I’m a fifth year Ph.D. student in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) at Carnegie Mellon University. I am advised by Prof. Bob Kraut and Prof. Haiyi Zhu.

My dissertation research facilitates social support exchange in online communities. I started off studying peer support in online health communities (OHCs), focusing on two research questions, 1) how to keep members committed to providing support and 2) how to empower committed members with skills so that they can provide better support.

I am currently studying the peer support exchange between gig workers, who are peers but may be at competition with one another. I am especially interested in how gig workers overcame (or not) the competitive tension between them and how they reached for collective power.

I earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in the Department of Information Science at Cornell University, where I was advised by Prof. Sue Fussell and Ge Gao.

I love cats.

Our paper on newcomers socialization at Wikipedia won an honorable metnion at CSCW 2020.
Invited talk at HCIL, University of Maryland.
Submitted new work to CSCW 2019. Learned a ton from this experience.
Attended CSCW 2018 at Jersey City. LOTS OF FUN!
Submitted our self-dislocure paper to CSCW 2018.
New piece on Shin Minjun 6P and Shin Jinseo 8p will be featured on Issue 21 of Weiqi World 2017. [pdf]
Finished and passed my PhD "comm talk".
I wrote about the TV series Reply 1988 on Issue 13 of Weiqi World. [pdf]
Wrapped up my first year as a PhD student. Learned a ton!
Two papers subumitted to CSCW 2018. Huge thanks to my advisors and collaborators.
Our ICWSM submission is accepted as a poster!
Landed at Pitts and started my second semester.
Our paper on self-disclosure was submitted to ICWSM-17, thanks to Diyi
I have a new piece featured on Issue 3-4 of Weiqi World about Park Junghwan 9P. [pdf]
Wrapped up my very first semester at CMU. Now to home and cats!
Officially matched up with my advisor Bob Kraut!
First day of class at CMU. First day as a PhD.
Orientation started! Glad to see our cohort again :)
Wrapped up my internship. Rocked the poster session! Olympic time!
Started my second summer REU at CMU.
Graduated from Cornell after five years! Bye-bye, Ithaca.
  1. Join, Stay or Go? A Closer Look at Members’ Life Cycles in Online Health Communities
    Zheng Yao, Diyi Yang, John Levine, Carissa Low, Tenbroeck Smith, Haiyi Zhu and Robert E. Kraut.
    CSCW 2021. [Full Paper]
  2. All in One Group: Current Practices, Lessons and Challenges of Chinese Home-School Communication in IM Group Chat.
    Jiangtao Gong*, Zheng Yao*, Zhicong Lu*, Qicheng Ding, Yu Zhang, Liuxin Zhang, and Qianying Wang.
    CHI 2021. [Full Paper]
  3. Successful Online Socialization: Lessons from the Wikipedia Education Program
    Ang Li*, Zheng Yao*, Diyi Yang, Chinmay Kulkarni, Rosta Farzan and Robert E. Kraut.
    CSCW 2020,Best Paper Honerable Mention [Full Paper]
  4. The Channel Matters: Self-disclosure, Reciprocity and Social Support in Online Cancer Support Groups
    Diyi Yang, Zheng Yao, Joseph Seering, and Robert E. Kraut.
    CHI 2019, Best Paper Honerable Mention. [Full Paper]
  5. Applications of Social Identity Theory to Research and Design in Computer-Supported Cooperative Work
    Joseph Seering, Felicia Ng, Zheng Yao, and Geoff Kaufman.
    CSCW 2018, Best Paper Award. [Full Paper]
  6. Mentor Academy: Engaging Global Learners in the Creation of Data Science Problems for MOOCs
    Rebecca Quintana, Christopher Brooks, Cinzia Smothers, Yuanru Tan, Zheng Yao, and Chinmay Kulkarni.
    ICLS 2018. [Poster]
  7. Self-disclosure and Channel Difference in Online Health Support Groups
    Diyi Yang, Zheng Yao, and Robert E. Kraut.
    ICWSM 2017. [Poster]
  8. (Infra) structures of Volunteering
    Amy Voida, Zheng Yao, and Matthias Korn.
    CSCW 2015. [Full Paper]
  9. Two is better than one: improving multilingual collaboration by giving two machine translation outputs.
    Ge Gao, Bin Xu, David C. Hau, Zheng Yao, Dan Cosley, and Susan R. Fussell.
    CSCW 2015, Best Paper Honerable Mention [Full Paper]