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Aditya Ponnada is a PhD student in the Personal Health Informatics program at Northeastern University’s College of Computer and Information Science, advised by Professor Stephen Intille. Aditya has lived in many parts of India, but spent most of his childhood in Hyderabad, India.

Aditya spent his undergraduate education at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology in Guwahati, India, where he earned a Bachelor in Design degree in Industrial Design. Before coming to Northeastern, Aditya spent two years as a User Experience researcher at Samsung Electronics, where he worked on the company’s personal health application, S-Health

At Northeastern, Aditya’s research includes the fields of health behavior change, persuasive technology, and human-centered interaction. Aditya would like to design technologies that improve humans overall well-being. He hopes to develop mobile user interface technology to detect, measure, and even prevent, unhealthy habits such as binge-eating, physical inactivity, and obesity. He will soon be conducting pilot tests on a text-message-based weight loss intervention for Latino youth.


  • BDes, Indian Institute of Technology – India

About Me

  • Hometown: Hyderabad, India
  • Field of Study: Health Behavior Change, Persuasive Technology, Human-Computer Interaction
  • PhD Advisor: Stephen Intille

What are the specifics of your graduate education (thus far)?

I am currently working on projects that use mobile technologies to motivate, as well as assess health-behavior-change. As part of a virtual bicycle highways project, I created an animated concept video that uses storytelling to demonstrate the system. Currently, I am preparing an evaluation plan for this intervention. I am also supporting the experiment design to evaluate the feasibility and potential of conducting Ecological Momentary Assessments using wearable devices. In addition, I will be conducting pilot tests on a text-message-based weight loss intervention for Latino youth.

What are your research interests?

My research interests lie at the intersection of technology, design, and social sciences. I am interested in applying the principles of communication theory, social psychology and human-computer interaction in designing technologies that improve our overall well-being. My interest in human-computer interaction and health-behavior-change come from my undergraduate education in industrial design, and my two-year stint as a User Experience researcher at Samsung Electronics, where I worked on their flagship personal health application, S-Health.

What’s one problem you’d like to solve with your research/work?

How can mobile user interfaces be used to detect/measure unhealthy habits and offer tailored, persuasive feedback to change those habits? I would like to target health behaviors/issues: Sedentary behavior, physical inactivity, childhood obesity prevention, binge eating disorders etc.

What aspect of what you do is most interesting?

Observing and evaluating the way individuals engage with health technologies is the most interesting part of my work. How different types of feedback from technology affect their health behaviors would certainly be a valuable contribution.

What are your research or career goals, going forward?

I look forward to joining the industry as a researcher and product leader, to drive user-focused innovation in personal health technologies. In the long run, I hope to establish more research-oriented human-computer interaction programs in India, as a research professor.

Where did you grow up or spend your most defining years?

I spent the majority of my childhood in various cities in India ranging from very busy metro areas, to cold, country areas.

Where did you study for your undergraduate degree?

I did my undergraduate degree in industrial design (BDes) from Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati. This program was a unique offering in India from a prestigious technological institute.