I’m a fifth final 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 goals are to understand the experiences and challenges of marginalized populations and design novel technologies that address their needs. I often use mixed research methods in my works, including interviews, ethnography, content analysis, surveys, and large scale data analysis. My dissertation research facilitates social support exchange among marginalized populations (e.g., cancer patients, people with mental health issues, and gig workers) in online communities.

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.

Starting as a research intern at the Health Intelligence group of Microsoft Research.
Attended this amazing workshop about 'those who labor' at CHI 2021.
Passed my thesis proposal. Many thanks to my committee!
Wiki Ed paper won an honorable metnion at CSCW 2020.
Self-disclosure paper won an honorable metnion at CHI 2019.
Invited talk at HCIL, University of Maryland.
Attended CSCW 2018 at Jersey City; won a best paper award.
Finished and passed my PhD "comm talk".
Graduated and farewell. Bye-bye, Ithaca.
(not so new) news...
  1. Together But Alone: Atomization and Peer Support among Gig Workers
    Zheng Yao, Silas Weden, Lea Emerlyn, Haiyi Zhu, Robert E. Kraut.
    CSCW 2021.
  2. 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, Robert E. Kraut.
    CSCW 2021. pdf · ACM DL
  3. 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, Qianying Wang.
    CHI 2021. pdf · ACM DL
  4. Successful Online Socialization: Lessons from the Wikipedia Education Program
    Ang Li*, Zheng Yao*, Diyi Yang, Chinmay Kulkarni, Rosta Farzan, Robert E. Kraut.
    CSCW 2020, Best Paper Honerable Mention. pdf · ACM DL · slides · talk
  5. The Channel Matters: Self-disclosure, Reciprocity and Social Support in Online Cancer Support Groups
    Diyi Yang, Zheng Yao, Joseph Seering, Robert E. Kraut.
    CHI 2019, Best Paper Honerable Mention. pdf · ACM DL
  6. Applications of Social Identity Theory to Research and Design in Computer-Supported Cooperative Work
    Joseph Seering, Felicia Ng, Zheng Yao, Geoff Kaufman.
    CSCW 2018, Best Paper Award. pdf · ACM DL
  7. Mentor Academy: Engaging Global Learners in the Creation of Data Science Problems for MOOCs
    Rebecca Quintana, Christopher Brooks, Cinzia Smothers, Yuanru Tan, Zheng Yao, Chinmay Kulkarni.
    ICLS 2018. pdf · ISLS Repository
  8. Self-disclosure and Channel Difference in Online Health Support Groups
    Diyi Yang, Zheng Yao, Robert E. Kraut.
    ICWSM 2017. pdf· AAAI OJS
  9. (Infra) structures of Volunteering
    Amy Voida, Zheng Yao, Matthias Korn.
    CSCW 2015. pdf · ACM DL
  10. 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, Susan R. Fussell.
    CSCW 2015, Best Paper Honerable Mention. pdf · ACM DL