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Ti-Chung Cheng

Ti-Chung Cheng

def decision(human, machine):

TL;DR – A ChatGPT Synopsis (Using GPT-4) #

Ti-Chung is a PhD candidate in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where his research focuses on the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction and collective decision-making. His journey began with a B.Sc degree from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, transitioning into a Master’s at UIUC, where he developed his research interests in collective decision making and human-AI interaction. Ti-Chung also boasts impressive professional experience, with internships at companies like Salesforce and KKBOX, and a research intern at Microsoft Research. Outside of academia, he’s a full-stack web developer and technology educator, dedicated to using computational tools to enhance decision-making. With a strong commitment to mentoring and community service, Ti-Chung continues to make strides in his field.

▌ Long Bio

I am a fourth year PhD candidate in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), co-advised by Prof. Karrie Karahalios and Prof. Hari Sundaram which leads the Social Spaces group and the Crowd Dynamics Lab respectively. My current research focuses on collective decision making mechanism design and decision making through data visualizations. During my Masters at UIUC, I worked with Prof. Aditya Parameswaran and Prof. Karrie Karahalios on the Dataspread Project during my Masters.

My borad research interest asks – “How can people use computational tools to make better decision?” In general, this coveres topics in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). More specifically, this covers topics like collective decision making (i.e., voting and survey design), data visualization, and human-AI interaction (i.e, smart home).

I received my B.Sc degree from The Department of Computer Science and Engineering at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. I was a research student in The Husky Team supervised by Prof. James Cheng. I worked on distributed machine learning algorithms in nearest-neighbor search during my undergraduate studies. My acedemic advisor was Prof. John C.S. Lui.

I am a full-stack web developer and a technology educator when not doing research. In the past, I was a software engineering intern at Salesforce, a machine learning intern at KKBOX, and a research intern at Microsoft.

Click here for my lastest CV. My CV is usually more up-to-date than my webpage.

▌ Education

PhD in Computer Science, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Present) #

Master of Science in Computer Science, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2018-2020) #

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Minor in Business Economics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (2013-2017) #

Exchange & Short term visits #

  • Exchange Student, Computer Science, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2015)
  • Short-term Exchange Visiting Student, Whitman College, Princeton University (2016)

▌ Professional Experiences

Research Intern, Software Analysis & Intelligence (SAINTES) Group, Microsoft Research (May 2023 - Aug 2023) #

  • Mentors: Denae Ford Robinson, Nicole Forsgren, Carmen Badea, Christian Bird, Tom Zimmermann, Rob DeLine.
  • Designed and built a prototype aimed to enhance software development operations (DevOps) and experiences.
  • Constructed a complex Python-based team matching tool powered by LLM (Large-language Model) orchestrated with Guidance, FLAML, and MySQL.
  • Spearheaded metrics and proxies to understand and support team-matching decision processes.
  • Outline a two-stage within-subject qualitative study to explore expert users’ perceptions of LLM-based software matches.

Graduate Researcher, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Aug 2018 - Present) #

  • Led 3 human-computer interaction research projects in human-data interaction, individual preference elicitation, and smart home privacy.
  • Designed, prototyped, and built an preference elicitation system using Quadratic Voting mechanisms with Nest.js, MongoDB, and Angular.
  • Evaluated multiple interactive systems using interviews, surveys, questionnaires, and in-lab behavioral experiments.
  • Analyzed experiment data using qualitative and quantitative methods, including open coding, thematic analysis, and bayesian analysis.
  • Supported 2 human-computer interaction research projects in smart home user power dynamics and spreadsheet data analysis workflows.

Graduate Teaching Assistant, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Aug 2018 - Present) #

Software Engineer Intern, Salesforce (May 2020 - Aug 2020) #

  • Developed VSCode Plugin for Salesforce developers to reduce XML development time by 2x using TypeScript.
  • Contributed to Open Source RedHat XML VSCode extension (#292) and Salesforce VS Code extension (#2726)

Software Engineer Intern, Salesforce (May 2019 - Aug 2019) #

  • Built pipelines and designed 3 dashboards for front-end cache monitoring using Java, Grafana, and Splunk to visualize daily logs on a billion scale.
  • Optimized dashboard queries by 10x loc for better readability and maintainability.

Machine Learning Research Intern, KKBOX, Machine Learning Team (May 2018 - Aug 2018) #

  • Mentor: Dr. Yian Chen
  • Researched and implemented a natural language processing pipeline for mandarin name-entity recognition with 90%+ accuracy.
  • Designed and built a pattern-based relation extraction pipeline for cross-language music content using 3B+ music data.

Undergraduate Research Assistant, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Dec 2015 - Dec 2017) #

Web Administrator, RIH, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (2016 - 2017) #

Summer Research Intern, National Center for High-Performance Computing (July 2015 - Aug 2015) #

  • Mentor: Dr.Ann, Hsing-Yen
  • Designed and implemented MySQL database pipeline to retrieve and analyze malicious fast-flux domains.
  • Intern report: Development of Bad Domain Tracking System
  • Contributed to Tsai et al. Using BDTS to detect IP changes of malicious domains over time. TANET 2018.

