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Robin Sifre

Ph.D. Candidate

University of Minnesota

About Me

I'm a data scientist and statistician working at Princeton's Human Diversity Lab. I manage and wrangle data, and provide stats consultations for the TransYouth Project.

I received my Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota's Institute of Child Development. My research interests include brain and behavioral development, visual attention, and quantitative psychology.

I fell in love with research at Brown University, where I did my honors thesis on the different cognitive processes that impact how we make decisions. During my senior year I discovered the world of infant attention, and become obsessed with figuring out how babies learn to make sense of the visually complex world. That led me to a stint at Emory University where I studied how differences in visual attention impact social and cognitive development in infants later diagnosed with autism, and finally to the U of M where I earned my doctorate.

Download my CV, and my resume.

Interests

  • Psychology
  • Data science
  • Data visualization
  • Eye-tracking
  • Brain development
  • Psychometrics

Education

  • PhD in Developmental Science, 2021

    Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota

  • B.S. in Cognitive Neuroscience, 2014

    Brown University

Skills

R

I clean and analyze data in R every day, and love RMarkdown for sharing results.

Statistics

Longitudinal data analysis, multi-level modeling, time series

Teaching & Leadership

Course instructor for Intro to Psychology, Graduate Student Representative

Programming

MATLAB, Python, and Java

Eye tracking

Eye tracking tech

Experience

 
 
 
 
 

Graduate Student Representative

University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Sep 2019 – Jun 2020 Minneapolis, MN
  • I held town hall listening sessions to understand ways in which graduate students would like to see program improvements.
  • I then worked with administration to implement positive change, with the goal of improving the effectiveness of graduate training.
 
 
 
 
 

Course Instructor

University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Jan 2019 – May 2019 Minneapolis, MN
Taught Introduction to Psychology to class of 25 college students.
 
 
 
 
 

PhD Candidate

University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Sep 2016 – Present Minneapolis, MN

My program of research is multi-disciplinary, and spans the fields of Child Psychology, Neuroscience, and Computational Psychiatry.
During my Ph.D. I've worked on multiple collaborative teams, both leading projects and serving as a statistical consultant. My work has been published in multiple academic journals, and presented at international conferences.

My research projects include:

  • Applying machine learning to develop low-cost screeners for developmental disorders.
  • Collecting and analyzing functional MRI data to model brain connectivity in infants.
  • Evaluating survey data with factor analysis.
 
 
 
 
 

Research Scientist

Marcus Autism Center, Emory University

Jul 2014 – Jul 2016 Atlanta, Georgia
  • Worked in Social Neuroscience Lab collecting and analyzing eye-tracking data from infants and children with autism spectrum disorders.
  • Led project on early attention markers of ASD through conceptualization, analysis, and writing.
  • Results were published in peer-reviewed journal and presented at international research conferences.

Projects

Finding structure in the noise: Complexity & visual attention

Applying methods from Complexity Science to Understand Infant Attention

Publications

Capturing Environmental Dimensions of Adversity and Resources in the Context of Poverty Across Infancy Through Early Adolescence: A Moderated Nonlinear Factor Model.

Income, education, and cumulative-risk indices likely obscure meaningful heterogeneity in the mechanisms through which poverty impacts …

Longitudinal change in restricted and repetitive behaviors from 8-36 months.

Background. Restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRBs) are core features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and one of the earliest …

Infants’ gaze exhibits a fractal structure that varies by age and stimulus salience.

The development of selective visual attention is critical for effectively engaging with an ever-changing world. Its optimal deployment …

Restricted, Repetitive, and Reciprocal Social Behavior in Toddlers Born Small for Gestation Duration.

Objective To characterize restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRBs) and reciprocal social behaviors (RSBs) in a large sample of …

A Longitudinal Investigation of Preferential Attention to Biological Motion in 2- to 24-Month-Old Infants

Preferential attention to biological motion is an early-emerging mechanism of adaptive action that plays a critical role in social …