Anya Bouzida

I am a PhD student in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. I am affiliated with the Contextual Robotics Institute, and am advised by Dr. Laurel Riek in the Healthcare Robotics Lab.

My research interests lie in the fields of HCI, HRI, and Human-Centered AI. The goal of my research is to define the needs for, and develop adaptive systems alongside the people who will be using them. The scope of my research pertains to individuals with cognitive impairments, notably people with mild cognitive impairment and dementia. I am grateful to be supported by the NSF GRFP.

In 2021, I graduated with a B.S. in Cognitive Science spec. Machine Learning and Neural Computation, and a minor in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of California, San Diego. I earned an A.S. in Math and Sciences from MiraCosta College in 2019.

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Personalizing a Robot Delivered Behavioral Health Intervention

March 2021 - Current

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is a prodromal stage between normal aging and dementia. An existing behavioral intervention exists that teaches cognitive skills to mitigate the affects of impairment on daily life and can prevent the onset of dementia. In this project, I am working collaboratively with people with MCI and clinicians to create an adaptive system that personalizes the intervention to the preferences of the person with MCI. The goal is to keep users engaged and motivated to interact and learn skills with the robot that can be translated to the real world.

spoonbot drawing

Community Based Participatory Design in Dementia Care Contexts

January 2020 - June 2021

Dementia affects >50 million worldwide, causing progressive cognitive and physical disabilities. Its caregiving burden falls largely onto informal caregivers, who experience their own health problems, and face tremendous stress with little support–all exacerbated during COVID-19. In this project, we explored how health equity and community health can shape future technology design. This work resulted in a publication at CHI 2021 as can be seen below.


Taking an (Embodied) Cue From Community Health: Designing Dementia Caregiver Support Technology to Advance Health Equity
Connie Guan, Anya Bouzida, Ramzy Oncy-Avila, Sanika Moharana, Laurel D. Riek
CHI, 2021 [Acceptance rate: 26.3%]

We used a design probe to engage stakeholders in the design of assistive technology to aid informal caregivers during mealtimes.

  • March 2023: I received the NSF GRFP!
  • Dec 2022: I received a travel grant to attend CRA-WP's Grad Cohort for IDEALS in Honolulu!
  • May 2022: I received a travel grant to attend Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS) in NYC as an Inclusion Fellow!
  • Jan 2022: I received a travel grant to attend CRA-WP's Grad Cohort for Women Workshop in New Orleans!
  • Sept 2021: I began my PhD in Computer Science and Engineering at UCSD!
  • June 2021: I graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCSD!

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