Tricia J. Ngoon

I am a recent Ph.D graduate in Cognitive Science at UC San Diego. advised by Dr. Scott Klemmer and collaborating with Dr. Caren Walker. I will be joining Carnegie Mellon University as a postdoctoral fellow in summer of 2021, working with Dr. Amy Ogan. I take an interdisciplinary approach to my research, using methods and theories from psychology, computer science, and learning science to better understand creative cognition. My research investigates ways to scaffold exploratory thinking in creative problem-solving, with applications in creativity support tools and pedagogy.

Prior to my PhD, I graduated from UC Berkeley with Honors in Psychology and worked as a research assistant at the Stanford Cognitive & Systems Neuroscience Lab studying math cognition in children. Outside of research, I enjoy boxing, attempting to surf, doodling cartoons, trivia and board/video games, and exploring new beaches and hiking trails.

View my CV


Conference & Journal Papers

Tricia J. Ngoon, Joy O. Kim, & Scott Klemmer. Thinking with Boxes: Tools for Abstraction Enable Flexible Creative Work. In preparation.

Tricia J. Ngoon, Joy O. Kim, & Scott Klemmer. 2021. Shöwn: Adaptive Conceptual Guidance Aids Example Use in Creative Tasks. To appear in ACM Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) Proceedings.

C. Ailie Fraser, Tricia J. Ngoon, Mira Dontcheva, & Scott Klemmer. 2019. Replay: Contextually Presenting Learning Videos Across Software Applications. In ACM Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) Proceedings. Honorable Mention (Top 5%)

Tricia J. Ngoon*, C. Ailie Fraser*, Ariel S. Weingarten, Mira Dontcheva, & Scott Klemmer. 2018. Interactive Guidance Techniques for Improving Creative Feedback. In ACM Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) Proceedings. Honorable Mention (Top 5%) * indicates equal contribution as first-authors

Christian Battista, Tanya M. Evans, Tricia J. Ngoon, Tianwen Chen, Lang Chen, John Kochalka, & Vinod Menon. 2018. Mechanisms of Interactive Specialization and Emergence of Functional Brain Circuits Supporting Cognitive Development in Children. npj Science of Learning, 3(1).

Tanya M. Evans, John Kochalka, Tricia J. Ngoon, Sarah Wu, Shaozheing Qin, Christian Battista, & Vinod Menon. 2015. Brain Structural Integrity and Intrinsic Functional Connectivity Forecasts 6-Year Longitudinal Growth in Children’s Numerical Abilities. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(33). 11743-11750.

Graduate Symposiums

Tricia J. Ngoon. 2019. Overcoming Satisficing: Scaffolds for Amplifying Creativity. Graduate Student Symposium Abstract in ACM Creativity & Cognition (C&C) Proceedings.

Tricia J. Ngoon. 2019. Inventive Scaffolds Catalyze Creative Learning. Doctoral Consortium Abstract in ACM Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) Proceedings.

Extended Abstracts & Posters

Tricia J. Ngoon, Caren M. Walker, & Scott Klemmer. 2019. The Dark Side of Satisficing: Setting the Temperature of Creative Thinking. In ACM Creativity & Cognition (C&C) Proceedings.

Samuel Lau, Tricia J. Ngoon, Vineet Pandey, & Scott Klemmer. 2019. Experiment Reconstruction Reduces Fixation on Surface Details of Explanations. In ACM Creativity & Cognition (C&C) Proceedings.

C. Ailie Fraser, Tricia J. Ngoon, Ariel S. Weingarten, Mira Dontcheva, & Scott Klemmer. 2017. CritiqueKit: A Mixed-Initiative, Real-Time Interface for Improving Feedback. Demo in ACM User Interface Software & Technology (UIST) Companion.

Tricia J. Ngoon, Alexander Gamero-Garrido, & Scott Klemmer. 2016. Supporting Peer Instruction with Evidence-Based Online Instructional Templates. Work-in-Progress in ACM Learning at Scale (L@S) Proceedings.

Tricia J. Ngoon, Rachel Chen, Amit Deutsch, & Sean Lip. 2016. Oppia: A Community of Peer Learners to Make Conversational Learning Experiences. Demo in ACM Computer-Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (CSCW) Companion.

Recent News

  • Apr 21, 2021: I defended my PhD thesis Defense at the UCSD Design Lab Research Meeting!
  • Apr 2021: Our paper, "Shöwn: Adaptive Conceptual Guidance Aids Example Use in Creative Tasks," was accepted to DIS 2021!
  • Nov 10, 2020: I will be giving a talk at University of Wisconsin - Madison Virtual HCI Seminar
  • June 22, 2020: Remote summer internship at Adobe Research working with Joy Kim
  • Feb 13, 2020: I will be giving a talk at the UCSD Cognitive Science Student Association Design & Interaction Talk Series
  • Nov 11-12, 2019: I will be attending CSCW 2019, Austin, TX
  • Oct 29-Nov 1, 2019: I am participating in the Rising Stars in EECS career workshop at UIUC
  • Sept 17, 2019: I will be giving a talk at the Berkeley Institute of Design Seminar
  • Aug 14, 2019: I will be giving a talk at the Stanford HCI Seminar
  • Teaching

  • Cognitive Science Department Head Teaching Assistant
  • Support Cognitive Science graduate students in teaching roles and work with the Engaged Teaching Center to develop training resources for instructors.

  • DSGN 90: Design Seminar on Web Programming (Instructor of Record)
  • Developed a curriculum for teaching introductory web programming concepts.

  • COGS 123: Social Computing (Teaching Assistant)
  • Facilitated discussions of current issues in social computing research.

  • COGS 122: Interaction Design Studio (Teaching Assistant)
  • Helped students conceptualize and prototype innovative startup ideas.

  • COGS 120/CSE 170: Interaction Design (Lead Teaching Assistant)
  • Lead studios and guide students through the human-centered design process to develop a mobile web application.

  • COGS 112: Cognition of Humor (Teaching Assistant)
  • Lead discussions about the origins of laughter and humor from a cognitive and social perspective.

  • COGS 17: Neurobiology of Cognition (Teaching Assistant)
  • Lead discussion sessions with active learning strategies to help students review and consolidate course material.

  • DSGN 1: The Design of Everyday Things (Lead Teaching Assistant)
  • Provide critiques in studios to help students analyze design concepts through group-based projects.


    Affiliated Links

    CMU Human-Computer Interaction Institute
    UCSD Cognitive Science
    The Design Lab
    Early Learning & Cognition Lab
    UCSD Graduate Women in Computing