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

I'm on the job market! I'm looking for academic/industrial research positions. Please reach out if you know any opportunities!

As a human-computer interaction (HCI) researcher, I do research at the intersection of human-AI collaboration, social computing, and education technology. I strive to support rising data scientists and programmers through the power of online community and AI. My research can be summarized in three areas: 1) I conduct mixed method empirical research to understand informal learning of computational skills in communities such as Scratch and Kaggle; 2) I develop prototypes and tools to support novices to program with data; 3) I conduct design-based research to scaffold human-AI collaboration in programming and text summarization.

My work has resulted in design guidelines for community platform design and regulation, as well as human factors in AI tools such as GitHub Copilot. My research has been published in various academic venues such as CHI, CSCW, and NAACL. More generally, I'm interested in topics about online community, computational literacies, human-AI collaboration, and creativity support.

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).



Happy to announce that our paper "Concepts, practices, and perspectives for developing computational data literacy: Insights from workshops with a new data programming system" has been accepted to the ACM Interaction Design and Children Conference (IDC 2023)! More details of the paper and the tools that we developed will be up soon!


The preprint of the paper from my internship at Microsoft Research is up! We studied the role of online communities in shaping developers trust in AI code generation tools and explored the design space of integrating community signals into the AI-assisted programming experience!


Presented two papers at CSCW'2022! Check out my papers "Many Destinations, Many Pathways: A Quantitative Analysis of Legitimate Peripheral Participation in Scratch" ( recorded talk) and "Feedback Exchange and Online Affinity: A Case Study of Online Fanfiction Writers" ( recorded talk)! These two papers investigate informal learning in online communities from very different angles :)


Gave two talks at Microsoft Research about my work on developer trust in AI-powered code generation and informal learning of computaional skills in online communities!


I gave a guest speaker talk at the Expertise@scale Salon at Emory University! I shared about my work on understanding and designing for informal learning in online communities.


I hosted a Science of Community Dialogues webinar on "All Communities Are Learning Communities"! Along with Dr. Denae Ford, I shared my work on informal learning in online commnities with community leaders, designers, and other practitioners. Check out the blog post and the live recording of my talk!


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! An Exploration of Post-Editing Effectiveness in Text Summarization" - another paper that I contributed to was also presented in the conference!


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!