profile photo

🍑 Tao Long (he/him)

Hi, I'm a second-year Computer Science PhD student at Columbia University, with a focus on human-computer interaction (HCI). I'm fortunate to be advised by Professor Lydia Chilton and part of the ♔ Columbia HCI and ♔ Columbia VIGR

My research focuses on making generative AI models more usable, useful, and well-integrated into our everyday workflows. Thus, I build multimodal AI productivity & creativity support tools (yeee🤠!!) Specifically, I design and build co-creative workflows and systems using large language models (LLMs) and text-to-image models in the context of workspaces :) Before my PhD, I earned my two bachelors with Summa Cum Laude from Cornell University in 2022, which unlocked the doors to research and teaching for me. For more info, please refer to my   Curriculum Vitae  (02/2024)  

long@cs.columbia.edu

please reach out! happy to talk & help out in any way i can 🧡

News

Below is a list of recent updates, which admittedly focuses on good news. However, I think it's also important to share *bad news*, to normalize sadness, vulnerabilities, rejections, and failures :) While it's far from perfect, you can check some of my thoughts on this other side of the mood blog. If you want, I'm happy to chat! (idea from the amazing Jane Im)

See More

Nov 2023

running this year's PhD Pre-submission Application Review (PAR) Program for the Columbia CS department! please apply!

Oct 2023

attended CSCW 2023 ✈ in Minneapolis, MN and UIST 2023 ✈ in San Fransico, CA!! Thanks Lydia and SIGCHI Gary Marsden Travel Awards!

Sep 2023

got selected for the 2023b cohort of Google's CS research mentorship program (CSRMP)✨

Jul 2023

headed to 5 concerts during the summer: twice, blackpink, beyoncé, ive, and helped run the taiwanese waves concert in central park 🍃🎤🎵👩‍🎤🎧🎆🗽

Jun 2023

happy pride & won a free ice cream for my kpop dance cover; attended HCIC 2023 ✈ in Delavan, WI and ICCC 2023 ✈ in Toronto, ON 🧀️⛲️🐄🇨🇦🍁🗼🖼️

May 2023

became a mentor for undergraduate research experiences in mathematical modeling (CSUREMM)

Apr 2023

new paper alert x2! our papers on gen AI for science communication and design for virtual Cyberball are accepted :)

Mar 2023

attended AAAI 2023 ✈ in Washington D.C. and CRA-WP IDEALS ✈ in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi 🏄🏖️🌊🌺🍹🐬🌋

Jan 2023

new paper alerts x2! our papers on social dynamics of AI support and alexa design challenges are accepted and awarded $1500 funding!

Jan 2023

happy new year and happy lunar new year! sent from Nairobi, Kenya 🦓🦌🦒🐆🐗🦩🇰🇪

Dec 2022

our paper on digital tools for asylum seekers is accepted and appeared cornell chronicle; volunteered at CSCW 2022 and EMNLP 2022

Nov 2022

got featured on columbia cs department website: Voices of CS: Tao Long and selected for the 2023 CRA-WP grad cohort workshop for IDEALS!

Oct 2022

got selected as a kraft global fellow by the office of university chaplain and kraft family fund!

Sep 2022

started my PhD at columbia cs with amazing Lydia Chilton!

May 2022

got selected as the recipient of the Anson H. Rowe Award, the highest department award! $3500!

Apr 2022

dade the decision to join columbia cs finally, and my announcement tweet got shared by cornell cis!

Mar 2022

our project collaborated with cornell law and weill cornell medicine is on cornell chronicle! volunteered at TEI 2022

Dec 2021

received a huge grad school application scholarship provided by oSTEM and Queer in AI! Thank you!

Research

My Info/Sci and Communication background made me understand that technology has both communicative capacity and responsibility. Therefore, as designers and developers, we should speak, design, and build for those who can't. As a junior PhD, I am more than eager to learn and join exciting HCI/AI projects. Don't hesitate to reach out for collab :D

An overview of Generative Disco, a generative AI system that facilitates text-to-video generation for music visualization using a large language model and a text-to-image model.

Not Just Novelty: A Longitudinal Study on Utility and Customization of AI Workflows

Tao Long, Katy Gero, Lydia Chilton

 arXiv 2024 Generative AI workflows solve real and complex problems by chaining AI outputs together with human interaction. However, it's uncertain how useful they are after novelty wears off and whether users take advantage of the potential for customization. THus, a study with 12 users over three weeks found a 4.3-session familiarization phase. Post-familiarization, perceived system usefulness increases notably, driven by user customization of workflows. This suggests a future where AI systems can be tailored to individual needs, enabling design for appropriation.

     PDF       


An overview of Generative Disco, a generative AI system that facilitates text-to-video generation for music visualization using a large language model and a text-to-image model.

