr. Libby Richards
Assistant Professor

Cooperating Faculty

Jeff Wilson, PhD
Liberal Arts/ IUPUI
Philip Troped, PhD
Exercise Science/ University of MA Boston