Pablo Paredes earned his PhD in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015. He is part of the faculty, as an Instructor, in the Radiology and Psychiatry at Stanford University. Prior to joining the School of Medicine, he was a Postdoctoral Researcher in Computer Science at Stanford University for two years. During his PhD career, he held internships on behavior change and affective computing in Microsoft Research and Google. Before 2010 he was a senior strategic manager with Intel in Sao Paulo, Brazil, a lead product manager with Telefonica in Quito, Ecuador and an Entrepreneur in his natal Cuenca, Ecuador. In these roles, he has had the opportunity to closely evaluate designers, engineers, business people and researchers in telecommunications, product development, and ubiquitous computing. He has advised several PhD, masters and undergrad students.

Academic Appointments

  • Instructor, Radiology

Professional Education

  • Engineer, Universidad Politecnica Salesiana, Electronics (1999)
  • MS, Georgia Institute of Technology, Electrical and Computer Engineering (2003)
  • MBA, Georgia Institute of Technology, Business Administration (2004)
  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley, Computer Science (2015)

Community and International Work

  • Laboratorio de Tecnología de Salud Mental, Cuenca - Ecuador


    Mental Health Technology

    Partnering Organization(s)

    Universidad de Cuenca

    Populations Served

    Ecuador / Latin America



    Ongoing Project


    Opportunities for Student Involvement



  • Hernandez, J., Roseway, A., Czerwinski, M., Paredes, P., Choi, D.. "United States Patent 20150297140 A1 User Stress Detection and Mitigation.", Microsoft Research, Apr 1, 2014
  • Gilad-Bachrach, R., Paredes, P., Czerwinski, M., Johns, P., Kapoor, A., Pina, L., Roseway, A., Rowan, K.. "United States Patent 201550140527 A1 Providing Interventions by Leveraging Popular Computer Resources", Microsoft Research, Nov 1, 2013

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

In my lab we have four key areas of study: mindful commute, subtle interventions, sensorless sensing, and precise mental states. Our projects aim to design not only useful and efficient wellbeing interventions, but also passive behavioral and affective sensors.

Every couple of days, humanity generates more data than all the data that was generated until 2013. Sensorless sensing is a provocative term and approach focused on repurposing many existing behavioral data streams to passively measure and study affect, stress, behavior, wellbeing and mental health biomarkers.

Auto-nomic: Turning the car into an affective sensor.
PeriStress: Peripherals and furniture as stress sensors.

We use human-centered design to develop affordable and ecologically valid interventions aimed at dramatically increasing adoption and engagement of wellbeing behaviors. We leverage cyber and physical personal spaces to deliver micro or slow interventions that do not distract or interrupt the user.

PopBots: an "army" of tiny chatbots for stress management.
UnDosTress: User-driven micro intervention authoring.
PopTherapy: Repurposing popular media into coping strategies.
Ultra Slow Show: Slow changing peripherals & furniture.
Calm Calm: Imperceptible modification of biorhythms.
Fiat Lux: Urban wellbeing interventions.

Every day, 50 Million Americans spend close to one hour per day commuting by car. We teamed up with Prof. James Landay's HCI lab to design interventions that help manual and autonomous car commuters feel energized to be productive in the morning, and wind down to socialize and sleep better in the evening.

Hapty Seat: Breathing & movement interventions for commuters.
Cool ReMix: Calming & mindful mixed reality in the car.
Fast & Furious: Detecting stress with a steering wheel.

Psychiatry is undergoing a major revolution with the advent of personal technology. We are part of a multi-disciplinary team led by Prof. Zhenan Bao, creating the Mentaid, a skin-like patch aimed at sensing cortisol from sweat and other biomarkers to measure and study longitudinally precise mental states.

Skin Wearability: Exploring use cases for skin-like wearables.
Mentaid Correlation Study: Lab & field sampling of biomarkers.


  • PopTherapy - Coping with Stress through Popular Media, Microsoft Research

    Repurposing popular media to create micro interventions for stress.


    Redmond, WA

    For More Information:

  • Under Pressure - Sensing Stress of Computer Users, Microsoft Research

    Using PC peripherals enhanced with capacitive or pressure sensors to infer stress states.