Generative Disco: Text-to-Video for Music Visualization

Vivian Liu, Tao Long, Nathan Raw, Lydia Chilton

 arXiv 2024  Visuals enhance our music experience while existing text-to-video tools produce uncanny ones. Our system, Generative Disco, helps generate music visualizations with start and end prompts and design patterns (transition and holds) using LLMs and text-to-image models. With robust user control to mitigate the uncanny, professionals found the system enjoyable, easy to explore, and highly expressive.

     PDF            Video            Tweetorial           Code           Demo           BibTeX      


Still screenshots of a news reel created with ReelFramer in the user study.

ReelFramer: Co-creating News Reels on Social Media with Generative AI

Sitong Wang, Samia Menon, Tao Long, Keren Henderson, Dingzeyu Li, Kevin Crowston, Mark Hansen, Jeffrey Nickerson, Lydia Chilton

 CHI 2024  News outlets struggle to create news reels that match the style of TikTok. Our system, ReelFramer, uses LLMs and text-to-image models to help journalists explore framings, generate scripts, character boards, and storyboards. Our user study and co-design workshop found it eases the burden of writing, makes the process rewarding, and generates informative and entertaining end results.

     PDF            Video            Tweetorial           BibTeX      


a paper-folded bird is flying. along with the texts: TechTweets: The art of explaining science on social media. Having expertise is one thing. Explaining it is another. At TechTweets, we’re developing online learning tools to help you share your expertise in explanatory Twitter threads, or Tweetorials.

Tweetorial Hooks: Generative AI Tools to Motivate Science on Social Media

Tao Long, Dorothy Zhang, Grace Li, Batool Taraif, Samia Menon, Kynnedy Smith, Sitong Wang, Katy Gero, Lydia Chilton

 ICCC 2023  Tweetorials are popular, but STEM experts struggle to make them engaging. Our system, HookIncubator, utilizes scaffolding and AI chaining with LLMs for co-creating compelling hooks. Our evaluation indicates reduced cognitive load and well-supported science contextualization. Users edits LLM outputs for personal style and clarity, enhancing ownership and motivating more readers.

     PDF            Video            Project           Code           Demo           BibTeX      


three table presenting our findings about AI writing tool users' desires, perception, and values. Each code listed underneath its category, where each category has a color and each code has an associated icon.

Social Dynamics of AI Support in Creative Writing

Katy Gero, Tao Long, Lydia Chilton

 CHI 2023  To address the lack of work considering the social-technical gap that LLMs poses on writers, we discover three elements that govern a writer’s interaction with support actors: [1] what writers desire help with (motivation, planning, translating, reviewing) and [2] how writers perceive potential support actors (availability, individuality, trust) and [3] the values writers hold (intention, authenticity, creativity).

     PDF            Video            Tweetorial           Press           BibTeX      


a table presenting a synthesis on existing VUI design guidelines, there are three layers: theme, subtheme, and example quotes from the existing literature.

Challenges and Opportunities for the Design of Smart Speakers

Tao Long, Lydia B. Chilton

 AAAI AI4Home 2023  VUIs have opened up many new types of interaction, while they are still underused. We identify opportunity spaces for designers and developers to explore such as focusing on 1) information support while multitasking (cooking, driving, childcare, etc), 2) incorporating users’ mental models, and 3) integrating calm design principles.

     PDF            Video            BibTeX      


the six screenshots presents the storyboards for each scenes in the cyberball prototype, there are welcome message scene, avatar customization scene, save avatar scene, exclusive game scene, inclusive game scene, and a finish message scene.

Perspectives from Naive Participants and Social Scientists on Addressing Embodiment in a Virtual Cyberball Task

Tao Long, Swati Pandita, Andrea Won

 CSCW 2023 EA  To address the lack of research on UCD methodologies for social science paradigms, we identify shared considerations and disagreements between naive participants and experienced researchers for future systems: 1) intuitiveness, 2) inclusivity, 3) minimalism.

     PDF            Code           Funding 1           Funding 2           BibTeX      


a screenshot of a running website prototype for immigrants to find health information online.

Multistakeholder Perspectives on Digital Tools for U.S. Asylum Applicants Seeking Healthcare and Legal Information

Aparajita Bhandari, Diana Freed, Tara Pilato, Faten Taki, Gunisha Kaur, Stephen Yale-Loehr, Jane Powers, Tao Long, Natalie Bazarova

 CSCW 2022  A lack of information for asylum applicants negatively impacts their healthcare engagement. We identify four challenges for immigrants using current digital tools: lack of information, inaccessibility, emotional barriers, and lack of cultural sensitivity. The study recommends multiple stakeholders' perspectives when designing future tools.

