Thesis Defense Announcement for Erik Brown – 04/21/2023 at 10:00 AM

March 30, 2023

Title: Determining student attentiveness by use of heart rate measurement using a wearable device

When: 04/21/2023 10:00 AM

Where: Simrall 228 & Webex

Candidate: Erik Brown

Degree: Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Committee Members:
Dr. Mahnas Jean Mohammadi-Aragh
(Major Professor)

Dr. Bryan Jones
(Committee Member)

Dr. Ryan Green
(Committee Member)

Dr. Rueben F. Burch V
(Committee Member)

Distraction from personal technology is a widely recognized problem in the modern classroom. Further, instructors have limited abilities to determine when students are waxing or waning in attentiveness. This evaluative experiment leverages the Apple Watch’s heart rate sensors to capture signs of attentiveness in participants simulating remote university lectures of differing interest levels as determined by YouTube commenters. Once captured, the heart rate data separated and analyzed to determine the effect of the lecture treatment on the participants’ heart rates. Twenty-seven students from Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science and Engineering departments elected to participate in the experiment, which shows a statistically relevant finding that the participants’ heart rates generally accelerated when presented interesting content and decelerating when treated with the uninteresting content, expressing with confidence the finding that the Apple Watch is capable of measuring attentiveness through heart rate.