April L. Webster  April L. Webster photo       

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Software Engineer - Healthcare Systems Research Group
Almaden Research Center, San Jose, CA, USA



I’m a software engineer in the Healthcare Systems Research Group at IBM’s Almaden Research Lab. Since joining IBM Research, I have worked on the Evidence Generation Informatics Platform (EGIP) Project, a UIMA (Unstructured Information Management Architecture) based analytic workflow framework designed for the healthcare domain. I contributed to the core system components, prototyped an analytic workbench, and managed the successful transfer of the beta system from research to product resulting in a product offering, IBM’s Patient Care and Insights (IPCI). I’m currently exploring how this work can be transferred to other domains, such as the fleet management industry and other industries requiring large capital equipment expenditures like oil and gas, to help experts in these domains tackle the data management challenges they face.

I hold a BSc in Mathematics and Biology and an MSc in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia. Prior to joining IBM, I worked for several years as a data analyst/scientist with experts in several domains including healthcare, tourism, oil and gas, utilities and government.

For the past decade I have worked to expand my experience in the field of informatics by strategically pursuing opportunities in a variety of domains to ensure maximum exposure to the breadth of problems faced by domain experts. I have focused on building my skills in the areas of data management, data analysis, information visualization and geospatial analysis. Underlying everything I have done in this space has been the drive to find ways to simplify and improve the ease of use in managing and making sense of information. A sampling of some of the projects and work I have done:

  • Data Management Under the supervision of Dr. Rachel Pottinger in the UBC Data Management and Mining Laboratory, my graduate research addressed data management problems in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction domain. I created a simplified model to integrate spatial and non-spatial construction data, and developed spatial queries to extract the knowledge identified by construction project managers as critical for design decisions.
  • Data Analysis As a financial analyst reporting to the Director of Business Improvement for Vancouver Coastal Health, the largest healthcare organization in British Columbia, I identified inter-facility pricing inconsistencies and major savings opportunities. As a senior consultant in the Statistics and Economics Consulting Group at Grant Thornton, I managed the ongoing demand forecasting programs for one of the group’s major clients, Tourism Vancouver; provided expertise in data integration and analysis on a variety of projects; and developed statistical models, tools and visualizations for clients. As a research assistant in the Human Auditory and Physiology Laboratory (UBC Hospital) and the Visual Neuroscience Laboratory (BC Children's Hospital), I conducted experiments and ran statistical analyses over the resulting fMRI and other associated data.
  • Information Visualization I co-developed an interactive, scatterplot visualization tool to help crime analysts explore the effects of various law enforcement programs and policies on US crime rates.
  • Geospatial Analysis I employed geospatial regression techniques to develop a model for the expected number of dead Corvids submitted for West Nile Virus testing by Local Health Area in British Columbia to provide an outbreak detection mechanism for public health decision makers.