1step2life Wins LaunchU 2019


Psychology Students Develop Technology to Help Adolescents Manage Chronic Pain

Article published on Oberlin.edu on the 1step2life team

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.

LaunchU 2019 – 1step2life

Professional Development

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

Honors Research – The Beginning

Honors Thesis

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.



OUPRC Conference 2018


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

Various Iterations of the Pain Model


This gallery serves to show the growth of the pain model over the course of its development during my winter term project.