Article published on Oberlin.edu on the 1step2life team
Psychology Students Develop Technology to Help Adolescents Manage Chronic Pain
The 1step2life team led by Dr. Nancy Darling has won 1st place in the Oberlin Center for Innovation and Impact’s LaunchU 2019 startup incubator. After over 200 hours during January and two separate pitch competitions, 1step2life was awarded $20,000 from a judging panel that included trustees of Oberlin College, several college deans, and members of the Oberlin Entrepreneurship Club.
The $20,000 will go towards clinical trials of the 1step2life platform at the Cleveland Clinic Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Program as well as the University of Connecticut Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Program. With the signing on of multiple consultants and the backing of the LaunchU program, 1step2life will continue to work to help teens in pain take back their lives.
Over the course of January 2019, Max participated in LaunchU, Oberlin College and Conservatory’s startup incubator. Forming a team with Dr. Nancy Darling, Emma Marcus, and Charlie Maddox, 1step2life set out to turn psychological research and computational models into a business with the end goal of helping the 5% of US teens in chronic pain take back their lives.
The team developed a web app, 1step2life.com, that combined an educational database aimed at adolescents with a computational model based planner and a logging system. They also received education in business strategy, marketing, customer relations, business law, and finance. After the 12hr/day 10-day incubator, they are preparing for a pitch competition over the next 2 months with a grand prize of $20,000
Recently, I learned of my eligibility for honors research in the psychology department at Oberlin. I have decided to finally merge my interests in cognition, statistical modeling, and computer science by taking a machine learning and neural network approach to modeling chronic pain. The first step in this process is to create a network model that models the function of neurons in an area of cortex, which will be implemented in R utilizing Eugene Izhikevich’s Model of Spiking Neurons.
This summer, I have the privilege of serving as a remote collaborator for The Music Lab at Harvard University. I am working as part of the Natural History of Song project Discography team. The goal of the project is to create a database of recorded vocal music from cultures across the entire world.
I recently had the pleasure of representing Oberlin College and Conservatory at the 2018 Ohio Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference. I presented on my current research in dynamic systems modeling and chronic pain with a presentation entitled “A New View of Pain: Dynamic Systems Modeling and Chronic Pain”.
The presentation can be downloaded below
A New View of Pain
Presenting A New View of Pain
Oberlin College Researchers at OUPRC 2018
This gallery displays samples of notes taken during the winter term project. Pen and paper work allows for careful planning and hypothesis testing alongside the software.
Pre-Work NOVA Modeling
Assumptions Underlying the Model
Equation Building Notes
Compliance Equation Notes
Graph Shape Predictions
A link to the website of the NOVA project: http://numerusinc.com
A link to the website for OMNI, the Oberlin Modeling Initiative: http://ocsites.oberlin.edu/omni/
This gallery serves to show the growth of the pain model over the course of its development during my winter term project.
Richard Salter’s Model of Pain from NOVA 2 Reconstructed in Numerus
Simple Logistic Model of Pain
Simple Logistic Model of Functionality
MEDAL group in Additive Compliance
Kramer/Darling Static Model of Pain and Functionality
Nested Capsule Architecture
Modular Model of Compliance
The Finalized Parent Capsule
Max began his studies in Psychology at the beginning of his freshman year at Oberlin College. After taking an introductory course and declaring a psychology major, he began to take a specific interest in merging his interests in computer interfaces and psychology, delving into articles on such subjects as cognitive science, psychometrics, and human computer interaction. In the fall of 2017, he was added to an undergraduate research project at Oberlin run by Professor Nancy Darling. It was at this point, under professor Darling’s mentor ship that Max began his studies in dynamic systems modeling as the project aimed to develop a model of chronic pain to help educate the public in systems thinking and the nature of pain and functionality.
By his third year, Max had begun his own research into computational modeling, mixing together dynamic systems and neural network approaches to tackle more complex modeling scenarios. His undergraduate research project blossomed into 1step2life, a startup born at LaunchU 2019 (Oberlin’s own startup incubator) with the goal of helping the 5% of US teens with chronic pain take back their lives. He continues his research under Nancy Darling, with additional mentorship from Keith Downing and Paul Thibodeau.