Event Information:

  • Tue

    [Talk] Yan Chen and Xuan Zhao

    12:00 pm - 1:00 pmNQ 2245, North Quad, 105 S. State St. Ann Arbor MI 48109

    Yan Chen and Xuan Zhao






    Everyone is welcome -- light lunch will be served on a first-come-first-served basis; make sure to RSVP, so that we will be prepared (add to calendar).

    Yan Chen: Towards Providing On-Demand Expert Support for Software Developers


    Yan is a 2nd year PhD student at the UMSI. He is currently working with Dr. Walter S. Lasecki and Dr. Steve Oney to build expert crowd-powered systems to support human complex tasks. He is current looking at how to develop systems to better support software development such that developers can request on-demand help given by domain experts. He also starts to look at online freelance marketplace, and attempts to better understand the existing challenges of recruitment and information delivery.


    Software development is an expert task that requires complex reasoning and the ability to recall language or API-specific details. In practice, developers often seek support from IDE tools, Web resources, or other developers to help fill in gaps in their knowledge on-demand. In this paper, we present two studies that seek to inform the design of future systems that use remote experts to support developers on demand. The first explores what types of questions developers would ask a hypothetical assistant capable of answering any question they pose. The second study explores the interactions between developers and remote “experts” in supporting roles. Our results suggest eight key system features needed for on-demand remote developer assistants to be effective, which has implications for future human-powered development tools.


    Xuan Zhao: The Social Media Ecology: User Perceptions, Strategies and Challenge


    Xuan Zhao's research investigates how users and systems work together in curating and exhibiting personal digital data (especially in social media), and how to design for technology-mediated reflection for both self and close relationships, as a way to support long-term interaction between users and their data. Before joining UMSI, Xuan got her Master's degree in Communication from Cornell University and and worked closely with Reimagination Lab. She has also worked at Facebook UEX Research, the Intelligent Collaboration group at IBM Research (China), and the Human Experience and Design group at Microsoft Research Cambridge.


    Many existing studies of social media focus on only one platform, but the reality of users’ lived experiences is that most users incorporate multiple platforms into their communication practices in order to access the people and networks they desire to influence. In order to better understand how people make sharing decisions across multiple sites, we asked our participants (N=29) to categorize all modes of communication they used, with the goal of surfacing their mental models about managing sharing across platforms. Our interview data suggest that people simultaneously consider “audience” and “content” when sharing and these needs sometimes compete with one another; that they have the strong desire to both maintain boundaries between platforms as well as allowing content and audience to permeate across these boundaries; and that they strive to stabilize their own communication ecosystem yet need to respond to changes necessitated by the emergence of new tools, practices, and contacts. We unpack the implications of these tensions and suggest future design possibilities.