Ruijia Cheng

"Regina" 程瑞加

HCI Researcher
Ph.D. Candidate
University of Washington

Hi, I'm Regina! I'm a fifth-year PhD candidate in the Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) department at University of Washington (UW), advised by Dr. Benjamin Mako Hill and Dr. Jennifer Turns and closely working with Dr. Sayamindu Dasgupta. I am part of the Community Data Science Collective research group.

I'm on the job market! I'm looking for industry/non-profit research scientist, tenure-track faculty, and postdoc positions. Please reach out if you know any opportunities!

My research is centered on this overarching question: how can we combine the power of online community and AI to support rising data scientists and programmers? To approach this question, I conduct mixed-method empirical and design-based research. For example, I do interviews and online ethnography to understand novices' practices and challenges when learning in online communities and how can AI help in the process; I use machine learning and computational methods on large-scale datasets to test qualitative insights and theories; I also develop prototypes to test solutions and probe for users' needs. More generally, I'm interested in topics about data literacies, data science and programming support, creativity, and human-AI collaboration.

I received my Bachelor of Science degrees in Cognitive Science and Mathematics from University of California, San Diego (UCSD). During undergrad, I did research in the Design Lab. I received a Master of Science degree in Human-centered Design and Engineering from University of Washington.

In my free time, I enjoy creating digital fanarts and illustrations and cuddling with my cat, Hime. I also like reading, cooking, hiking, and researching the evolution of languages around the world, especially the Wu variety of Chinese (or rather, its own language, but that's a longer conversation).



Wrapped up my research internship with the SAINTES team at Microsoft Research! I worked with my awesome mentors Dr. Denae Ford and Dr. Tom Zimmermann and many others! I designed and conducted projects related to online developer communities and AI-powered code generation systems. More about the papers from these projects will be posted soon! What a summer of learning and fun!


Presented my paper "Mapping the Design Space of Human-AI Interaction in Text Summarization" at the NAACL2022 conference! Here are links to the paper and the Twitter thread. This was also my first time attending an NLP conference and it was eyeopening to see research at the intersection of language technology and AI! Hope to work in this space more in the future!


Attended CHI'22 in-person! It was so fun to meet old and new friends and learn about cool research! I presented our paper "How Interest-Driven Content Creation Shapes Opportunities for Informal Learning in Scratch: A Case Study on Novices' Use of Data Structures" that received the Best Paper Honorable Mention award! Check out the slides and the live recording of my talk!


I passed my dissertation proposal on Understanding and Designing for Data Literacies in Online Communities! Now I'm ABD!


Happy to announce that 2 new papers have been accepted to NAACL'22 with the special track theme of human-centered NLP! These papers are based on works that I did during my internship at Dataminr with Dr. Alison Smith-Renner and Dr. Ke Zhang.


Happy to announce that 2 new papers - "Many Destinations, Many Pathways: A Quantitative Analysis of Legitimate Peripheral Participation in Scratch" with Dr. Benjamin Mako Hill and "Feedback Exchange and Online Affinity: A Case Study of Online Fanfiction Writers" with Jenna Frens - have been accepted to CSCW'22!


Thrilled to announce that my paper with Dr. Benjamin Mako Hill and Dr. Sayamindu Dasgupta titled "How Interest-Driven Content Creation Shapes Opportunities for Informal Learning in Scratch: A Case Study on Novices’ Use of Data Structures" has received the Best Paper Honorable Mention award at CHI'22! See this blog post to learn more about the paper!