About me

I recently defended my PhD and joined the cognitive computing group at the IBM T.J Watson Research Center as a research staff member. Currently, I am exploring the fun world of conversational systems.

I did PhD in human-computer interaction in the Dept. of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I worked in the CASCAD Lab, advised by Professor Wai-Tat Fu. I received Master in Human Factors from the same university, and Bachelor degree in Industrial Engineering from Tsinghua University.

My research interests broadly lie in the fields of HCI, social computing, and health informatics. My PhD dissertation looks at how to design systems that "nudge" people to hear diverse opinions and "de-bias" users with biased beliefs. Besides that, I have had the pleasure to work on a broad range of research topics with my awesome mentors and collaborators. Outside university, I have conducted research at IBM Research, PARC, and GESIS.

I grew up in a Yangtze River city called Yichang and spent years in Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. In my spare time, I enjoy long hikes in the mountains and fiction books. I am a frequent traveler between US, China and Germany.

What I am up to

I joined the Program Committee of IUI 2017 and ChASM 2016

I defended PhD dissertation! Many thanks to my committee members Wai-Tat Fu, Alex Kirlik,Peter Pirolli, and Bruce Schatz.

Paper on designing technologies for Crowd Orchestration (grassroots self-organizing groups) accepted to GROUP 2016!See a local version here.

Paper on designing conversational AI agent for information search is accepted to DIS 2016! See a local version here.

Paper on majority vs. minority opinion group behaviors on Twitter accepted to CHI 2016! See a local version here.

I joined the Program Committee of IUI 2016 and SocInfo 2016.

I will be serving as the Social Media Chair for ICHI 2016. Hope to see you in Chicago!

I served as an associate chair (AC) for the Late-Breaking Work category of CHI 2016.

November 2016:GROUP 2016 in Sanibel Island, Florida.

Q. Vera Liao

IBM TJ Watson Research Center
1101 Kitchawan Rd
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

Vera [dot] Liao [at] ibm [dot] com

Selected Publications


#Snowden: Understanding Biases Introduced by Behavioral Differences of Opinion Groups on Social Media
Q. Vera Liao, Wai-Tat Fu, Markus Strohmaier
To appear in CHI 2016: ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

What Can You Do? Studying Social-Agent Orientation and Agent Proactive Interactions with an Agent for Employees
Q. Vera Liao, Matthew Davis, Werner Geyer, Michael Muller, N. Sadat Shami
To appear in DIS 2016: ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems

Improvising Harmony: Opportunities for Technologies to Support Crowd Orchestration
Q. Vera Liao, Victoria Bellotti, Michael Youngblood
To appear in GROUP 2016: ACM Conference on Supporting Group Work


Seeking Information Like Mr. Spock: Applying Persuasion Theories to the Design of Information Systems
Q. Vera Liao
"Boaster" for HCIC 2015 (work in progress, non-peer reviewed)

It Is All About Perspective: An Exploration of Mitigating Selective Exposure with Aspect Indicators
Q. Vera Liao, Wai-Tat Fu, Sri Shilpa Mamidi
CHI 2015: ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Emerging Media to Promote Physical Activity: Understanding Exposure, Attention and Behavior Change from Psychological and Computational Perspectives
Dolores Albarracin, Vera Liao, Jessica Yi, Chengxiang Zhai
To appear in Sedentary Behavior and Health: Concepts, Assessment and Intervention (Weimo Zhu, editor)


Expert Voices in Echo Chambers: Effects of Source Expertise Indicators on Exposure to Diverse Opinions
Q. Vera Liao & Wai-Tat Fu
CHI 2014: ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
* Best Paper Award, Honorable Mention

Can You Hear Me Now? Mitigating the Echo Chamber Effect by Source Position Indicators
Q. Vera Liao & Wai-Tat Fu
CSCW 2014: ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing

Age Differences in Credibility Judgment of Online Health Information
Q. Vera Liao & Wai-Tat Fu
TOCHI journal: ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction


Beyond the Filter Bubble: Interactive Effects of Perceived Threat and Topic Involvement on Selective Exposure to Information
Q. Vera Liao & Wai-Tat Fu
CHI 2013: ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Aggregating Personal Health Messages for Scalable Comparative Effectiveness Research
Jason Cho, Q. Vera Liao, Yunliang Jiang, Bruce Schatz
BCB HIS 2013: ACM Conference on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology and Biomedical Informatics


Understanding Experts’ and Novices’ Expertise Judgment of Twitter Users
Q. Vera Liao, Claudia Wagner, Peter Pirolli, Wai-Tat Fu
CHI 2012: ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

An ACT-R Model of Credibility Judgment of Micro-blogging Web Pages
Q. Vera Liao, Peter Pirolli, Wai-Tat Fu
ICCM 2012: International Conference on Cognitive Modeling

Designing and Evaluating a Clustering System for Organizing and Integrating Patient Drug Outcomes in Personal Health Messages
Yunliang Jiang, Q. Vera Liao, Qian Cheng, Richard Berlin, Bruce Schatz
AMIA 2012: Annual Symposium of the American Medical Informatics Association

It’s Not in Their Tweets: Modeling Topical Expertise of Twitter Users
Claudia Wagner, Q. Vera Liao, Peter Pirolli, Les Nelson, Markus Strohmaier
SocialCom 2012: ASE/IEEE International Conference on Social Computing

Information and Attitude Diffusion in Networks
Wai-Tat Fu & Q. Vera Liao
SBP 2012: International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling and Prediction


Medtable™ An EMR-Based Tool to Support Collaborative Planning for Medication Use
Q. Vera Liao, Julian Chin, Stacey McKeever, Katie Kopren, Daniel Morrow, Katherine Davis, Elizabeth A.H. Wilson, Darren Kaiser, Michael Wolf, Thembi Conner-Garcia and James Graumlich
HFES 2011: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting 2011

Crowdsourcing Quality Control of Online Information: a Quality-based Cascade Model
Wai-Tat Fu & Q. Vera Liao
SBP 2011: International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling and Prediction