Zhicheng Liu

Research on Human-Data Interaction


Welcome to my homepage.

I am a research scientist in the Creative Technologies Lab at Adobe Research. Before joining Adobe, I was a postdoctoral scholar at the Department of Computer Science of Stanford University, working with Jeffrey Heer. I completed my PhD in the Human-Centered Computing program at Georgia Tech in spring 2012, advised by John Stasko.

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Research Interests

Despite advances in automated algorithms and systems, human judgment remains indispensable in data analysis. The variety and volume of real-world datasets and the diversity of application scenarios present many challenges for research on human-centered data tools. Specifically, I am interested in the following three general problems:

  1. effectiveness: The representation and interaction provided by a visual interface significantly influence analysts’ workflow and understanding of their data. It is not always clear, however, what designs are effective for a given data problem.
  2. expressiveness: Instead of focusing on analytical or communication problems at hand, users spend too much time and effort transforming data or creating visualizations via programming. Even for state-of-the-art tools, it can be difficult to express user intent to the system.
  3. scalability: The sheer volume of modern datasets makes it difficult to have an overview of the data. It is even more challenging to perform interactive querying and get visual feedback in real time.

My research focuses on supporting data analysis and communication through effective, expressive, and scalable techniques and systems. To this end, I apply user-­centered design methods to study users and their problems, and research novel techniques, frameworks, systems and user interfaces to solve these problems.

My Publications page contains more information on research papers, videos and software.


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