Ning Ma | College of Information Sciences and Technology
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Ning Ma

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  • IST Ph.D. Student (Adviser: Benjamin Hanrahan, Cohort: Fall 2017)


I am a PhD student in the Information Science and Technology department (IST) at the Penn State University. My areas of research are Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). I am working with Dr. Ben Hanrahan at User Agency Lab. Prior to my PhD study, I did one year of master studies at IST. I have achieved my bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Concordia University Wisconsin. During 2013 - 2015, I worked as a Loan Underwriter at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. This experience lead my research interest in work practices that are mediated by algorithm management.

Research Interests:

My research interest lies in exploring how human experience can be advanced through algorithm interventions. I have spent much attention in on-demand platforms like Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT) and Uber to understand and design for worker practices on these platforms. I am passionate about studying novel ways to understand the barriers workers face and their benefits and risks on such platforms, so that I can design and evaluate interactive technologies to inform an equitable workplace that empowers workers’ stakes through exploration of their lived experience. Currently, I am in the process of developing an Uber driver tool, aimed at building bridge in understandings between driver and rider, where they can share perspectives as human beings. I am closely looking for internships in User Experience researches that investigate algorithmic management of human activities.


Ning F Ma, Chien Wen Yuan, Moojan Ghafurian, and Benjamin V Hanrahan. 2018. Using Stakeholder Theory to Examine Drivers’ Stake in Uber. Proceedings of the 36th annual ACM conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI 2018). Montreal, Canada. [accepted]

Johnna Blair, Yuhan Luo, Ning F Ma, Sooyeon Lee, and Eun Kyoung Choe. 2018. OneNote Meal: A Photo-Based Diary Study for Reflective Meal Tracking. Proceedings of ACM conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS 2018). Hong Kong, China. [under review]

Benjamin V Hanrahan, Ning F Ma, and Chien Wen Yuan. (2017). The Roots of Bias on Uber. In Proceedings of 15th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work-Exploratory Papers. European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies (EUSSET).