    Redmond, WA

  • MouStress - Detecting Stress with Mouse Movement, Microsoft Research

    Detecting stress with mouse motion using reverse dynamic modeling.


    Redmond, WA

  • Fiat Lux -, UC Berkeley - Berkeley Center for New Media & Berkeley Institute of Design

    Interactive energy efficient urban lights geared towards personal positive affect.


    Berkeley, CA

    For More Information:

All Publications

  • Just Breath - Guided Breathing Interventions for Automobile Commuters (in press) Journal of Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies (IMWUT) Paredes, P. E., Zhou, Y., Hamdan, N. A., Balters, S., Murnane, E., Ju, W., Landay, J. A. 2018: 10
  • Evaluating In-Car Movements in the Design of Mindful Commute Interventions Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) Paredes, P. E., Hamdan, N. A., Cai, C., Clark, D., Ju, W., Landay, J. 2017

    View details for DOI 10.2196/jmir.6983

  • Synestouch: Haptic + Audio Affective Design for Wearable Devices 6th International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interfaces (ACII2015) Paredes, P. E., Ko, R., Babler, L., Aghaseyedjavadi, A., Chuang, J., Canny, J. : 10
  • INQUIRE Tool: Early Insight Discovery for Qualitative Research Paredes, P. E., Oikonomou, V. R., Guerreo, R. F., Yang, T., Karashchuk, P., Jiang, B., Landay, J. A., Cheshire, C., Canny, J. ACM. Proceeding CSCW '17 Companion Companion of the 2017 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing. 2017 5


    This demo presents an instance of Inquire, a tool designed to support qualitative researchers in the early stages of research. The tool enables the search over millions of users' records to extract early insights to aid in the formulation of research strategies. The tool presents the work described in the Inquire paper by Paredes, et. al. [12] in this demo we show how queries become a part of the inductive process, enabling researchers to try multiple ideas while gaining intuition and discovering less-obvious insights. We leverage LiveJournal (LJ) as a rich source of public posts, and Google News (GN) embeddings which link formal language (e.g. "reminiscence triggers") with colloquial expressions (e.g. "music brings back memories"). Using our tool, we elicit the interplay between tool and user to enhance qualitative and social research opportunities.

  • Sensor-less Sensing for Affective Computing and Stress Management Technology. Paredes, P. E., Sun, D., Canny, J. IEEE. 2013 6


    This paper describes our vision on what should be the research around sensing and adaptive interventions to make affective computing and stress management technology pervasive and unobtrusive. With the use of common computer peripherals and mobile computing devices as affect sensors, personalized and adaptive intervention technologies can be developed. Furthermore, physiological sensing can be performed without the introduction of extraneous factors such as wearable devices or focused software. Different methods for sensing and complementary adaptable interventions and interactions are described and proposed. We show initial lab evidence of the use of a computer mouse in the detection of stress.

  • Design Principles for the Conceptualization of Games for Health Behavior Change. Paredes, P. E., Tewari, A., Canny, J. Gamification Workshop. Gamification Workshop @ CHI 2013. 2013 6


    This paper presents a list of principles that can be used to conceptualize games for health behavior change. These principles are derived from lessons learned after teaching two design-centered courses on Gaming and Narrative Technologies for Health Behavior Change. Course sessions were designed to create many rapid prototypes on specific topics coupling behavior change theory with iterative human-centered and game design techniques. The design task had two broad goals: 1) designing efficacious technologies, with an emphasis on short-term behavior change and 2) using narratives and game dynamics as vehicles for increased engagement and long-term sustained change. Example prototypes resulting from this design approach are presented.

  • CalmMeNow: exploratory research and design of stress mitigating mobile interventions Paredes, P. E., Chan, M. ACM. Proceeding CHI EA '11 CHI '11 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. 2011 6


    This paper describes design explorations for stress mitigation on mobile devices based on three types of interventions: haptic feedback, games and social networks. The paper offers a qualitative assessment of the usability of these three types of interventions together with an initial analysis of their potential efficacy. Social networking and games show great potential for stress relief. Lastly, the paper discusses key findings and considerations for long-term studies of stress mitigation in HCI, as well as a list of aspects to be considered when designing calming interventions.