     PDF            Video            Project           Press 1          Press 2          Press 3           BibTeX      


Teaching & Services

My passion for teaching and socially impactful research significantly contributes to my decision to pursue a PhD and (possibly) an academic career in Computer Science. For the sake of intersectionality, I always remind myself that I am indeed a privileged person along my journey. It helps me rethink myself, my role, and my responsibilities in better helping others with the resources I have. Always eager to contribute to new initiatives ;)

SP 2024

COMS 4170: User Interface Design

FA 2023

COMS 6998: Advanced Web Design Studio

FA 2022

COMS 6998: Advanced Web Design Studio

SP 2022

INFO 4400: Qualitative User Research and Design Methods

FA 2021

INFO 3450: Human-Computer Interaction Design

SP 2021

INFO 2300: Intermediate Design and Programming for Web



Conference Organizer @

CHI 2024 Late-Breaking Work Program Committee & Area Chair, UIST 2024 Web Chair

Conference Reviewer @

CHI 2024 (🏅️ Outstanding Reviews ), TEI 2024, CSCW 2024, CSCW 2023 EA, CHI PLAY 2023 EA

Conference Volunteer @

CSCW 2023, CHI 2023, EMNLP 2022, CSCW 2022, TEI 2022

Panelist @

Teachers' Lounge | Teaching with AI: Notes from the Frontline. Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning. New York, NY, Nov 9, 2023

Panelist @

Charting Your Course: Exploring Careers in Math, Applied Math, and Computer Science.CSUREMM Program. New York, NY, Jun 27, 2023

Panelist @

UX Research Alumni Career Panel. Cornell University INFO 4400 Class. Ithaca, NY, May 27, 2023



Co-Organizer @

qSTEM at Columbia University   (linktree)

Co-Organizer @

Pre-Application Review Program for PhD Applicants   (video)   (news)

Mentor @

Columbia Undergraduate Research Experiences in Mathematical Modeling (CSUREMM) Program

Mentor @

Women in Science at Columbia (WISC) Undergraduate Mentoring Program

Fellow @

Social Justice Mini-Grant Grantee & Recipient (PI, $1500) University Life and Columbia University   (grantee profile)

Fellow @

Lead Teaching Fellow at Columbia University Center for Teaching and Learning

Fellow @

Kraft Global Fellow at Kraft Family Fund and Columbia University   (news)

Fellow @

CRA Grad Cohort for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Leadership Skills (CRA-IDEALS)

Awardee @

PhD Service Award at Columnbia University   (news)

Member @

Queer in AI & Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM)

Undergrad Member @

Grad Students for Gender Inclusion in Computing at Cornell University

Undergrad Worker @

Technical Project Coordinator at Cornell Information Technologies

Undergrad Worker @

Café Jennie at Cornell University



📍for the latest and cutest details, please check my  CV :)  


Miscs

Music Blog (my annual music time is 85,000+ min)

Travel Blog (escape ithaca/NYC once a month!)
  • 2nd year phd in the big apple...
    • [02/2024] Palo Alto, CA (havent been with my family for lunar new year for 6 years!)
    • [01/2024] Palo Alto, CA
    • [12/2023] Miami, FL + Caribbean Sea (family vacay! cruise!)
    • [11/2023] San Francisco, CA (uist 23!)
    • [10/2023] Minneapolis, MN (cscw 23!)
    • [07-09/2023] NYC SAD! I miss traveling :(
    • [06/2023] Delavan, WI (hcic 23!) & Waterloo, ON (iccc 23 virtual...thank u! amazing Canada visa officers🕯️RIP)
  • 1st year phd in the big apple...
    • [05/2023] Durham, NC
    • [04/2023] Manassas, VA (chi 23 virtual...)
    • [03/2023] Honolulu, Hawaiʻi (cra ideals 23!)
    • [02/2023] Washington, DC (aaai 23!)
    • [01/2023] Nairobi, Kenya (kraft global fellow)
    • [12/2022] Manassas, VA
    • [11/2022] Pittsburgh, PA (cscw 22 virtual...)
    • [10/2022] Raleigh, NC
    • [09/2022] Miami, FL (gaga concert!)
    • [08/2022] Palo Alto, CA (family reunion!)
    • [07/2022] Ithaca, NY
    • [06/2022] Manassas, VA
  • senior year in ithaca...
    • [05/2022] New York, NY (my graduation!)
    • [04/2022] Miami, FL
    • [03/2022] Chicago, IL
    • [02/2022] New York, NY
    • [01/2022] Washington, DC
    • [12/2021] Manassas, VA
    • [11/2021] Boston, MA
    • [10/2021] Winston-Salem, NC
    • [09/2021] New York, NY
    • [08/2021] Gainesville, VA
    • [07/2021] Washington, DC (July 4 fireworks!)
    • [06/2021] New York, NY
Foodie Blog (see @dr_dietcoke)
Mood Blog (see this doc)
Dance Blog (kpop cover dance!)
@iamtaolong 💖wonyoung in the studio #ive #wonyoung #elevenchallenge #nyc #phdstudent ♬ original sound - taotao
@iamtaolong 💚wonyoung in the office #ive #wonyoung #afterlikechallenge #nyc #phdstudent ♬ original sound - taotao