I am cognitive psychology researcher at Northwestern University in the Visual Thinking Lab. Starting in Fall 2021, I will join the College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst as an Assistant Professor.

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?".

I am looking for graduate students for Fall 2021. If you are interested in research at the intersection of psychology and data visualizations or would like to join my research group at UMass Amherst, please reach out to me! 

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."

Giving a Talk at OPAM

Take the same scatterplot and label the axes with different variables. People read different correlation values from the same plot depending on how much they think the labeled variables are correlated.

I'm giving a talk on this project at one of my favourite venues - OPAM. Talk video available here.

First Time Chairing A Session!

I'm chairing the Theory, Cognition, and Sensemaking at this year's IEEE VIS Short Papers session, on Thursday, October 29th 🙂 See for more info.

Two Papers at IEEE VIS 2020

Join us to learn about how aspect-ratio in your bar charts can bias your perception, and how you can use research methods from vision science to study visualizations.

I'm excited to share that our paper "A Design Space of Vision Science Methods for Visualization Research" has won a Best Paper Honourable Mention Award!

Joining the HCI-VIS Lab at UMass Amherst

I will be joining Narges Mahyar and Ali Sarvghad in the HCI-VIS Lab at UMass Amherst starting Fall 2021. Now, where did my Chicago bucket list go...?