Office of Naval Research
Grant #N000141010143
Grant #N000141310438

Chavez-Echeagaray, Maria Elena (Helen)

Helen Chavez

PhD Student | Research Assistant | Teaching Assistant

Computer Science with AME concentration
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering



Helen joined the PhD program in Computer Science at Arizona State University (ASU) in January 2009. She received an M.S. in Computer Science from the Tecnológico de Monterrey, Guadalajara in 2001 and a B.S. in Computer Systems from the same institution in 1998.

Helen’s research area of interest is focused on affective computing, mainly on the development of self-adaptive environments that consider the diverse aspects, cognitive and affective, of people’s learning traits and needs; this is complemented with her interest on areas such as Intelligent Tutoring System, Educational Technology, and Software Engineering.

Along the years at ASU, Helen has collaborated within the Motivational Environment Research Group led by Dr. Winslow Burleson (2009), the Data and Information and Artificial Intelligence Group led by Dr. Kurt VanLehn (2009 – 2013), and the Advanced Next Generation Learning Environments Lab led by Dr. Robert Atkinson (2010 – present). At the last lab, Helen has been the lab manager and lead research assistant for the last three years, facilitating day-to-day lab operations, supporting the students and research assistants working in the lab and providing research project management by coordinating research projects, grant proposals, and managing on-average five doctoral students as well as mentoring and coaching undergrad students collaborating in the lab.

Her collaboration at ASU also includes participating as capstone team co-mentor (2012 – present) and co-instructor (2015 – present), both at the undergrad level working on projects in the areas of computer science, computer system engineering, and informatics systems.

Prior to coming to ASU, for eight years (2001 – 2008), Helen collaborated within the Tecnológico de Monterrey, the main private university in México, where she taught courses in areas such as programming, software engineering, computer architecture, and networking; she also worked on diverse project teams doing work related to applied engineering and research, as well as she has been mentor on industry-liaison innovation projects. As part of her training as a faculty member, she was awarded with a certificate denoting the status of full-time teaching professor at Tecnológico de Monterrey. Beside her teaching experience at this institution, she had the opportunity to collaborate as academic program chair for two and a half years, while she developed and established university-industry liaison programs that, due to their success, established a solid foundation for other similar programs to follow. Also, she led the effort to successfully open four new academic programs in the area of information technology and electronics that successfully recruited nearly 80 students in their first year.

Beside this, Helen has participated as presenter, co-presenter, or co-author of 18 tutorials and 16 short talks related to affective computing, human-computer interfaces, software engineering, and mobile apps, which have been presented in international forums (IEEE ICALT, ACM CHI, and ACM OOPSLA/SPLASH) and local conferences in Arizona, USA and Jalisco, Mexico.