Ed Chi

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Ed Chi
Residence Palo Alto, California, USA
Citizenship American
Fields Human-computer interaction
Social computing
Institutions PARC
Alma mater University of Minnesota
Doctoral advisor John T. Riedl

Ed Chi (Chinese: 紀懐新; Wade–Giles: Chi⁴ Huai²-hsin¹) is a Taiwanese American computer scientist specializing in social computing and human-computer interaction. Chi was formerly a research scientist at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and is currently a research scientist at Google. Chi is known for his early work in information scent, which pioneered ways of understanding how people search for information online. He is also known for his work on information visualization and authored the book A Framework for Visualizing Information[1] describing approaches to make information visualization systems easier to develop through the use of reference models. His recent research has analyzed social behavior in large socio-technical systems like Wikipedia, Twitter, and Digg, among other social software platforms. He has published over 80 academic articles and he has over 20 patents. His top 9 publications have over 200 citations each.


Chi was born and raised in Taiwan. He moved to Minnesota in the 9th grade and has lived in the U.S. ever since. He completed his B.Sc. (1994), M.S. (1996), and a Ph.D. (1999), all in Computer Science, in 6.5 years from the University of Minnesota.

Chi’s dissertation, titled, "A Framework for Information Visualization Spreadsheets", was chaired by John T. Riedl.[2] The dissertation was an early example of the power of small multiples in information visualizations. During this time, he was awarded a University of Minnesota Graduate School Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, Research Contribution Award, Doctoral Dissertation Award, and Best Teaching Award.

Chi worked as a Research Scientist at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) for 13 years. He began in 1997 as an intern and was officially hired in 1999. From 1999-2007, he worked in the User Interface Research Group during which time he was promoted to Senior Research Scientist in 2005. He became Area Manager of the Augmented Social Group in 2007. In 2011, he left PARC and became a Research Scientist at Google reporting directly to Peter Norvig in the areas of human-computer interaction and social computing.

Academic work[edit]

Chi has chaired top conferences and publishes regularly in top-tier academic conferences in computer science and human-computer interaction related fields. His work has been covered in various newspapers and magazines around the world including The Economist,[3] Time Magazine,[4] Los Angeles Times, Technology Review,[5] and Wired.[6]

In 2012, Chi served as the Technical Program Co-chair for CHI, the most prestigious academic conference in the field of HCI.[7]

In his spare time, Chi is an avid Taekwondo martial artist, photographer, and snowboarder.[citation needed] He is married and has one daughter.


  1. ^ Chi, Ed (2002). A Framework for Visualizing Information. Springer. 
  2. ^ Chi, Ed H. (1999). "A Framework for Information Visualization Spreadsheets". University of Minnesota. Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  3. ^ "Scents and sensibility". The Economist. April 26, 2001. Retrieved September 24, 2011. 
  4. ^ Taylor, Chris (December 3, 2000). "Team Xerox". Time Magazine. Retrieved September 24, 2011. 
  5. ^ Naone, Erica (August 24, 2010). "Mining Mood Swings on the Real-Time Web". Technology Review. Retrieved September 24, 2011. 
  6. ^ Leggett, Hadley (August 30, 2009). "Wikipedia to Code Untrustworthy Text". Wired. Retrieved September 24, 2011. 
  7. ^ "CHI 2012 Conference Committee". ACM SIGCHI. 2012. Retrieved 2011-09-24. 

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