Na Sun Ph.D. candidate | College of Information Sciences and Technology
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Na Sun, Ph.D. candidate

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Na Sun
  • IST Ph.D. Student (Adviser: Mary Beth Rosson, Cohort: Fall 2013)

  • 2009-2013 B.S. Computer Science, East China Normal Unversity


Na is a fifth year PhD candidate in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State University, under the supervision of Dr. Mary Beth Rosson in the Human Computer Interaction Lab. Her dissertation focus is online community building for distance learners in lieu of enhancing students' identity and ties visibility. In particular, she explored the social needs and practices to connect online students beyond class-encounters using visualizations. More generally, she is interested in social computing research that aims to enhance social connectedness and promote open education opportunities. In practice, Ms. Sun is also a leading practitioner for fostering a community that facilitates interdisciplinary collaborations: in Fall 2016, she served as the president of Innovation and Interdisciplinary Collaboration Community. She is also a member of IEEE, ACM SIGCHI, ISLS, IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) and Computing Research Association-Women (CRA-W).

Before joining Penn State, Na Sun graduated from East China Normal University with a bachelor degree in computer science. She was employed as research intern at a non-profit organization CanAssist in Canada during her college years, and also worked as a research intern in a crowdsourcing project at the Research and Technology Center of Bosch. In the past summer, she was employed as a visiting scholar at INSA Lyon for an emotion-related research project.

Research Interests:

Human Computer Interaction, Computer Supported Collaborative Work/Learning, Community Building, Online Education

  • Sun, N., Rosson, M. B. & Carroll, J. M. Where is Community Among Online Learners? Identity, Efficacy and Personal Ties. Proceedings of the 36th annual ACM conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI 2018). Montreal, Canada [Accepted]
  • Sun, N. & Rosson, M. B. (2017). Finding the Community in Online Education: It’s in the Instructors’ Eyes. Proceedings of the International Conference of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL 2017). Philadelphia, PA, US 
  • Sun, N. & Rosson, M. B. (2017). Connection Enablers in Online Learning Community: From Informative Online Personae to Meaningful Social Space. Extended Abstract. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) Companion, Portland, OR, USA 
  • Sun, N. & Rosson, M. B. (2017). Enhancing Visibility of Distance Learners To Promote Community. Doctoral Abstract. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) Companion, Portland, OR, USA, Timisoara, Romania 
  • Sun, N. (2016). Enhancing Visibility of Distance Learners To Promote Sense Of Community. Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Supporting Group Work, Sanibel Island, FL, USA 
  • Sun, N., Beck, J., Wang, X.Y. & Rosson, M. B. (2018) Designing to Connect Online Learners with Knowledge of their Peers (under review)
  • Sun, N., Chien-Wen Yuan, Rosson, M. B., Carroll J. M., & Wu, Y. (2017). Critical Thinking in Collaboration: Structure and Activity Awareness. Extended Abstract (Late Breaking Work). Proceedings of the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Denver, CO, USA 
  • Sun, N., Yuan, C. W., Rosson, M. B., Wu, Y. & Carroll J. M. (2017, July). Critical Thinker: Supporting Collaborative Argumentation with Structure and Awareness. Proceedings of Advanced Learning Technologies IEEE 17th International Conference (ICALT 2017), Timisoara, Romania 
  • Zhou, X. Y., Sun, N., Sherony, N. (2016). The Effect of Modality in Cross-valence Conditions. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (ICA 2016). Fukuoka, Japan