▌ Publications

[PS1] Ti-Chung Cheng, Tiffany Wenting Li, Yi-Hung Chou, Karrie Karahalios, Hari Sundaram “Quadratic Voting better elicits user preferences compared to Likert Surveys [In Mandarin]” Proceedings of the 2021 Taiwan CHI Conference (TAICHI), 2021.

[CP3] Ti-Chung Cheng*, Tiffany Wenting Li*, Yi-Hung Chou, Karrie Karahalios, Hari Sundaram “‘I can show what I really like.’: Eliciting Preferences via Quadratic VotingProceedings of the 2021 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW), 2021.

[CP2] Vinay Koshy, Joon Sung Park, Ti-Chung Cheng, Karrie Karahalios. “‘We Just Use What They Give Us’: Understanding Passenger User Perspectives in Smart HomesProceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), 2021. Best Paper Honorable Mention (Top 5%)

[WP1] Pingjing Yang, Ti-Chung Cheng*, Sajjadur Rahman*, Mangesh Bendre, Karrie Karahalios, Aditya Parameswaran. “Understanding Data Analysis Workflows on Spreadsheets: Roadblocks and OpportunitiesProceedings of Workshop on Human-In-the-Loop Data Analytics (HILDA), 2020.

[CP1] Jinfeng Li, Xiao Yan, Jian Zhang, An Xu, James Cheng, Jie Liu, Kelvin Ng, and Ti-Chung Cheng. “A General and Efficient Querying Method for Learning to HashIn Proceedings of the 37th ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data (SIGMOD), 2018.

▌ Teaching Experiences

CS 411 Database Systems @ UIUC #

  • Terms: FA 2020 SP 2021 FA 2021 SP 2022 SP 2023
  • Instructor: Prof. Abdussalam Alawini
  • Lead staffs and managed course assistants as the Lead TA for multiple semesters.
  • Experience in large-scale (400+ student) flipped classroom activities.
  • Navigated the course through COVID with experience in remote, hybrid, and in-person teaching.
  • Designed assignments, activities, projects, and exams for the course.

CS 470 Social and Information Networks @ UIUC #

  • Terms: FA 2020
  • Instructor: Prof. Hari Sundaram
  • Designed Assignments and manage a small class of 35 students.
  • Assisted in grading and operating a flipped classroom.

CS 242 Programming Studio @ UIUC #

  • Terms: FA 2018 FA 2019 SP 2020
  • Instructor: Prof. Michael Woodley
  • Head TA for two semesters redesigning course materials and assignments
  • Lead discussion sessions and manage administrative matters for 200+ students

CSCI 2040 Intro to Python @ CUHK #

  • Terms: FA 2017
  • Instructor: Prof. John C.S. Lui
  • Designed final group project for the course of 110 students on financial data analytics using Python
  • Lead discussion sessions and manage administrative matters for 200+ students

▌ Selected Services & Extra-Curricular Activities

General Services #

Tech and Information Director, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Taiwan Alumni Association (Jan 2023 - Present) #

Columnist, Mandarin Daily News (Jan 2020 - Dec 2021) #

  • The newspaper targets elementary and junior high students and has over 100K subscribers.
  • Writes a monthly column on technology and HCI.

Initiator and coordinator, The Circle Group (Oct 2016 - Dec 2017) #

  • Founded this platform to connect CS and non-CS students academically through sharing and technical workshops.
  • Manages a team of 20 students working on The Circle Project and official website for Taiwanese Student Association.
  • Created a guide for incoming freshmen with over 6000+ views.

Information Officer, CUHK Taiwanese Student Association (Oct 2015 - Oct 2016) #

  • Launched the organization’s online service and homepage.
  • Assisted in technical setups for activities by the student association.

Conference & Academic Services #

MUSE Mentor, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Aug 2019 - Present) #

Student Volunteer, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work And Social Computing, CSCW 2021 (Nov 2022) #

Book Reviewer, Python x Excel Data Processing Tips(Mandarin, ISBN: 9786263490291) (Oct 2022) #

Reviewer, Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2023 (Oct 2022) #

  • Recieved ACM CHI 2023 Special Recognitions for Outstanding Reviews

Student Volunteer, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work And Social Computing, CSCW 2021 (Oct 2021) #

Student Volunteer, Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2021 (May 2021) #

  • Recieved ACM CHI 2021 Student Volunteer Award

Volunteering #

Project Coordinator, Morningside (Oct 2013 - May 2014) #

  • Volunteered in Nepal to understand and evaluate the needs of local people and provide solutions. [Report] [Journal]
  • Volunteering proposal approved by the university with funding support.
  • Awarded Reaching Out Award and Scholarship by the HKSAR
  • Awarded Taiwan Ministry of Education 2015 National iYouth Best Writing in Volunteering [News Coverage]

▌ Students Mentored

I am extremely proud to mentor and work with these talented students: