Angel Hsing-Chi Hwang

Hi there! I am a human-computer interaction (HCI) researcher and Ph.D. student at Cornell University. I work at the Virtual Embodiment Lab (VEL) under the mentorship of Dr. Andrea Stevenson Won. My research explores the role of ermerging technology in the future of (team)work, culture, and social interaction. All in all, I research, design, and build technology that can introduce greater creativity and inclusiveness to our future workplaces.

Prior to joining Cornell, I worked with Dr. Jeeyun Oh at The University of Texas, Austin, studying the media effect and psychology of interactive interfaces and multi-sensory user experience as well as their applications to solving real-life communication problems.



Through both quantitative and qualitative research, I explore the role of emerging technology (e.g., AI, autonomous agent, VR) in future collaborative work. My past and current projects have looked into how users work, learn, and ideate in immersive VR and how AI-mediated systems facilitate collaboration. Meanwhile, I pay particular attention to the impact of human-AI interaction on marginalized individuals. Particularly, here are some of my key research questions:
  • Can computer-mediated agents introduce new forms of social interaction, encouraging creative collaboration and breaking through team fixation?
  • Who can benefit from human-agent teamwork? How can technology help out marginalized members in group settings?
  • With the recent advances of AI, how do we leverage its unqiue quality to build future human-machine partnerships?

Drawing AI

How do users of AI-empowered tools conceptualize AI? Taking a participatory approach, we invite users to sketch "portraits" of Siri, Alexa, Google, and other AI-mediated entities, based on which we discuss practical insights for the future of intelligent agents.

#human-AI interaction #human-centered AI

Smart Bot, Dumb Bot

When we design autonomous agents for teamwork, should the bot be smart? Researchers have long debated whether computer-mediated agents should work "with" or work "for" humans. In this project, I investigate whether bot should take the lead or allow humans to shine.

#human-agent teamwork #cscw #intelligent machine

Exploration: Identify creative content in curated digital life

How do users identify creative content in their day-to-day digital life? We conduct a longitudinal study using a mock content website, asking participants to find creative content on the site in response to different tasks.


Idea Bot

Running out of good ideas? Perhaps an AI-mediated chatbot can help. In this project, I investigate how individuals team up with a chatbot to work productively and generate innovative ideas. Specifically, I discuss the critical roles of conversational style and perceived identity in human-bot collaboration for brainstorming tasks.

CHI '21 Honorable Mention

User-Defined Creativity

What does it mean to be creative? Through a series of 14 focus group studies, participants demonstrated the conceptualization of "creative content" is formed through a multi-staged process, consisting of sensory, heuristic, cognitive, and emotional reactances.


Surreal or Real: Virtual Environment for Team collaboration

The project compares the use of virtual vs. mixed reality as novel platforms for team collaboration. While human confederates adopt to various design of real vs. surreal environment, we investigate outcomes of their teamwork, nonverbal behaviors, and social closeness.

paper doi

Embodied Geniuses

Self-efficacy serves a critical role in one's creative capacity. Based on the classic proteus effect in VR research, I investigate whether embodying in avatars of various creative geniuses can influence the way individuals think and behave in an idea generation tasks.


Networking during the pandemic

Exploring new forms of social interaction, we investigate how people interact with others in VR-based platforms. In a field research conducted at the IEEE VR 2020, we investigated how individuals leverage VR for networking and participating in academic conferences.


Virtual Background and Identity

When and why do users apply virtual background in video chats? The current project examines how their decisions are impacted by a rich set of contextual factors. Through machine learning models, we compare the differences between human-picked vs. machine-generated background images.

#computer vision #interpretable AI #computer-mediated communication

Learning in the new "normal" time

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has changed our life forever. How do students adapt to the new "normality"? In a year-long study, we investigate how VR is used as a platform for remote education.

#virtual campus #social VR #VR for education

Visualizing COVID: Fear or Trust?

The study combines a large-scale twitter data anlysis and a series of online experiments to understand how public reactances, specifically fear responses, toward data visualization of the pandemic outbreak.

