Lu Xiao
Associate Professor
North Campus Building Room 256
Phone: 519-661-2111 x88507

University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5B7
Fax: 519-661-3506

I am primarily interested in understanding the effects of different kinds of shared information in the group activities, and supporting information sharing tasks that improve the activities. For instance, I designed a new way of displaying exchanged messages in an instant messaging environment, a navigation mechanism to organize shared group documents based on their location-related information, and a virtual group workspace to arrange the shared documents and rationales according to a design case structure. Nonetheless, I am mostly interested in the reasoning and argumentation processes in these activities. Together with my students and my collaborators, our current focus is to develop computational tools for automatic detection of the information that helps reveal the reasoning and argumentation in the online interactions. Most recent papers are presented at ACL 2014 workshops: Argumentation Mining and Computational Approaches to Subjectivity, Sentiment & Social Media Analysis (WASSA), International Conference on Semantic Computing 2015 (ICSC), and EMNLP 2015 workshop - Computational Semantics: Linking Lexical, Sentential and Discourse-level Models.

Two other research areas that I have started to explore are digital humanities and visual analytics. I have been taking a participatory design approach in developing a digital environment that offers visual analytics tools along with others to contribute to human rights remembrance, education, and research. Our first visual analytics prototype is available at YouTube. A detailed discussion of the tool development is available here We are also developing visual analytic tools for examining Wikipedia's Article for Deletion (AfD) discussion content. Please check out one of our recent tools here

Library and its role in the society are experiencing a lot of changes nowadays. My last but not the least research interest is related to the development and evaluation of innovative literacy programs offered at the libraries. I am especially interested in the programs that are for parents and school aged children. Our research group has been developing a mathematics workshop model since 2013. We implemented it through a series of workshops in two major cities in China and Canada. The workshops invite parents and their children engage in mathematics activities and design activities. A iConference note described our video analysis of the workshops. We are also working on the revision of our manuscript for the workshop model for a library journal.

Please check out my research lab's web site for details of our research projects~ Human-Information Interaction Research Lab


I teach Database Management Systems (LIS9731), Human-Computer Interaction (LIS9706), Web Usability (LIS9724), Programming for Library and Information Sciences (LIS9741), and Research Methods and Statistics(LIS9004).