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."

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.


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.


Honorable Mention Paper at CHI 2022

Icon arrays and perceptual bias. Sounds interesting, right?
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.

2022 VGTC Visualization Dissertation Award Honorable Mention

Woohoo! Read my dissertation here. Or read this, it's more interesting.

2022 IEEE VIS Best Poster Honorable Mention

Check out the work led by my student Hamza Elhamdadi on measuring trust in visual data communication using perceptual fluency.

And related work on measuring trust in human-data interaction using social science methods more broadly, presented at IEEE VIS Beliv 2022.

4 Papers at IEEE VIS 2022 + 2 TVCG Papers

Wednesday, October 19
Dispersion vs Disparity
(w/ Eli Holder)
Designing with Pictographs
(w/ Alyx Burns et al.)
Seeing What You Believe
(w/ Chase Stokes et al.)

Thursday, October 20
Synthesize Conflicting Information
(w/ Prateek Mantri et al.)

Friday, October 21
Comparison Conundrum
(w/ Aimen Gaba et al.)
Explaining with Examples
(w/ Leni Yang et al.)