Photo of Ning Ma


IST Ph.D. Student
Graduate Adviser
Benjamin Hanrahan
Graduate Cohort

I am a Ph.D. 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.