Kids and QS at Quantified Self Conferences: Morgan Friedman

In the spirit of our upcoming QS18 Conference that will be focused on QS and learning, we want to share some great QS projects from past conferences that incorporate our greatest learners–children.  The projects come from teachers and parents and even a student himself, presenting how they learn using QS methods. Summer is upon us and we want to highlight some of these kid-based projects that truly celebrate the learning process through both tracking and analyzing.

It is well-known that our children teach us many things in life—just imagine the learnings parents can gain from their children’s data. Morgan Friedman’s project, Tracking Baby Milestones: Surprising Results of Bringing Data to Parenting, presented at the QS15 Conference at Fort Mason, San Francisco does just this. Friedman shows the many parenting lessons gleaned from tracking and analyzing his baby’s data, even as a sleep-deprived parent. Morgan and his wife began tracking every little detail of his baby’s life right after he was born. Soon after, he built an application that sourced data from 3,000 other parents to compare his baby’s development with. By tracking and comparing baby milestones, they found interesting and important correlation. In this talk, Friedman discusses data, patterns, and surprising parenting advice they learned from tracking.

Morgan Friedman at QS15 Conference & Expo, San Francisco

Morgan Friedman at QS15 Conference & Expo, San Francisco

Morgan sharing one of his learnings that on average girls recognize themselves in a mirror 2 weeks before boys.

Morgan sharing one of his learnings that on average girls recognize themselves in a mirror 2 weeks before boys.

We hope you can join us to share your learnings from a project, or simply be inspired at this year’s Quantified Self 2018 Conference in Portland on September 22-23. Register here.

Posted in Conference, QS18 | Tagged | Leave a comment

QS18: The Quantified Self Conference. Join us in Portland!

Portland CityscapeWhat did you do? How did you do it? What did you learn?

These are the questions that inspire every Quantified Self conference. We’ve been working for many months to organize the 2018 meeting, and now we’re ready to open QS18 for public registration. The conference this year is in Portland, Oregon – we hope you’ll join us!

QS18: The Quantified Self Conference – Register

QS18 is what we call a “Carefully Curated Unconference.” We’ll have over 100 individual sessions, all of which are proposed and lead by conference attendees. We work closely with all the participants in advance, based on what we know of your projects, work and interests. The final program lineup is released a few days before the event. So please let us know what you’re working on when you register.

A warm thank you to Ziba Design in Portland, OR, whose beautiful building will be the setting of this year’s meeting. Due to the size of the venue, attendance is strictly limited to 300 people. We have a limited number of early bird tickets available for a reduced price. So please don’t delay.

 

Posted in QS18 | Tagged | Leave a comment

Share Your Method of Analysis Without Sharing Your Data

How the author has used sad/loving/joyful emoji on Twitter over time.

This visualization from an example Personal Data Notebook shows how someone used various emoji on Twitter over time.

We are happy to have a guest post from Bastian Greshake Tzovaras, the director of research at the Open Humans project, on a new way to share personal data analysis methods. Read to the end to learn about a data analysis contest happening this month. Bastian can be found online at @gedankenstuecke. -Steven

The Quantified Self community builds its collective knowledge from individuals sharing insights gleaned from their own n-of-1 data. Not only do we learn from these projects, we also get inspired to do the same or similar projects of our own. But it’s easy to get tripped up when trying to do the same analysis on your own data. Is your input data in the same format? Are you running the code on the same operating system? Can you get all the dependencies installed? What if you have never really written code before or executed analysis scripts?

In the realm of academic science these issues are grouped under the label “reproducibility”. A solution to many of these issues are Jupyter Notebooks, which can be used to share code for analyzing data. JupyterHubs make it easy to host these notebooks online and overcome the difficulties that come with different operating systems, software packages, etc. Open Humans, a non-profit foundation that helps people donate their data to research, is using this technology to make the analysis of self-collected data reproducible for other members of the Quantified Self community.

We just released Open Humans’ Personal Data Notebooks. These are run in the browser and give people access to the data that they have stored in Open Humans. Data from Fitbit, Apple Health, Moves, Twitter, and a selection of genetic data providers is currently supported. People can write their personal data analysis in Python, R or Julia right in their web browser and see the results there – without having to worry about installing any local packages on their own computer. If you are proficient in any of these programming languages, it is easy to write your data analysis from scratch. If you are unfamiliar with coding in general – or with Python, R or Julia, in particular – the Personal Data Notebooks offer well-documented example notebooks which can be run without any prior knowledge as no modifications are needed and can serve as a great way to start coding.

Code from an example Personal Data Notebook.

For all notebooks the resulting analysis and visualizations can be shared easily with other users who then plug in their own data. We have made it easy to decouple the data analysis from the underlying data. You can share your data analysis code without having to share your personal data itself. Since data sources inside Open Humans are standardized, someone else’s Fitbit data will work just as well as your own.

