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, drawing cartoons, and exploring the San Diego coffee and beer scene.

View my CV

Recent Updates

  • Mar 2019: Received an Honorable Mention Award for our upcoming CHI paper, "RePlay: Contextually Presenting Learning Videos Across Applications"!
  • Mar 2019: Ailie Fraser and I gave a talk on our contextual assistance research at Cognition at the Shore, a speaker seminar series hosted by the UCSD Cognitive Science Department.
  • Jan 2019: Accepted an internship offer at Adobe Research for the summer working with Dr. Joy Kim.
  • Dec 2018: Our paper, "RePlay: Contextually Presenting Learning Videos Across Applications", was accepted at CHI 2019!
  • Nov 2018: Accepted to present my dissertation work at the CHI Doctoral Consortium in Glasgow, Scotland in May 2019!
  • Aug 2018: Started teaching "DSGN 90: Web Programming Seminar" as Instructor of Record.
  • May 23, 2018: Advanced to PhD candidacy!
  • Apr 21-26, 2018: In Montreal, Canada for CHI
  • Jan 2018: Received an Honorable Mention Award for our upcoming CHI 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. To appear 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.

    Extended Abstracts & Posters

    Tricia J. Ngoon, Caren Walker, & Scott Klemmer. 2019. The Dark Side of Satisficing: Setting the Temperature of Creative Thinking. Under Review.

    Samuel Lau, Tricia J. Ngoon, Vineet Pandey, & Scott Klemmer. 2019. Experiment Reconstruction Reduces Fixation on Surface Details of Explanations. Under Review.

    Tricia J. Ngoon. 2019. Inventive Scaffolds Catalyze Creative Learning. Doctoral Consortium Abstract to appear 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.


    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