Narges Mahyar is an Assistant Professor in the Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Narges’s research falls at the intersection of Visualization, HCI, Social Computing, and Design with the goal of augmenting people’s abilities to solve complex problems. She designs, develops, and evaluates novel social computing and visualization techniques that help people (both experts and non-experts) make better decisions. More recently, she has focused on exploring new strategies for scaling and diversifying public engagement in massive decision-making processes related to civic issues. She holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Victoria, an MS in Information Technology from the University of Malaya, and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Tehran Azad University. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia from 2014 to 2016 and in the Design Lab at the University of California San Diego from 2016 to 2018. Her recognition in the field has been repeatedly confirmed through several accolades from the premium venues in HCI and Visualization, including five Best/Outstanding Paper Awards from CHI 2023, Eurovis 2022, CSCW 2020, VAST 2014; and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture 2017, and two Best Paper Honorable Mention Awards from DIS 2021 and ISS 2016.

Latest News

  • May 2023: I am honored to be named the 2023-24 Harvard Radcliffe Institute Fellow.
  • April 2023: I was awarded the 2023 PIT@UMass faculty fellowship along with Dr. Ali Sarvghad and Kara M Smith (MD).
  • April 2023: Our paper “Building Community Resiliency through Immersive Communal Extended Reality (CXR)” was recently accepted to MDPI Multimodal Technologies and Interaction 2023.
  • April 2023: Our paper “Who Do We Mean When We Talk About Visualization Novices?” received the best paper award at CHI 2023.
  • Feb 2023: I will be serving as a Program Committee member for IEEE VIS 2023.
  • Dec 2022: Sheshera Mysore presented our paper, “Exploring how Data Scientists Review Scholarly Literature” at CHIIR 2023.
  • Dec 2022: Our paper “Who Do We Mean When We Talk About Visualization Novices?” was accepted to CHI 2023.
  • Dec 2022: I am honored to join the IEEE VIS Executive Committee (VEC).
  • Dec 2022: Our paper “Exploring how Data Scientists Review Scholarly Literature” was accepted to CHIIR 2023.
  • Nov 2022: Our paper “CommunityBots: Creating and Evaluating A Multi-Agent Chatbot Platform for Public Input Elicitation” was accepted to CSCW 2023.
  • Oct 2022: I am excited to join the 2023 IEEE VIS organizing committee as the Workshop Co-Chair.
  • Sep 2022: Our paper “Mapping Instability: The Effects of the Pandemic on the Civic Life of a Small Town” was accepted to the Environments By Design: Health, Wellbeing And Place Conference 2022.
  • Aug 2022: Our paper “From Invisible to Visible: Impacts of Metadata in Communicative Data Visualization” was accepted to TVCG 2022.
  • July 2022: Our Eurovis 2022 paper was featured in the news.
  • May 2022: Our paper “Of Course it’s Political! A Critical Inquiry into Underemphasized Dimensions in Civic Text Visualization” was awarded Best Paper at Eurovis 2022.
  • May 2022: I was an invited panelist for the panel on “Connecting Science and Art for Effective Community Engagement” hosted by Engineers and Scientists Acting Locally (ESAL).
  • May 2022: I attended the Dagstuhl seminar on visual text analytics (May 8-13).
  • April 2022: I gave a talk at Northwestern University titled “Social Computing and Visualization Tools for Empowering the Public” as part of the Technology & Social Behavior (TSB) Speaker Series.
  • April 2022: I gave a talk at Tufts University titled “Social Computing and Visualization Tools for Empowering the Public” as a part of the Computer Science Colloquium Series.
  • April 2022: I was awarded a recognition of service and contributions to the ACM honor for serving as a Program Co-Chair for the 2021 Creativity and Cognition Conference.
  • March 2022: I will be serving as an PC for VIS 2022.
  • March 2022: Our paper “Of Course it’s Political! A Critical Inquiry into Underemphasized Dimensions in Civic Text Visualization” was accepted to Eurovis 2022.
  • Feb 2022: I received an NSF grant ($147,000) with CO-PI Pari Riahi and Ali Sarvghad for “MAPPING INSTABILITY: Building an Intelligent Community Agent Platform for Understanding the Impact of Large-Scale Crisis on Small Town Communities”.
  • Jan 2022: I am excited to join the organizing committee for the Visualization for Social Good Workshop (Vis4Good) 2022, in conjunction with IEEE VIS 2022.
  • Jan 2022: Our paper “ClioQuery: Interactive Query-Oriented Text Analytics for Comprehensive Investigation of Historical News Archives” was accepted to Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems journal.
  • Jan 2022: Proud of my PhD student Mahmood Jasim for receiving the Computing for Common Good Fellowship. We will be working with Town of Amherst officials to design and develop CommunityClick-virtual—an online collaborative tool that combines machine learning, data visualization, and citizen-sourcing technology for inclusive public input collection and analysis
  • Dec 2021: In close collaboration with the Town of Amherst, on Dec 2, we invited the Amherst community to use CommunityClick-Virtual during a public hearing on Kendrick Park area changes in order to broaden and diversify public participation in civic processes. You can find more information in the GazetteNet’s article.
  • Oct 2021: Our paper “Making the Invisible Visible: Risks and Benefits of Disclosing Metadata in Visualization” was presented at the Visualization for Social Good workshop as a part of IEEE VIS 2021. For a summary of what was presented, see this summary slide.
  • Oct 2021: Our paper “A Framework for Open Civic Design: Integrating Public Participation, Crowdsourcing, and Design Thinking” was accepted for publication in the ACM Journal for Digital Government: Research and Practice.
  • Sept 2021: I will be serving as an AC for CHI 2022.
  • July 2021: Our CommunityPulse paper received an Honorable Mention Award at DIS 2021.
  • June 2021: Our paper “Designing with Pictographs: Envision Topics without Sacrificing Understanding” was accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG)!
  • June 2021: I co-organized the Chart Question Answering Workshop at CVPR 2021. You can find a recording of the event on the workshop website.
  • June 2021: The ACM Creativity and Cognition 2021 Conference was a great success. You can now access the proceedings online.
  • June 2021: We presented our paper “RisingEMOTIONS: Bridging Art and Technology to Increase Public Engagement with Climate Change” at ACM Creativity and Cognition 2021.
  • Dec 2020: Due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, ACM Creativity and Cognition 2021 will now take place virtually in June 2021.
  • Nov 2020: Together with Ali Sarvghad (CICS) and Pari Riahi (Department of Architecture), I was awarded an ADVANCE Collaborative Research Seed Grant on “MAPPING INSTABILITY: The Effects of the Pandemic on the Civic Life of a Small Town.” More information on the grant is available here.
  • Oct 2020: Our CommunityClick paper received the best paper award at CSCW 2020.
  • Oct 2020: Our CG&A invited article on “Designing Technology for Sociotechnical Problems: Challenges & Considerations” is published and available.
  • Oct 2020: We presented our IEEE VIS poster “Looking to the Past to Visualize the Present: Revisiting W.E.B. Du Bois’ Abolitionist Visualizations” as part of the CICS Community Discussion on Antiracism.
  • Oct 2020: We presented our paper “How to evaluate data visualizations across different levels of understanding” at BELIV 2020.
  • Sept 2020: I was selected as a 2020–2021 UMass ADVANCE Faculty Fellow to promote gender equity for STEM faculty at UMass as part of the NSF-funded UMass ADVANCE program.
  • Aug 2020: With Gerome Miklau and Ali Sarvghad, I received a medium NSF, SATC grant ($1,191,106) for investigating “Principles and Algorithms for Visual Data Exploration Under Differential Privacy.”
  • Aug 2020: I served on the program Committee for IEEE VIS short papers.
  • July 2020: Our paper “Rehabilitation Games in Real-World Clinical Settings: Practices, Challenges, and Opportunities” has been accepted for publication at the ACM Transactions on CHI (ACM ToCHI). This work will be presented at ACM CHI 2021.
  • June 2020: Our collaborative art installation project, RisingEmotions, was selected as a CODAawards Top 100 project! More information on the CODAawards Top 100 is available on the CODAawards website.
  • Feb 2020: Our papers on “Exploring How International Graduate Students in the US Seek Support” and “Towards Understanding Desiderata for Large-Scale Civic Input Analysis” have been accepted for publication in CHI LBW 2020.
  • Dec 2019: I will be the paper co-chair for ACM Creativity and Cognition conference 2021.
  • Dec 2019: The opening for RisingEMOTIONS, our collaborative art project that displays projected flood levels and people’s emotions about sea-level rise, will happen on Dec 7 at East Boston Library.
  • Oct 2019: I gave two talks on “Social Computing and Visualization for Democratizing Public Participation” at University of Toronto and Ontario Tech University.
  • Oct 2019: I gave a talk on “Community-Centered Urban Design at Scale” at UMass department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning. You can read more about the event here.
photograph of Narges Mahyar
Narges Mahyar
Assistant Professor

