About us

The HCI-VIS Lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst conducts both fundamental and applied research at the intersection of HCI and Visualization. The mission of our Lab is to augment the abilities of individuals and groups to understand data and solve complex problems. We develop novel visualization and interaction techniques to facilitate data analysis, communication, and exploration. Additionally, we build community-centered tools to address real-world sociotechnical problems in domains such as civics and healthcare.

Focus & Excellence

The lab focuses its research on socially impactful technologies and techniques that include marginalized perspectives and empower data-informed decision-making. We value interdisciplinary work and utilize human-centered methods to understand people and design for them.


We strive to build an inclusive and human-centered environment where we value everyone’s unique properties, values, orientations towards meeting excellence in research. We commit to building a supportive and healthy community where we help each other by providing continuous feedback for improvements, participating in active collaboration and research, and celebrating our achievements.

Recent Publications

Beyond Text and Speech in Conversational Agents: Mapping the Design Space of Avatars. Mashrur Rashik, Mahmood Jasim, Kostiantyn Kucher, Ali Sarvghad, Narges Mahyar
ACM DIS 2024

From Information to Choose: A Critical Inquiry Into Visualization Tools for Decision Making. Emre Oral, Ria Chawla, Michel Wijkstra, Narges Mahyar, Evanthia Dimara
IEEE VIS 2023PDFPreprint

CommunityClick-Virtual: Multi-Modal Interactions for Enhancing Participation in Virtual Meetings. Mahmood Jasim, Ali Sarvghad, Narges Mahyar

Unveiling Insights: Surfacing Fine-Grained Discourse Acts in Short Free-Form Public Input Text through Visual Analytics. Mahmood Jasim, Mohit Iyyer, Narges Mahyar

Bridging the Divide: Promoting Serendipitous Discovery of Opposing Viewpoints with Visual Analytics in Social Media. Mahmood Jasim, Mumtaz Fatima, Sagarika Ramesh Sonni, Narges Mahyar

Investigating the Visual Utility of Differentially Private Scatterplots. Liudas Panavas, Tarik Crnovrsanin, Jane Adams, Johnathan Ullman, Ali Sarvghad, Melanie Tory, Cody Dunne
TVCG 2023PDFPreprint

Building Community Resiliency through Immersive Communal Extended Reality (CXR). Sharon Yavo-Ayalon, Swapna Joshi, Yuzhen (Adam) Zhang, Ruixiang (Albert) Han, Narges Mahyar, Wendy Ju
MDPI Multimodal Technologies and Interaction 2023PDFPaper | Video

Who Do We Mean When We Talk About Visualization Novices? Alyxander Burns, Christiana Lee, Ria Chawla, Evan Peck, and Narges Mahyar
CHI 2023 PDF Paper | Talk

Exploring how Data Scientists Review Scholarly Literature. Sheshera Mysore, Mahmood Jasim, Haoru Song, Sarah Akbar, Andre Kenneth Chase Randall and Narges Mahyar
CHIIR 2023

CommunityBots: Creating and Evaluating A Multi-Agent Chatbot Platform for Public Input Elicitation. Zhiqiu JiangMashrur Rashik, Kunjal Panchal, Mahmood Jasim, Ali Sarvghad, Pari Riahi, Erica DeWitt, Fey Thurber, Narges Mahyar
CSCW 2023 Paper

From Invisible to Visible: Impacts of Metadata in Communicative Data Visualization. Alyxander Burns, Thai On, Christiana Lee, Cindy Xiong, Evan Peck, Narges Mahyar
TVCG 2022 Paper

Mapping Instability: The Effects of the Pandemic on the Civic Life of a Small Town. Erica Dewitt, Zhiqiu Jiang, Mashrur Rashik, Kunjal Panchal, Mahmood Jasim, Fey Thurber, Cami Quinteros, Ali Sarvghad, Narges Mahyar, and Pari Riahi
AMPS proceeding Series 2022 Paper

Of Course it’s Political! A Critical Inquiry into Underemphasized Dimensions in Civic Text Visualization. Eric PS Baumer, Mahmood Jasim, Ali Sarvghad, and Narges Mahyar
EuroVis 2022 Paper

ClioQuery: Interactive QueryOriented Text Analytics for Comprehensive Investigation of Historical News Archives. Abram Handler, Narges Mahyar and Brendan O’Connor
TiiS 2022 Paper

Scientometric Analysis of Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Gender Trends in 30 Years of IEEE VIS Publications. Ali Sarvghad, Rolando Franqui-Nadal, Rebecca Reznik-Zellen, Ria Chawla and Narges Mahyar
IEEE TVCG 2022 Paper

Supporting Serendipitous Discovery and Balanced Analysis of Online Product Reviews with Interaction-Driven Metrics and Bias-Mitigating Suggestions. Mahmood Jasim, Christopher Collins, Ali Sarvghad and Narges Mahyar
CHI 2022 Paper

Investigating Perceptual Biases in Icon Arrays. Cindy Xiong, Ali Sarvghad, Cagatay Demirlap, Jake M. Hofman, Deniel G. Goldstien
CHI 2022 Paper

A Framework for Open Civic Design: Integrating Public Participation, Crowdsourcing, and Design Thinking. Brandon Reynante, Steven P. Dow, and Narges Mahyar
ACM Journal for Digital Government 2021

Designing with Pictographs: Envision Topics without Sacrificing Understanding. Alyxander Burns, Cindy Xiong, Steven Franconeri, Alberto Cairo, and Narges Mahyar
TVCG 2021

RisingEMOTIONS: Bridging Art and Technology to Increase Public Engagement with Climate Change. Carolina Aragón, Mahmood Jasim, and Narges Mahyar
C&C 2021

CommunityPulse: Facilitating Community Input Analysis by Surfacing Hidden Insights, Reflections, and Priorities. Mahmood Jasim, Enamul Hoque, Ali Sarvghad, and Narges Mahyar
DIS 2021

CommunityClick: Capturing and Reporting Community Feedback from Town Halls to Improve Inclusivity
Mahmood Jasim, Pooya Khaloo, Somin Wadhwa, Amy X. Zhang, Ali Sarvghad, and Narges Mahyar.
CSCW 2020

Designing Technology for Sociotechnical Problems: Challenges & Considerations
Narges Mahyar, Mahmood Jasim, and Ali Sarvghad.
CG&A 2020

Rehabilitation Games in Real-World Clinical Settings: Practices, Challenges, and Opportunities
Hee-Tae Jung, Taiwoo Park, Narges Mahyar, Sungji Park, Taekyeong Rye, Yangsoo Kim, and Sunghoon Ivan Lee
TOCHI 2020

The Civic Data Deluge: Understanding the Challenges of Analyzing Large-Scale Community Input
Narges Mahyar, Diana Nguyen, Maggie Chan, Jiayi Zheng, and Steven Dow
DIS 2019

CommunityCrit: Inviting the Public to Improve and Evaluate Urban Design Ideas through Micro-Activities
Narges Mahyar, Michael James, Michelle Ng, Reginal Wu, and Steven Dow
CHI 2018

Embedded Merge & Split: Visual Adjustment Of Data Grouping
Ali Sarvghad, Bahador Saket, Alex Endert, and Nadir Weibel
TVCG 2018