I am a Ph.D candidate in Computer Science with focus in Artificial Intelligence and Human-Computer Interaction at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I am advised by Prof. Hari Sundaram and Prof. Karrie Karahalios.

Prior my Ph.D journey, I completed my B.S. in Psychology and Statistics & Computer Science at University of Illinois. Prof. Dov Cohen advised my undergraduate thesis regarding the effect of grammatically gendered language on investors’ financial decision.

Currently, I am looking for summer 2020 internship opportunities. If you have exciting projects/ideas in hand and looking for interns to accomplish them, please send me an email at zxiao5 at illinois dot edu!

Please check Projects for my work and Publications for selected paper. My full publication list is avaliable at my Curriculum Vitae.

as a student in computer science.

My research interest lies at the interaction of technology and human behavior. I am particularly interested in how we can use technology to understand human behavior and how technology can persuade people to engage with beneficial behaviors.

Coming from social psychology, I deeply curious about how human function and individual differences. What psychology attracts me the most are not only theories depicting how human respond to internal and external stimuli but also experiment methods that can rigorously examine those seemly untestable hypotheses. Looking back to the history of the quest to understand human behavior, I believe it is a collective effort across disciplinaries. As a student in computer science, I want to empower scientists with technologies to understand human behavior at scale.

Currently, I am building ‘‘Petri’’, an AI powered research infrastructure that aimed to facilitate scientists to effectively and efficiently conduct longitudinal field studies. Inspired by the movie, ‘‘Her’’, I want to leverage AI-powered conversational agents to elicit valuable information for scientists to learn more about how we interact with the surrounding environment and create engaging experiences for study participants.

I am also working on projects in the area of persuasion, social network design, and educational technology. Please see the project page for more details.

get in touch.

You can always reach me via zxiao5 at illinois dot edu.


Austin, TX for CSCW 19Nov 4-13, 2019
Los Angeles, CA for IUI 19Mar 16-21, 2019
New York for CSCW 18Nov 3-7, 2018
Tokyo, Japan for IUI 18Mar 7-11, 2018
Columbus, OH for ASEE 17May 6-11, 2017
Denver, CO for CHI 17May 6-11, 2017
Baltimore, MD for SRA 16Mar 31 - Apr 2, 2016