Tricia J. Ngoon

I am a Ph.D candidate in Cognitive Science at UC San Diego working with Dr. Scott Klemmer and Dr. Caren Walker. Broadly, my research spans psychology, cognitive science, and computer science to better understand creative cognition. Specifically, I examine both content and process scaffolds that enhance exploration of ideas in creative thinking with applications in creativity support tools and pedagogy.

Prior to entering my graduate program, 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. When out of my natural habitat of the lab, I enjoy boxing, playing board games, attending trivia nights, and exploring the San Diego coffee and beer scene.

View my CV

Travel & Talks Schedule

  • Sept 17, 2019: Invited to speak at the Berkeley Institute of Design Seminar
  • Aug 14, 2019: Invited to speak at the Stanford HCI Seminar
  • June 22-26, 2019: In San Diego, CA for Creativity & Cognition 2019 as Student Volunteer Co-Chair and presenting two posters and participating in the Graduate Student Symposium
  • June 2019: Summer internship at Adobe Research SF working with Joy Kim
  • May 4-9, 2019: In Glasgow, Scotland for CHI 2019 participating in the Doctoral Consortium
  • Mar 2019: Invited to speak at the UCSD Cognitive Science Cognition at the Shore seminar series with Ailie Fraser
  • Jun 24-27, 2018: In Watsonville, CA for HCIC 2018
  • Apr 21-26, 2018: In Montreal, Canada for CHI 2018 presenting our paper, "Interactive Guidance Techniques for Improving Creative Feedback"
  • Publications

    Conference & Journal Papers

    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-author

    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 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.


    One of the most rewarding parts of being a graduate student is being able to teach and mentor promising, motivated students.

  • 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 (Teaching Assistant)
  • Lead studios and guide students through the human-centered design process to develop a mobile web application.

  • 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 (Teaching Assistant)
  • Provide critiques in studios to help students analyze design concepts through group-based projects.


    Affiliated Links

    UCSD Cognitive Science
    The Design Lab
    Early Learning & Cognition Lab
    UCSD Graduate Women in Computing