There are step-by-step guides to get started with Personal Data Notebooks and example notebooks which can analyze your activity data from Fitbit and Apple Health or perform a  sentiment analysis of your Twitter data.

To celebrate the launch of the Personal Data Notebooks, Open Humans and Quantified Self are running a notebook competition.

To take part, all you have to do is:

Gary Wolf, Steven Jonas, and Azure Grant of Quantified Self will judge and rank the submitted notebooks. The most interesting notebooks will be highlighted and added to the set of existing samples that are preinstalled for each user. The winning notebooks will be featured here, on the Quantified Self blog. If you want to share and discuss your notebook ideas, The Open Humans community on Slack is eager to have you.

Posted in Lab Notes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Highlights from the Quantified Self Symposium 2018

1*nhHx9rx1R-0ABEKAv_QRLQ

We recently held a symposium where we invited self-trackers, toolmakers, activists, clinicians, scholars, and scientists to explore the impact of everyday science on cardiovascular health.

The video of those talks can be found on our Medium page:

Medium: Highlights from the Quantified Self Symposium 2018

Posted in Blood Testers | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Join us by livestream for the 2018 Quantified Self Public Health Symposium

Join us today (April 19th), starting at 9am for a special all-day event about the intersection between Quantified Self and public health. The sessions will look specifically at cardiovascular health and participant-led research. You can view the entire program here.

QS CVD Symposium Live Feed

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

QS Public Health Symposium Coming Up April 19, 2018

Mark&Dawn

The Quantified Self Public Health Symposium addresses the role of self-collected data in advancing health. This years meeting at the University of California, San Diego brings together invited researchers and advocates from diverse fields, including clinicians, policymakers, technologists, scholars and community members to share progress reports and initiate new collaborations. This year’s focus is on self-collected data and cardiovascular health. To request an invitation, please review the QSCVD Program Outline and send a short email to labs@quantifiedself.com explaining your interest.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Ethics of Citizen Science, A Call for Papers

Here’s an interesting call for papers for citizen scientists by the journal Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

The editors want first person accounts of ethical issues in citizen science. I’ve been part of many discussions of whether QS is part of citizen science. There are some key differences. The most important reason not to think of QS as citizen science is that most QS projects are not designed to contribute to research problems in a scientific discipline. Instead, they are meant to answer one person’s question. The answer may be interesting to science, it may even make a novel contribution, but the disciplinary nature of science, and the non-disciplinary nature of QS, is a distinction too important to ignore. And yet, with all that said, I still think this call for papers is interesting to disseminate.

First: I know that many people who do QS projects face interesting ethical questions, and some of the thinking associated with this work might be interesting in the more institutional context of citizen science. And second: there are an increasing number of QS projects that take place among small groups; while each person has their own reason to participate, the social nature of the projects brings them closer to the kind of group research typically done by citizen scientists. I’m curious about the ethical issues of doing group projects, and I’d like to know how others are handing them. For the Bloodtesters group that I helped organize, we ended up using a process of ethical reflection we called – only somewhat tongue-in-cheek – “self-consent.” What have you done?

The full call for papers is here: Narrative Inquiry in Bioscience

Excerpt:

Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics will publish a collection of personal stories from individuals involved in citizen science research. Citizen science is a growing area in which the lay public is involved in research in dynamic and important new ways. This enables new questions to be asked, new methods to be pursued, and new people to contribute, often without the usual oversight provided by institutions and funding agencies. Citizen scientists do environmental research, animal research, human research including clinical trials, identification of photographs, or collect other data.

This movement has implications for traditional science and for human participants in trials run by citizen scientists. Among some of the most challenging and interesting are the ethical implications of this new scientific research.

We want to collect true, personal stories from citizen scientists and those who contribute to citizen science. Please share this invitation and guide sheet with appropriate individuals. In writing your story, please consider one or more of these questions:

  • What does citizen science enable that conventional research approaches do not?
  • What unique challenges have you faced doing citizen science?
  • What ethical issues have you confronted in the conduct of the research?
  • Were you able to use existing frameworks (such as Institutional Review Boards) to resolve them, or did you approach resolving the ethical issues in a new way?
  • What advice would you have for individuals who are considering conducting their first citizen science project?
  • What advice would you have for those who seek to regulate citizen science?
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Use TwArχiv to analyze your Twitter archives

Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 15.22.38

We are happy to welcome this guest post on a community tool by Bastian Greshake Tzovaras. Bastian is the director of research at the Open Humans project. He can be found online at @gedankenstuecke. -Steven

I’ve built a Twitter analysis web application that’s open to everyone to use and learn from. Often the best data for learning something about yourself are data you’ve already collected; sometimes without even being explicitly aware of collecting it. Social media activity, for example. We often send off Facebook posts or tweets with very little thought about the metadata that we generate in doing so. Where was I when I made that post? What time was it? What type of content did it contain? Did I retweet or reply to another person’s post? And, of course, what did my post contain?