#sentiment analysis #natural language processing #computational social science #interactive data visualization

Imaginary Reinforcement Learning

Imagination is the foundation for humans to vision innovative production. How do we learn and work by producing mental simulation in our brains? The study adopts a classic two-armed bandit tasks to explore how individuals make novel decisions under uncertainty.

#reinforcement learning #computational cognitive science

Interactive Technology for E-Commerce

One-of-a-kind user experiences can effectively drive consumers' online shopping carts. In this project, I experimented with a variety of interactive visual and audio design to examine the effect on consumer behaviors.

#interactive technology #human-centered desing #media effect #user engagement


Human-Centered AI & Collaboration

Hwang, A. H.-C. (2022). The Look of Trust: How Does Physical Embodiment Shape Trust in Human-Agent Interaction? In Workshop on Trust & Reliance in AI-Human Teams at The ACM 2022 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2022).

Hwang, A. H.-C. & Won, A. S. (2022). AI in Your Mind: Counterbalancing Perceived Agency and Experience in Human-AI Interaction The ACM 2022 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2022). [pdf]

Hwang, A. H.-C. & Won, A. S. (2021). IdeaBot: Social Facilitation in Human-Machine Team Creativity. The ACM 2021 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2021). [pdf] [doi] Honorable mention at CHI'21

Hwang, A. H.-C. & Won, A. S. (2021). Group- and individual-level successes in human-agent teams: From trade-off to win-win. The 24th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2021). In workshop Human-Machine Partnerships in the Future of Work: Exploring the Role of Emerging Technologies in Future Workplaces . [pdf]

Hwang, A. H.-C. (2021). Individuality in Human-Centered AI. In the Human-Centered AI Workshop at the Thirty-fifth Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS 2021). [pdf]

CSCW & Creativity

Herman, L. M.* & Hwang, A. H.-C.* (in press). In the Eye of the Beholder: A Viewer-Defined Conception of Online Visual Creativity. New Media & Society.

Hwang, A. H.-C. (2022). Too Late to be Creative?: AI-Empowered Tools in Creative Processes. In Extended Abstracts of the 2022 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2022). [pdf]

Hwang, A. H.-C. (2022). Why or Why Not: Barriers of Adopting Generative AI in Human-AI Co-Creativity. In Generative AI & CHI Workshop at The ACM 2022 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2022).

Hwang, A. H.-C.*, Wang, C. Y.*, Yang, Y.-Y., & Won, A. S. (2021). Hide and seek: Choices of virtual backgrounds in video chats and their effects on perception. The 24th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2021). [pdf]

Hwang, A. H.-C., Sun, Y., McKee, C., & Won, A. S. (2020, March). Real or Surreal: A Pilot Study on Creative Idea Generation in MR vs. VR. In Proceedings of 2020 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (IEEE VR). [pdf] [doi]

VR and Social Presence

Hwang, A. H.-C.*, Kim, J.*, Lobo, S. N., Shu, Y., & Won, A. S. (accepted). Being there to learn: Narrative style and cross-platform comparison for 360-degree educational videos. In The 25th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2022).

Hwang, A. H.-C., Sun, Y., Tamir, N., & Won, A. S. (2020, March). Pain Experience in Social VR: Comparing Companionship from Close Others and Stranger. In Proceedings of 2020 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (IEEE VR). [pdf] [doi]

Chan, C., Hwang, A. H.-C., Sun, D., Birckhead, B., & Won, A. S. (2020, March). Minimal Embodiment: Effects of a Portable Version of a Virtual Disembodiment Experience on Fear of Death. In Proceedings of 2020 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (IEEE VR). [pdf] [doi]

Interactive Experience & User Engagement

Hwang, A. H.‐C., Oh, J., Scheinbaum, A. C. (2020). Interactive music for multisensory e‐commerce: The moderating role of online consumer involvement in experiential value, cognitive value, and purchase intention. Psychology & Marketing, 1– 26. [pdf] [doi]

