Research Overview


Research Vision

My broad research theme is around human-AI interaction, starting from my belief that knowledge grows from diversified cross-disciplinary synergies and my quest to persistently challenge our habitual understanding of machines’ social intelligence. Knitting together insights from advanced computation, psychology, and interaction design, my research aims to investigate, model, and theorize social mechanisms underlying how humans interact with AI or with one another via AI. For example, my research explores how interacting with a social robot impacts behaviors and dynamics of a human group, and how to responsibly advance social sophistication of AI agents amid the growing proliferation of AI devices in our daily lives.

Research Areas

Research Methods & Skills: Machine Learning; Human Subjects Research; Randomized Controlled Trial; Complex Network Analysis; Statistics in Social Science; Human-centered Design; Crowdsourcing


PhD Thesis

My current PhD thesis is focused on designing embodied social agents that can perform the role of social catalysts and foster human-human social interactions. In my thesis work, I deploy embodied social agents “in-the-wild” to study the process of how they build relationship with human groups and impact people over a long period of time. The thesis work involves conceptualizing a new theory-grounded interdisciplinary design framework for human-robot interaction (HRI), evaluating the design of social robots in empirical human subject experiments, generating design knowledge in qualitative analyses, and developing computational formulations to model HRIs.