I am an Assistant Professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I received my Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Northwestern University and my undergraduate degrees in Applied Mathematics and Psychology from UCLA.

My research program combines visual perception, cognition, and data visualization. By investigating how humans perceive, interpret, and make decisions from visualized data, I answer questions such as "what are the underlying perceptual and cognitive processes when people make sense of data visualizations?", and "how can we design an effective visualization or tell a good story with data?".

As to how to pronounce my last name...The 'X' makes a "sh" sound so you can pronounce it as "shown," as in "they have shown an eager desire to work with Cindy because her research sounds so interesting."

Moving to GATech in Jan 2024

I’m joining the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech. See you in Atlanta!



Joined the Human Factors Task Group at NIST

I became an affiliate at the Human Factors Task Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, where I help evaluate and improve standards proposed by forensic labs.

NSF CAREER Award 2023

I received this award to develop a formalized model to measure trust in human-data interaction and enhance critical thinking between humans and data in visual data communications. Read more about it here.

3 Papers at IEEE VIS 2023 + 2 TVCG Papers

Trust and Bias in Machine Learning
(w/ Gaba, Kaufman et al.)

Depicting Polarization Shapes Public Opinion
(w/ Eli Holder)

Disclosing Metadata in Visualization
(w/ Burns et al.)

Reasoning Affordances of Tables and Bars
(w/ Lee-Robbins et al.)

Cognitive and Affective Trust Framework
(w/ Nobre, Elhamdadi et al.)



2022 IEEE VIS Best Poster Honorable Mention
Led by student Hamza Elhamdadi on measuring trust in visual data communication using perceptual fluency.
And related work on measuring trust in human-data interaction presented at IEEE VIS Beliv 2022.

2022 VGTC Visualization Dissertation Award Honorable Mention
Read my dissertation here. Or read this, it's more interesting.

Teaching A Brand-New UX Research Course at UMass Amherst
I designed a course for undergraduate CS and Informatics students to learn about user experience design and research. More info can be found here.

2022 CHI Research Paper Honorable Mention
Icon arrays and perceptual bias. With the mid-term election coming up, it's important to be aware of the perceptual biases that may exist when making sense of probabilistic information. Paper is here and video is here.

2020 IEEE VIS Best Paper Honorable Mention
We introduce a design space of experimental methods for empirically investigating the perceptual processes involved with viewing data visualizations to inform visualization design guidelines.