This data can be extremely powerful – for others. The language you use in your Tweets can be used to predict your age as well as your income. Twitter uses the data to gather information about your likes, dislikes, and possessions – among other topics. But what if you want to learn about yourself with your own Twitter data?

The tool I created allows anybody to explore their own Twitter archive in detail. First, you’ll want to request your archive from Twitter. It will contain all the tweets you have ever sent, with not only the text but all the metadata as well. To look at these metadata, go to my small web application called TwArχiv (pronounced tw-archive), which allows you to upload your data and explore it using interactive graphs.

For instance, you can see how the nature of the tweets you send change over time. Are you replying more to people than you used to or is it all just retweets by now? For my own data it seems that finishing up my PhD work had quite an impact, starting in late 2016. With less procrastination I wrote fewer unprompted tweets. Instead, replying to people became more central to my Twitter experience.

Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 16.00.59

There is also plenty of research on gender bias in social media usage and whose voices are being amplified, with men being overwhelmingly favored.  TwArχiv allows one to do some soul searching on this. It tries to predict the gender of the people you interact with based on their first names and shows you whether your reply and retweet behaviour is gender-balanced.

My own graphs show that I had (and have) a good way to go here. Especially 2010 is wildly off when it comes to the gender representation in my Twitter interactions. What happened during that time? I was politically active in the German Pirate Party, which was infamous for being a “boys club”.

Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 15.23.28

If you have geolocation enabled on your tweets, you can get an idea of where you tweet. With a fully zoomable map, TwArχiv allows you to explore the globe on all scales to see the broader picture as well as street-level tweet distributions. As a first attempt of seeing movement patterns, you can also get a time-stamped version of the map that highlights locations one tweet at a time.

If you want to give a try with your own archive, you can head to TwArχiv.org. The data storage is handled by Open Humans and by default your archive and the resulting visualizations will be private. (You can choose to make them public, though, to share them with your friends and followers – mine are here!).

A note: The Twitter archive does not contain any direct messages but only your tweets, so if you have a public Twitter account the archive is basically all your “public Twitter interactions”.

If you have ideas on how to extend the functionality of TwArχiv or you want to code your own Twitter archive analysis, you could even get funding to do so: The Open Humans’ mini-grants of USD 5,000 for projects that will enrich the Open Humans ecosystem are a perfect fit for this kind of data visualization and analysis.

Posted in Personal Projects | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

QS Symposium on Cardiovascular Health

Mark&Dawn

Dr. Dawn Lemanne & Dr. Mark Drangsholt at QS Public Health Symposium . Photo: Kristy Walker

We are organizing a QS symposium on cardiovascular health for scholars and researchers and participants in the QS Community. The goal of our meeting is to support new discoveries about cardiovascular health grounded in accurate self-observation and community collaboration. This one-day symposium will be held on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at the University of California, San Diego.

Our “QS-CVD symposium” is free to attend, but space is limited, so if you’d like to be there we ask you to get in touch with us and tell us something about your research, tool development, and/or the personal self-tracking projects you’re doing that are relevant to the symposium there.

Learn more about the meeting here: QS-CVD Symposium.

Read about the community driven research that has influenced our planning for the symposium here: QS Bloodtesters.

From the Symposium program statement:

We know that data collected in the ordinary course of life holds clues about some of our most pressing questions related to human health and well being. Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death globally. CVD risk is strongly influenced by many of the factors commonly tracked in the QS community, including fitness, diet, stress, and sleep. But significant barriers stand in the way of using personal and public data for understanding and improving individual cardiovascular health. Perhaps the most important of these barriers is a lack of consensus about the legitimacy of self-initiated research and self-collected data. Our symposium is designed to advance progress in this field through exposing practical and innovative projects that would otherwise remain invisible, inviting critical comment, and documenting the state of the art for a wider public.

Posted in Conference, QS Access, Symposium | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Meetups This Week

QSMontrealJuly

 

This week there are two QS meetups happening. On Thursday, Gary Wolf will be hosting a somewhat unusual meetup at the National Archive in The Hague. Self trackers and archivists will get together to discuss current trends and issues around personal data and quantified self, including archiving methods and data privacy.  The Hong Kong meetup will also get together on Thursday to share what they’ve learned from their own genomic data.

To see when the next meetup in your area is, check the full list of the over 100 QS meetup groups in the right sidebar. Don’t see one near you? Why not start your own! If you are a QS Organizer and want some ideas for your next meetup, check out the myriad of meetup formats that other QS organizers are using here.

Thursday, November 16th

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Hong Kong, China

 

Posted in Meetups | Tagged , | Leave a comment