Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University

Advisor

Mohammadi-Aragh, Mahnas Jean

Committee Member

Jones, Bryan

Committee Member

Green, Ryan

Committee Member

Burch, Rueben F., V

Date of Degree

8-8-2023

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only

Major

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

College

James Worth Bagley College of Engineering

Department

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Abstract

Distraction from personal technology is a widely recognized problem in the modern classroom. Further, instructors have limited abilities to determine when students are waxing or waning in attentiveness. This evaluative experiment leverages the Apple Watch’s heart rate sensors to capture signs of attentiveness in participants simulating remote university lectures of differing interest levels as determined by YouTube commenters. Once captured, the heart rate data separated and analyzed to determine the effect of the lecture treatment on the participants’ heart rates. Twenty-seven students from Mississippi State University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science and Engineering departments elected to participate in the experiment, which shows a statistically relevant finding that the participants’ heart rates generally accelerated when presented interesting content and decelerated when treated with the uninteresting content, expressing with confidence the finding that the Apple Watch is capable of measuring attentiveness through heart rate.

Available for download on Monday, December 15, 2025

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