Hwang, A. H.-C., & Oh, J. (2020). Interacting with background music engages E-customers more: The impact of interactive music on consumer perception and behavioral intention. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 54. [pdf] [doi]

Hwang, A. H.-C. & Oh, J. (2019, February). When Consumer Involvement Matters: The Effect of Interactive Music on Consumer Experience and Purchase Intention. In Proceedings of 2019 Winter American Marketing Association Conference (AMA). [pdf] [doi]

Hwang, A. H.-C. & Oh, J. (2018, August). Can Interactive Music Drive Your Online Shopping Cart? An Experimental Study of Consumer Engagement and Behavioral Intention. In Proceedings of 2018 American Marketing Association Conference (AMA). [pdf] [doi]

Interactive Data Visualization

Oh, J., Hwang, A. H.-C. (2021). How interactive data visualization enhances the persuasiveness of COVID-19 news stories: The mediating role of fear and the moderating role of political orientation. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media.. [doi]

Oh, J., Hwang, A. H.-C., Lim, H. Y. (2020). How Interactive Data Visualization and Users’ BMI (Body Mass Index) Influence Obesity Prevention Intentions: The Mediating Effect of Cognitive Absorption. Health Communication. [pdf] [doi]

Oh, J., Lim, H. Y., & Hwang, A. H.-C. (2021). How Interactive Storytelling Persuades: The Mediating Role of Website Contingency and Narrative Transportation. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. [pdf] [doi]



May 26 - 30, 2022

The 72nd Annual International Communication Association Conference

I will be presenting 2 papers regarding the impact of COVID interactive data visualization on the audience's health behavioral intention racial biases. I will also particiapte in this year's Doctoral Consortium at the Comm & Tech Division and speak at a key paper panel during the Human-Machine Communication Pre-Conference. See you online or in Paris!


April 30–May 5, 2022

The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2022)

I will be attending CHI virtually this year to present 2 papers and participate in 2 exciting workshops (one on Trust in human-AI team and one on Generative AI & HCI). Come chat more during the conference!


Dec 6 - 14, 2021

The 35th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS 2021)

My paper got accepted at NeurIPS! I will be attending the Human-Centered AI Workshop to share my thoughts on individuality in human-agent collaboration.


Oct 23 - 27, 2021

AI and Design Workshop

Why do architects and designers adopt AI-empowered tools (or why not)? This week, I joined the think tank with amazing researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, Technion Israeli Institute for Technology, Technical University of Munich, and Cornell Tech. I also experimented with GAN to create an AI-genereated sculpture .


Oct 23 - 27, 2021

The 24th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing

I will be presenting two papers at CSCW this year. Come chat about how you vision the future of human-machine partnerships and/or how the pandemic and Zoom have forever changed the way we work!


Oct 23, 2021

Human-Machine Partnerships in the Future of Work (Workshop at CSCW)

Joined the day-long discussion on how human-machine collaboration will change the future of work.


Sep 27, 2021

Communication Colloquium, Department of Communication

Presented my second-year project on human-bot teamwork on creative idea generation.


Sep 27, 2021

CCSS Data Science Fellowship, Cornell Center for Social Sciences

Awarded as the inaugural Data Science Fellow Cohort at Cornell Center of Social Sciences. I will start my data science consultancy services in Spring 2022. Bring along your data & stats questions to chat!


June 10, 2021

2021 XR Access Symposium

Immersing in the present and future of VR/AR/XR where the technology is built with inclusiveness and equitable innovation as its priority.


June 2 - 3, 2021

2021 Professional Development Symposium for Graduate Students at Cornell University

Reflecting on how we can build more inclusive learning environment for higher education while visioning our post-graduate career.


May 27 - 31, 2021

The 71st Annual International Communication Association Conference

Sharing our research series about how virtual background influences users' perception. Join us with your background on!


May 2021

Anson E. Rowe Award

Feeling extremely honored to be awarded as this year's promising graduate student!


May 8 - 13, 2021

The 2021 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Presented my Idea Bot project at CHI'21 and won an honorable mention! Come chat with us and check out how you can team up with a creative robot friend!