Robert P. Gauthier

Public Health and Health Systems

Robert P. Gauthier Robert is a PhD Student from the School of Public Health being supervised by Professor Jim Wallace. Previously, he completed an MSc in Computer Science at the University of Guelph. Robert is studying how machine learning can be used by researchers to assist with thematic analysis of online communities, such as those on Reddit and news discussion forums. 

Robert is designing a toolkit that can facilitate researchers qualitatively collecting and interacting with both the data created by online communities and models created from the data. His toolkit's design is informed by his experience of working with addiction recovery and human-computer interaction researchers to perform reflexive thematic analyses that investigated addiction recovery Reddit communities, including substance use and gaming disorder. Robert is also engaging with a multi-institution vaccine hesitancy research group where he will be deploying and enhancing his toolkit to both help validate his toolkit's design and help the researchers perform thematic analyses of online communities that seek to improve public health's understanding of these communities. 

CIRN (Canadian Immunization Research Network) is funding the vaccine hesitancy project within which Robert is developing and deploying his toolkit. Robert has also received scholarships from QEII-GSST in 2019, President's Graduate Scholarship in 2019, and Exceptional Doctoral Student Scholarship in 2019.

Sample Publications

Robert P. Gauthier, Mary Jean Costello, and James R. Wallace. 2022. “IWill Not Drink With You Today”: A Topic-Guided Thematic Analysis ofAddiction Recovery on Reddit. InCHI Conference on Human Factors inComputing Systems (CHI ’22), April 29-May 5, 2022, New Orleans, LA, USA.ACM, New York, NY, USA, 17 pages. Robert P. Gauthier and James R. Wallace. 2022. The Computational Thematic Analysis Toolkit. Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact. 6, GROUP, Article 25 (January 2022), 15 pages. DOI:

University of Waterloo

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