Debaleena Chattopadhyay, Ph.D.


I am a computer scientist turned human-computer interaction researcher.

I like to make that distinction because I never thought of “users” during my years of training as an engineer. I would build things—and that was it. Did anyone use it? How was their experience? Could their experience be better? These questions never crossed my mind.

So I have spent the last decade asking those questions—and continue to think about them. Computers keep awing us with their prowess every day. But how will people use them? How will people benefit from them? How will society, culture, economy, and policies change because of them? How will we change? I ask these questions in my work—currently focusing on the design of mobile user interfaces and technology for older adults.

I believe good design creates better experiences that can ultimately change people’s behavior.

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Meet my Team

As a faculty in the Computer Science department at the University of Illinois Chicago, I work with a talented bunch of Ph.D. students. Read more about their work on my Google Scholar.

More details about my research are in my full academic CV.

Pantea Habibi

Examining lateral asymmetry in mid-air, touchless interactions, and how it affects user experience

Hasti Sharifi

Investigating how to help seniors give and get mobile technology support just in time

Nina Sakhnini

Designing virtual humans for human-in-loop mental health assessments and interventions

Ian P. Swift

Studying how the use of foundation models aligns/conflicts with human goals, values, and preferences


Mattia Chiarle, MS (LinkedIn)

Ja Eun Yu, Ph.D. (LinkedIn)

Ramkiran Chevendra, MS (LinkedIn)

Debkanaya Mazumdar, MS (LinkedIn)

What's New?

June 2024

Hasti’s paper on developing and evaluating the Mobile Tech Support Questionnaire  (MTSQ) for Older Adults was conditionally accepted at ASSETS 2024.

May 2024

I was awarded the 2024 UIC College of Engineering Teaching Award. This is my second teaching award at UIC and I am dedicating it to all my past, present, and future students. That spark in your eyes when you finally grasp a complex idea is what keeps my faith in the future.

March 2024

I was awarded a pilot grant from the UIC Center for Health Equity in Cognitive Aging, a National Institute of Aging Resource Center for Minority Aging Research.

March 2024

Pantea’s work on design requirements for human-centered GNN explanations, in collaboration with Prof. Sourav Medya’s lab has been accepted at the HCXAI workshop at CHI 2024.

March 2024

Ian’s work on generative AI tools in creative work has been invited for a presentation at the GenAICHI workshop at CHI 2024.

February 2024

Ja Eun successfully defended her Ph.D. Congratulations, Dr. Ja Eun Yu!

January 2024

Ja Eun’s paper shows that reducing the search space on demand helps older adults find mobile UI features quickly (conditionally accepted at ACM CHI 2024).

June 2023

Hasti’s paper on modeling senior technology learning preferences was accepted at the MobileHCI conference.

April 2023

Ja Eun was awarded the College of Engineering Graduate Student Award for Exceptional Research Promise.

February 2023

Hasti’s paper discussing a cross-cultural study of relational maintenance in tech caregiving was accepted as an LBW at the ACM CHI conference.

January 2023

Hasti successfully defended her prelims proposal.

January 2023

Ja Eun’s paper on making feature-rich mobile UIs accessible to older users was accepted at the ACM CHI conference.

January 2023

I am teaching CS 594, UX research methods in Spring. Enrollment is capped at 40.

December 2022

Ja Eun successfully defended her prelims proposal.

September 2022

Pantea successfully defended her prelims proposal.

August 2022

I am teaching CS 422, UI design and development, this Fall. Enrollment is capped at 61.

May 2022

Nina’s paper reviewing smartphone fact-checking apps was accepted at the ACM MobileHCI conference.