Dr. Tricia J. Ngoon

Hi! I'm Tricia. I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, working with Dr. Amy Ogan. My research focuses on helping educators solve the "puzzles" of teaching and providing a more fulfilling learning experience for their students and trainees. As a cognitive scientist, 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 general research interests are in catalyzing creative learning and problem-solving through exploratory thinking strategies, with applications in creativity support tools and pedagogy.

I received my PhD in Cognitive Science at UC San Diego. I was advised by Dr. Scott Klemmer in the Design Lab. My dissertation examined interactive strategies and tools to support exploratory thinking in creative work. 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, hiking, doodling comics, doing word puzzles, and playing trivia and board/video games.

View my CV


Conference & Journal Papers

Tricia J. Ngoon*, Franceska Xhakaj*, Na Young Lee, Amy Luo, Nikhil Behari, John Zimmerman, & Amy Ogan. Motivating Goal-Setting & Behavior Change for College Instructors. Under review. * indicates equal contribution as first-authors

Angela Stewart, Tricia J. Ngoon, Daniel Noh, Vaishnavi Gorantla, Stephanie Eristof, Ung-Sang Lee, Sherice Clarke, John Zimmerman, & Amy Ogan. "You Expect Me to Know What 40 Students are Doing?" Data as a Tool to Support Teacher Agency. Under review.

Prasoon Pratidar, Tricia J. Ngoon, Nikhil Behari, Neeharika Vogety, Amy Ogan, Chris Harrison, & Yuvraj Agarwal. Edulyze: Learning Analytics for Real-World Classrooms at Scale. Under review.

Tricia J. Ngoon, Joy O. Kim, & Scott Klemmer. 2021. Shöwn: Adaptive Conceptual Guidance Aids Example Use in Creative Tasks. 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.


Tricia J. Ngoon. 2021. Interactive Attunement Catalyzes Creative Learning. UC San Diego PhD dissertation. Defense recording.

Extended Abstracts & Demos

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.

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.

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

  • Jul 2021: Featured in an article for the UCSD Design Lab about my work.
  • Jun 28-Jul 2, 2021: Attending virtual DIS 2021.
  • Jun 15, 2021: Starting my postdoc at CMU with Dr. Amy Ogan!
  • Apr 21, 2021: Defending my PhD thesis 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: Speaking at the University of Wisconsin, Madison Virtual HCI Seminar
  • June 22, 2020: Remote summer internship at Adobe Research working with Joy Kim
  • Feb 13, 2020: Speaking at the UCSD Cognitive Science Student Association Design & Interaction Talk Series
  • Nov 11-12, 2019: Attending CSCW 2019, Austin, TX
  • Oct 29-Nov 1, 2019: Participating in the Rising Stars in EECS career workshop at UIUC
  • Sept 17, 2019: Speaking at the Berkeley Institute of Design Seminar
  • Aug 14, 2019: Speaking 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