I am a second-year PhD student at URCS, working with Dr. Zhen Bai. My research interest and design passion lie in transcending learning for people through design and technology, especially creating innovative, interactive systems to help people develop complex knowledge, and ultimately realize their own life values.

In 2018, I graduated from Tsinghua University, where I studied Human Factors under Industrial Engineering and started my learning and research on Human-Computer Interaction. Previously, the METALS (Master of Educational Technology and Applied Learning Science) program at CMU offered me a window into the intersection of learning and technology. And now, I am further pursuing my Ph.D. research in innovative and accessible educational technology with my previous experience in qualitative research, user experience design, and applied learning science.

AI4K12: Design Accessible and Meaningful AI Education for K-12 Scientific Discovery

#Technology-Enhanced Learning Environment

#AI Education for K-12

The main research questions of the study include: (1) How can we develop accessible AI learning experience for K-12 students and teachers with limited mathematical and computational knowledge? (2) How can meaningful AI learning enhance K-12 students’ practices of science, self-efficacy, and achieving standards-aligned academic performance?


highlight Best Paper Award Nominee highlight Best Student Paper Award Nominee Xiaofei Zhou, Jingwan Tang, Michael Daley, Saad Ahmad, and Zhen Bai. “Now, I Want to Teach it for Real!”: Introducing Machine Learning as a Scientific Discovery Tool for K-12 Teachers. International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education. 2021. (AIED 2021) [Publication]

Xiaofei Zhou,​ Jingwan Tang, Sufian Mushtaq, Xiaoyu Wan, Zhen Bai. Empowering Teachers to Integrate Machine Learning into K-12 Scientific Discovery. International Workshop on Education In Artificial Intelligence K-12 (​EduAI'2020 Workshop Paper​) [Publication]

Xiaoyu Wan, ​Xiaofei Zhou,​ Zaiqiao Ye, Chase K. Mortensen, and Zhen Bai. "SmileyCluster: supporting accessible machine learning in K-12 scientific discovery." In Proceedings of the Interaction Design and Children Conference, pp. 23-35. 2020. (I​DC' 2020)​ [Publication] [Presentation]

Insights and Future Opportunities in AI Education for K-12

#Literature Review

#AI Education for K-12

There is a need for additional interdisciplinary human-computer interaction and education research investigating (1) how general AI literacy is currently implemented in learning experiences and (2) what additional guidelines are required to teach AI literacy in specifically K-12 learning contexts. What can we learn from existing research and what future design opportunities are there?


Xiaofei Zhou, Jessica Van Brummelen, and Phoebe Lin. "Designing AI Learning Experiences for K-12: Emerging Works, Future Opportunities and a Design Framework." arXiv preprint arXiv:2009.10228 (2020). [Preprint]

Design for Well-Being: Lifelong Learning and Social Life

#Design for Social Life


I am also interested in more general design for people's lifelong learning, social life and well-being. Currently, in this research section, I only have one publication from a research project I facilitated during my undergrad. I am brainstorming more ideas related to gamification, web app design, etc.


Xingchen Zhou, Pei-Luen Patrick Rau, Chi-Lan Yang, and Xiaofei Zhou. "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-Based Short-Term Abstinence Intervention for Problematic Social Media Use: Improved Well-Being and Underlying Mechanisms." Psychiatric Quarterly (2020): 1-19. [Publication]

Baltimore, photographed by Xiaofei, 2019
My PhD Comics

I started sketching comics about my PhD journey. Feel free to click on them and take a look :) More pieces are on their way!

Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh, photographed by Xiaofei, 2017
More About Me

Besides design and research, I really enjoy creating artworks, and please feel free to view some of them in my art portfolio.

I am also a fan of jogging, hiking and badminton.

Here is a small world I am trying to build, to teach my friend Chinese!

Rochester, photographed by Xiaofei, 2019
Contact Me

location_on3206 Wegmans Hall, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627


beach_accessMy Medium Blog