Xiaoying Pu

Credit: Xin Shu

I am a postdoctoral scholar at UC Merced, working with Lace Padilla. I recently received my Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, advised by Matthew Kay at Northwestern University.

I take a human-centered approach to help data workers evaluate and communicate uncertainty and statistics with visualizations. My thesis was about integrating visualization grammars with data analysts’ task language. Through my internships at two national labs, I have applied my research interests to challenges I care about — climate change and renewable energy. I am also interested in adopting and improving open science practices.

Across my projects, I have used a wide range of methods, such as design, system-building, participant experiments & (Bayesian) statistical analyses, and qualitative interviews.

Midwest Uncertainty Collectiveumich and ucmerced email: xpuCurriculum Vitae/CVTwitterGitHubLinkedIn. • IPA: /ɕǎu jə̄ŋ pʰʷúː/


Datamations: Animated Explanations of Data Analysis Pipelines. Xiaoying Pu, Sean Kross, Jake Hofman, Daniel Goldstein. In Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 1-14.(CHI 2021)


A Probabilistic Grammar of Graphics. Xiaoying Pu, Matthew Kay. In Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2020). (Best Paper Honorable Mention)

[PDF] [BibTeX]

SPy: Car Steering Reveals Your Trip Route!. Mert D. Pesé, Xiaoying Pu, and Kang G. Shin. Proceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologies 2020.2 (2020): 155-174.

The Garden of Forking Paths in Visualization: A Design Space for Reliable Exploratory Visual Analytics. Xiaoying Pu, Matthew Kay. IEEE VIS 2018 BELIV Workshop.

[PDF] [BibTeX]

Shorter ones

Xiaoying Pu, Matthew Kay, Steven M. Drucker, Jeffrey Heer, Dominik Moritz, and Arvind Satyanarayan. 2021. Special Interest Group on Visualization Grammars. In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts (CHI ’21 Extended Abstracts), May 8–13, 2021, Yokohama, Japan. ACM, New York, NY, USA 3 Pages.


Unbiasing Visual Data Exploration in the Garden of Forking Paths. Xiaoying Pu, Matthew Kay, Michael Correll, Eli Brown. CHI 2019 Workshop on Human-Centered Study of Data Science Work Practices, 2019.


Designing for Preregistration: A User-Centered Perspective. Xiaoying Pu, Licheng Zhu, Matthew Kay, Fred Conrad. CHI 2019 Late Breaking Work.

[PDF] [BibTeX]

Recent-ish News

  • Sep. 2022: Starting as a postdoc with Lace Padilla at UC Merced.
  • Jul. 2022: I defended!
  • May 2022: Taught Transparent Practices for Quantitative Empirical Research at CHI 2022.
  • Oct. 2021: Attending the Doctoral Colloqium at VIS 2021.
  • Jun. 2021: Performed at the Ellacombe Chimes 200th celebration.
  • Jun. 2021: Performed at the UM Summer Carillon Concert Series.
  • May 2021: Presented Datamations at CHI 2021.
  • May 2021: Organized the SIG on visualization grammars at CHI 2021.
  • Feb. 2021: Presented Datamations at C+J 2021.
  • Jan. 2021: Worked as a GSI for EECS 203: Discrete Math. Office hours.