Ravi Karkar

Paul G. Allen Center, Room 610 rkarkar[@]cs[.]washington[.]edu

Hello! I am a PhD candidate in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington.

My research focus is on designing, developing, and evaluating tools that can enable people to gather data and interpret personal aspects of their medical condition in the context of their day-to-day lives. Specifically, I have explored tools that:

  • enable self-experimentation (n-of-1 trials) among people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to identify their individualized food-based triggers
  • introduce a new form of self-monitoring in people with end-stage liver disease enabling them to better understand their chronic condition

I adopt a multi-disciplinary problem-centric approach towards building these tools in collaboration with researchers across computer science, human-centered design, and medicine.
My research approach involves:

  1. understanding the context, barriers, and needs of the stakeholders,
  2. building targeted low-burden tools that support overcoming common barriers, and
  3. iteratively evaluating and refining the tools through quantitative and qualitative feedback from people, providers, and researchers.

My long-term goal is to empower people to gain an informed perspective of their individual health and well-being.

I am advised by James Fogarty and closely collaborate with Sean Munson, Julie Kientz, George Ioannou, and Jasmine Zia. I am a recipient of the Three-Sixty Fellowship for computer science and engineering and numerous travel grants to present my research at premier conferences. My research has been recognized by CHI (ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems) and DIS (ACM SIGCHI Conference on Designing Interactive Systems) and I have organized cross-disciplinary panels and discussions around tools for self-tracking at ICTD (International conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development) and QSC (Quantified-Self Conference).


Enabling Self-Experimentation in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Three stages of the framework for self-experimentation in personalized health

TummyTrials App screens highlighting self-experiment configuration, daily reminders & prompts, and result of a self-experiment

A Patient-Centered Proposal for Bayesian Analysis of Self-Experiments for Health
Jessica Schroeder, Ravi Karkar, James Fogarty, Sean A. Munson, and Matthew Kay.
JHIR 2018PDFSource

TummyTrials: A Feasibility Study of Using Self-Experimentation to Detect Individualized Food Triggers
Ravi Karkar, Jessica Schroder, Daniel A. Epstein, Laura R. Pina, Jeffrey Scofield, James Fogarty, Julie A. Kientz, Sean A. Munson, Roger Vilardaga, and Jasmine Zia.
CHI 2017Honorable Mention Award (Top 5%)PDFSourceCode

A Framework for Self-Experimentation in Personalized Health
Ravi Karkar, Jasmine Zia, Roger Vilardaga, Sonali R. Mishra, James Fogarty, Sean A. Munson, and Julie A. Kientz.
JAMIA 2016Source

Opportunities and Challenges for Self-Experimentation in Self-Tracking.
Ravi Karkar, James Fogarty, Julie A. Kientz, Sean A. Munson, Roger Vilardaga, and Jasmine Zia.
UbiComp 2015 Workshop on New Frontiers of Quantifed Self • PDFSource


Introducing Self-Monitoring in End-Stage Liver Disease

Lafayette Flicker Fusion System used for measuring CFF (not pictured - computer used to run protocol)
Beacon prototype used to measure CFF

Beacon: Designing a Portable Device for Self-Administering a Measure of Critical Flicker Frequency
Ravi Karkar, Rafal Kocielnik, Xiaoyi Zhang, Jasmine Zia, George N. Ioannou, Sean A. Munson, and James Fogarty.
IMWUT 2018PDFSource

Toward a Portable, Self-Administered Critical Flicker Frequency Test
Ravi Karkar, Rafal Kocielnik, Xiaoyi Zhang, James Fogarty, George N. Ioannou, Sean A. Munson, and Jasmine Zia.
UbiComp 2016 Workshop on Mental Health: Sensing & Intervention • PDFSource


  • Open Session Panel - ICTD and Personal Informatics at ICTD 2019
  • Discussion - Designing Platforms for N-of-1 Experiments at Quantified Self Conference (QSC) 2018

Program Committee

  • CHI workhop - A Short Workshop on Next Step Towards Long Term Self Tracking at CHI 2018

University Service

  • DUB Student Coordinator - 2017-2019
  • DUB Doctoral Consortium Co-organzier - 2018, 2019
  • CSE PhD Admission Committe (as reviewer)- 2017, 2019
  • DUB Retreat Student Coordinator - 2017
  • CSE Visit Days HCI Area Scheduler-in Chief and Housing Coordinator - 2017
  • CSE Visit Days Housing Coordinator and Activity Coordinator - 2016, 2017


  • CHI, ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - 2017-2019
  • IMWUT, Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies (previously UbiComp) - 2016-2018
  • AMIA, American Medical Informatics Association - 2018
  • IDC, ACM Interaction Design and Children Conference - 2018
  • DIS, ACM SIGCHI Conference on Designing Interactive Systems - 2018
  • TEI, ACM International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction - 2018
  • ISWC, International Symposium on Wearable Computers - 2017
  • Pervasive Health, EAI International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare - 2017


  • Student Volunteer UbiComp - 2015, 2017
  • Student Volunteer CHI - 2012, 2016

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