Tonya Nguyen
Photo of Tonya Nguyen
berkeley, ca

I'm a fourth year PhD student at the Berkeley School of Information, advised by Professor Niloufar Salehi. My research centers around these research questions: How can we better coordinate and work together at scale, and when is it a good idea to not scale? How can we create computational systems and tools that embody values that are beneficial to our society? How can understanding longstanding traditions of social science inform the ways in which we craft sociotechnical systems and policies? More broadly, I am interested in human-computer interaction, social computing, public interest technology, new media, prefigurative politics, organizational behavior, and Du Boisian sociology.

In another life, I researched task design, organizational behavior, and team viability with Dr. Mark Whiting and Professor Michael Bernstein at Stanford HCI, built chatbots to understand how listening and talking to an AI can lead to more instances of self-disclosure, and drove the design direction of UC Berkeley's largest non-partisan political magazine.

My research career began at UC Berkeley, where I earned an interdisciplinary major in Computer Science, Interaction Design, and Critical Theory. I am lucky to have been involved with the Berkeley Basic Needs Center, Innovative Design, ASUC OCTO, and Barbell at Berkeley.

In other contexts, I enjoy rollerblading, yoga, and snowboarding! I love being outside, and I try to soak up as many photons as I possibly can. 🥺 👉 👈 Talk to me about all things design, psychology & meditation, and how music embodies our cultural zeitgeist!

Implications of Conversational Artificial Intelligence →
Tonya Nguyen, Niloufar Salehi
#FairArtificalIntelligence, CHI 2020

10/17/22 – Facilitated and co-organized "Who Has an Interest in Public Interest Technology?": Critical Questions for Working with Local Governments & Impacted Communities, a workshop at CSCW 2022.

09/22/22 – Gave a talk about Democratic Engagement and Procedural Justice in Algorithmic School Assignment at Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness, in Washington, DC

09/21/22 – Awarded Meta Resarch Grant for Fairness in Two-Sided Markets: "Community-centered design of school assignment mechanisms for equity"

01/01/22 – Awarded Grant from the National Science Foundation on "DASS: Legally & Locally Legitimate: Designing & Evaluating Software Systems to Advance Equal Opportunity"

01/01/21 – Earned the Center for Technology, Society, and Policy Fellowship for 2021


My—non-research related—projects.

Transportation & Wearable Design
Dérivé: Shoes Your Own Adventure →
Dérivé is a dynamic mode of discovery that lights the path to an adventure. My roles in this project included protoyping, wireframing, Arduino programming, and mobile app product design.
Wearable Design for Stress Relief, Grounding Practices Instant Groundification → is an interactive bracelet that mediates grounding practices for relaxation and bodily awareness to ground users during stressful times. My roles in this project included literature review, programming, industrial design, and prototyping.
Protest Design, Public Art Installation
Hidden Systems: Black Box Ethics →
Heuristic Algorithm is an exploration of hidden mechanisms with the visual metaphor of a black box. My roles in this project included concept generation, programming, and prototyping.