Much of the stress and strain of student life remains hidden. The StudentLife study led by Professor Andrew Campbell built a smartphone sensing app that 48 computer science students used over 10 weeks of the spring term 2013. It revealed a number of interesting findings. Researchers found that objective sensing data from the students' phones significantly correlated with academic performance and mental-health, such as, grades, GPA, stress, loneliness, depression and flourishing.
The study captured behavioral trends across the Dartmouth term. For example, students returned from spring break feeling good about themselves, relaxed (i.e., low stress levels), sleeping well and going to the gym regularly. That all changed once the Dartmouth term picked up speed toward midterm and finals, as shown in the plot.
The StudentLife paper has been nominated for the best paper award at ACM UbiComp and the implications of the project are being actively discussed in recent articles (e.g., by the New Scientist and Valley News), and media (e.g., a recent segment on BBC world news TV, see below).
Check out StudentLife, other projects and research opportunities in the newly formed DartNets Lab co-directed Professors Xia Zhou and Andrew Campbell.