About Me

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I'm a PhD student in Information Science at Cornell University where I am advised by Dr. Sue Fussell. Previously, I was a researcher at the ROCHCI lab, primarily working with Dr. Ehsan Hoque. I have a B.S in Computer Science from the University of Rochester.

I am interested understanding human behavior through quantative and qualitative approaches and develop systems for effective behavioral change. My main areas of interest are in HCI and AI.

Most notably, I codeveloped RocSpeak, a platform that allows people to practice public speaking online and get both objective and subjective feedback by leveraging audiovisual signals, machine learning, and the crowd. The system has been featured in Microsoft Research , MIT Tech Review, Design Indaba, etc.

ROC Speak
Iterative Training Driven by Crowd
Collaboration Coach
ROC Comment
Interview Assessement (In collaboration with ETS)
WikiVisualizer for Blackboard

Samiha Samrose*, Ru Zhao*, Jeffrey White, Vivian Li, Luis Nova, Yichen Lu, M. Ehsan Hoque, CoCo: Collaboration Coach for Understanding Team Dynamics during Video Conferencing , PACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies. (IMWUT - UbiComp), October, 2018. *equal contribution

Lei Chen, Ru Zhao, Blair Lehman, Chee Wee Leong, Gary Feng, M. Ehsan Hoque, Automated Video Judgement on a Large-Sized Corpus Collected Online , 7th Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII), October, 2017. [Best Paper Nomination]

Ru Zhao, Vivian Li , Hugo Barbosa, Gourab Ghoshal, M. Ehsan Hoque, A Semi-Automated, Collaborative, and Online Training Module for Communication Skills , PACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies. (IMWUT - UbiComp), September, 2017.

Iftekhar Tanveer, Ru Zhao, M. Ehsan Hoque, Automatic Identification of Non-Meaningful Body-Movements and What It Reveals About Humans , 2017. [arXiv]

Iftekhar Tanveer, Ru Zhao, Kezhen Chen, Zoe Tiet, M. Ehsan Hoque, AutoManner: An Automated Interface for Making Public Speakers Aware of Their Mannerisms , Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI), April, 2016. 

M. Rafayet Ali, Facundo Ciano, Ru Zhao, Iftekhar Naim, M. Ehsan Hoque, ROC Comment: Automated Descriptive and Subjective Captioning of Behavioral Videos , Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp), September, 2016.

Michelle Fung, Yina Jin, Ru Zhao, M. Ehsan Hoque, ROC Speak: Semi-Automated Personalized Feedback on Nonverbal Behavior from Recorded Videos, Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp), September 2015.

Ru Zhao, Alistair Kwan, Wiki Visualizer for Blackboard , demoed at the University of Rochester IT Department, Aug 2013. [Poster Demo]

Graduate TA at Cornell University
Aug 2017 – Dec 2017
INFO/CS 1300 Introductory Design and Programming for the Web (Fall'17, Dr. Kyle Harms)
Research Assistant in the HCI Lab at Univ. of Rochester
Aug 2014 – Jun 2017
Research ways to understand human behaviors and design human computer interactions that induce positive behavioral change. Collaborated with corporations such as Educational Testing Services (ETS) and ICIC bank of India.
TA & Workshop Leader at Univ. of Rochester
Jan 2013 – Jun 2016
Courses: Science of Programming (Fall'13, Dr. Ted Pawlicki), Data Structures (Fall'13, Dr. Chris Brown), Human-Computer Interaction (Fall'14, Fall'15, Dr. Ehsan Hoque), and Interactive Machine Learning (Spring'16, Dr. Ehsan Hoque).
App Developer for IT and CETL at Univ. of Rochester
Jun 2013 – Dec 2013
Develop an application for analyzing wiki data from blackboard for the IT and CETL (Center of Excellence in Teaching and Learning) department. Advised by director of CETL Dr. Alistair Kwan (now at University of Auckland).

I enjoy tennis, biking, video games and theater. Currently I am learning swing dancing at the university swing dance club and attending local swing dancing events at Grooves Juice.