Parker Ruth is a Campus Associate. He will graduate from the University of Washington in 2021 with degrees in computer engineering and bioengineering. As a member of the Ubiquitous Computing research lab in the Paul G. Allen School for Computer Science and Engineering, Parker explores applications of computing tools to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare. Parker specializes in biosignal processing and embedded systems, with experience in machine learning, circuit design, and fabrication.
After first getting a taste for research in a synthetic biology lab, Parker supported a global health initiative by building an automated system for interpreting rapid diagnostic tests for HIV drug resistance testing, which has been used to process patient specimens from five countries. He then focused on repurposing the sensors and actuators in ubiquitous smart devices to perform health sensing, including detecting sleep apnea, estimating blood pressure, screening for osteoporosis, and quantifying physical activity. Parker then went on to build a wearable system for measuring non-invasive photoplethysmography signals to perform continuous cardiovascular monitoring.
Working closely with clinical collaborators from the University of Washington Medical Center, Parker is now focused on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by prototyping technologies to support environmental viral monitoring, post-COVID-19 patient rehabilitation, and more effective telemedicine interactions.
To share his passion for research with others, Parker founded an initiative called BioExplore that encourages students to connect with research opportunities in the biosciences. He also directly mentors undergraduate and high school students on their research. For his research and service, Parker has been recognized by campus and national awards from the Barry Goldwater Foundation, the Washington Research Foundation, the Levinson Emerging Scholars Program, the Computing Research Association, and the Mary Gates Endowment for Students.
Outside of his research, Parker enjoys composing and arranging music, learning languages, and juggling. He also holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.