Ed Chi

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Ed Chi
ResidencePalo Alto, California, USA
Alma materUniversity of Minnesota
Scientific career
FieldsHuman-computer interaction
Social computing
Doctoral advisorJohn T. Riedl

Ed Huai-Hsin Chi (Chinese: 紀懷新; Wade–Giles: Chi⁴ Huai²-hsin¹) (born ca. 1973) is a Taiwanese American computer scientist and research scientist at Google, known for his early work in applying the theory of information scent to predict usability of Web sites.[citation needed]


Born and raised in Taiwan, Chi moved to Minnesota in the 9th grade to the U.S. He obtained his BA in 1994, his MA in 1996 and his PhD in 1999, all at the University of Minnesota.

After his MA graduation Chi worked as a Research Scientist at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) from 1997 to 2011. He started 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. In 2017, he was promoted to Principal Scientist at Google.

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


Chi specializing in social computing and human-computer interaction. He has developed a computer system that predicts usability of Web sites based on the theory of information scent, a theory by Peter Pirolli and Stuart Card that 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.

A Framework for Information Visualization Spreadsheets[edit]

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.

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]

While at PARC, Chi published a paper[7] analyzing edits to Wikipedia, looking at content contributed vs the author's edit count.

In 2012, Chi served as the Technical Program Co-chair for CHI, the most prestigious academic conference in the field of HCI.[8]


Chi was elected to the CHI Academy in 2018.[9]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Chi, Ed Huai-hsin, ed. A framework for visualizing information. Vol. 1. Springer Science & Business Media, 2002.

Articles, a selection:


  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. 26 April 2001. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  4. ^ Taylor, Chris (3 December 2000). "Team Xerox". Time Magazine. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  5. ^ Naone, Erica (24 August 2010). "Mining Mood Swings on the Real-Time Web". Technology Review. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  6. ^ Leggett, Hadley (30 August 2009). "Wikipedia to Code Untrustworthy Text". Wired. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  7. ^ "Power of the Few vs. Wisdom of the Crowd" (PDF).
  8. ^ "CHI 2012 Conference Committee". ACM SIGCHI. 2012. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
  9. ^ Award Recipients, ACM SIGCHI, retrieved 2018-10-18

External links[edit]