Tonya Nguyen

I'm a first-year PhD student at the Berkeley School of Information, advised by Professor Niloufar Salehi. My research is in the field of human-computer interaction and social computing. I'm passionate about democratizing virtual spaces, designing fairer and more equitable AI, and developing technical systems that enable political participation and social wellbeing.

In the past, I researched task design and team viability 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.

I graduated from UC Berkeley, where I curated an interdisciplinary major in Computer Science, Design, and Critical Theory. For my undergraduate thesis, I wrote about how online affordances and algorithmic curation within ethnic-based, virtual counterpublics enable the emergence of diasporic identity work. I also taught UC Berkeley's Beyond Design Thinking DeCal and served as head TA of Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction Design. I am lucky to also have been involved with Innovative Design, ASUC OCTO, and Barbell at Berkeley.

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Research
Currently
updated 03/15/21

Researching
  • How technology plays a role in community resilience and mutual aid networks
  • How to engage under-served communities in the process of school assignment algorithm design and policy

Learning
  • How to make the best home-made latte + milk tea
  • How to longboard
  • About abolitionism and resistance!

Reading