University of Massachusetts Amherst
Manning College of Information & Computer Sciences
Email: nmahyar at cs.umass.edu
Office: Room A211H
Address: 740 N Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01003

 HCI-VIS Lab Website
 Google Scholar

Talks & Conferences

  • IEEE VIS, 2023, October 15-21
  • ACM CHI, 2023, April 23-28
  • Concordia University, Department of Computer Science, March 27, 2023
  • University of Maryland College Park, iSchool, February 21, 2023
  • Virginia Tech, Department of Computer Science, January 31, 2023
  • University College London, Interaction Centre (UCLIC), 2022, December 14
  • City, University of London, School of Science and Technology, 2022, December 8
  • SIGCHI Paris Talk, 2022, December 5
  • IEEE VIS 2022, October 16-21
  • ACM C&C 2022, June 20-23
  • EuroVis 2022, June 13-17
  • Dagstuhl, May 8-13
  • CHI 2022, Apr 30-May 6
  • VIS 2021, Oct 24-29
  • DIS 2021, Jun 28-Jul 2
  • ACM C&C 2021, Jun 20-24
  • CHI 2021, May 8-13
  • VIS 2020, Oct 25-30
  • CSCW 2020, Oct 17-21
  • VIS 2019, Oct 20-25
  • DIS 2019, June 23-28
  • CHI 2019, May 4-7
  • NSF Workshop, Apr 8-9
  • Talk at CS Colloquium, WPI, Jan 11, 2019
  • IEEE VIS 2018, Oct 21-26
  • MIT,  Design-a-Hack-a-thon, Sept 15-17
  • UBC HCI Symposium , May 12
  • CHI 2018, Apr 21-26
  • UMass Amherst, Mar 28-29
  • Innovation in Participatory Democracy Conference, Mar 8-10
  • New Jersey Institute of Tech, Feb 20
  • Virginia Tech, Feb 12-13
  • San Jose State U, Feb 6
  • U of Illinois at Chicago, Feb 1