I am a fifth-year PhD student at URCS, working with Dr. Zhen Bai. I am passionate about learning technologies! My research and design interest lie in creating novel interactions 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. After that, 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 CS Ph.D. degree to build innovative and accessible educational technology with my previous experience in HCI research, user experience design, and applied learning science.

I am planning to graduate later this year and I am looking for tenure-track faculty positions or post-doc postions!

Embodied and Analogical AI Experiences for Children

#AI Literacy for Children

#Child-Centered AI

#Technology-Enhanced Learning Environment

Embodied cognition aids in simplifying complex computational concepts for children, enhancing their engagement and motivation. Analogical learning could bridge abstract AI concepts with learners' concrete prior knowledge. Moreover, embodied metaphors and analogies can offer a common ground that is accessible and inviting for children with diverse AI experiences.


Zhou, Xiaofei, Yushan Zhou, Yunfan Gong, Zhenyao Cai, Annie Qiu, Qinqin Xiao, Alissa N. Antle, Zhen Bai. “`Bee and I need diversity!’ Break Filter Bubbles in Recommendation Systems through Embodied AI Learning.” In Proceedings of the interaction design and children conference. (IDC 2024) [Publication]

Zhou, Xiaofei, Pei Xiong, Qinqin Xiao, Zhen Bai. “OptiDot: An Optical Interface for Children to Explore Dot Product and AI Recommendation.” In Extended Abstracts of the 2024 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. (CHI LBW 2024) [Publication]

Gong, Yunfan, Xiaofei Zhou, Yushan Zhou, April Luehmann, Yujung Han, Zhen Bai. “Approaching `Filter Bubble’ in Recommendation Systems: A Transformative AI Literacy Learning Experience.” In Proceedings of the 18th International Conference of the Learning Sciences-ICLS 2024. International Society of the Learning Sciences, 2024. (ISLS 2024) [Publication]

Machine Learning (ML) for Scientific Inquiry (SI) Learning in K-12

#Technology-Enhanced Learning Environment

#AI Literacy for Children

This thread of research aims to answer the questions: (1) how can we develop accessible ML-supported SI learning experiences for K-12 students and teachers with limited CS/ML knowledge? (2) how ML can support K-12 teachers and students to conduct data-drive SI for STEM learning? (3) how to support K-12 teachers in creating ML-supported SI learning activities?

Media Coverage

News10NBC, High school students learn the power and ethics of AI at University of Rochester summer camp (2024) [Story]


Zhou, Xiaofei, Jingwan Tang, Hanjia Lyu, Xinyi Liu, Zhenhao Zhang, Lichen Qin, Fiona Au, Advait Sarkar, Zhen Bai. “Creating an Authoring Tool for K-12 Teachers to Design ML-Supported Scientific Inquiry Learning.” In Extended Abstracts of the 2024 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. (CHI LBW 2024) [Publication]

Zhou, Xiaofei, Jingwan Tang, Qinqin Xiao, Yushan Zhou, Zhen Bai. “Supporting Multidimensional Data Analysis for High-School Students in the Era of Machine Learning.” In Proceedings of the 18th International Conference of the Learning Sciences-ICLS 2024. International Society of the Learning Sciences, 2024. (ISLS 2024 short paper) [Publication]

Tang, Jingwan, Xiaofei Zhou, Xiaoyu Wan, Michael Daley, and Zhen Bai. "ML4STEM professional development program: enriching K-12 STEM teaching with machine learning." International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education 33, no. 1 (2023): 185-224. (ijAIED 2023) [Publication]

Zhou, Xiaofei, Jingwan Tang, Beilei Guo, Hanjia Lyu, Zhen Bai, Challenges and Design Opportunities in Data Analysis for ML-Empowered Scientific Inquiry-Insights from a Teacher Professional Development Study, The International Society of the Learning Sciences Annual Meeting, Jun 2022. (ISLS 2022) [Publication]

highlight Best Paper Award Nominee highlight Best Student Paper Award Nominee Zhou, Xiaofei, 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]

Zhou, Xiaofei,​ 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]

Wan, Xiaoyu, 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 for AI in Education

#Literature Review

#AI Literacy for Children

#AI in Education

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) how data and more advanced AI techniques can empower learning experience design? What can we learn from existing research and what future design opportunities are there?


Han, Ariel, Xiaofei Zhou, Zhenyao Cai, Richard Ko, Dr. Kylie A Peppler. “Teachers, Parents, and Students' Perspectives on Integrating Generative AI into Elementary Literacy Education.” In Proceedings of the 2024 CHI conference on human factors in computing systems. (CHI 2024) [Publication]

Zhou, Xiaofei, Christopher Kok, Anita Delahay, Rebecca Quintana, and Xu Wang. “How Learning Experience Designers Make Design Decisions: The Role of Data, the Reliance on Subject Matter Expertise, and the Opportunities for Data-Driven Support.” In Proceedings of the Tenth ACM Conference on Learning@ Scale, 2023. (L@S 2023) [Publication]

DiPaola, Daniella, Katherine S. Moore, Safinah Ali, Beatriz Perret, Xiaofei Zhou, Helen Zhang, and Irene Lee. "Make-a-Thon for Middle School AI Educators." In Proceedings of the 54th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education V. 1, pp. 305-311. 2023. (SIGCSE TS 2023) [Publication]

Lee, Irene, Helen Zhang, Kate Moore, Xiaofei Zhou, Beatriz Perret, Yihong Cheng, Ruiying Zheng, and Grace Pu. "AI Book Club: An Innovative Professional Development Model for AI Education." In Proceedings of the 53rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education V. 1, pp. 202-208. 2022. (SIGCSE 2022) [Publication]

Tang, Jingwan, Xiaofei Zhou, Xiaoyu Wan, and Fan Ouyang. "A Systematic Review of AI Applications in Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning in STEM Education." Artificial Intelligence in STEM Education (2022): 333-358. (Artificial Intelligence in STEM Education 2022) [Publication]

Zhou, Xiaofei, 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 Social Life and Well-Being

#Design for Social Life

#Design for Healthcare & Well-Being

I am also interested in more general design for people's lifelong learning, social life, and mental & physical well-being. In this research thread, I have explored how assistive video filters can be designed for Parkinson's Disease patients, and how short-term abstinence can mitigate people's problematic social media use. I am brainstorming more ideas related to gamification, web app design, AR technologies for lifelong learning and mental well-being, etc.


highlight Best Paper Award Nominee Haut, Kurtis, Adira Blumenthal, Sarah Atterbury, Xiaofei Zhou, Wasifur Rahman, Emanuela Natali, Rafayet Ali, Ehsan Hoque. “Assistive Video Filters for People with Parkinson's Disease to Remove Tremors and Adjust Voice.” In 2022 10th International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII) (pp. 1-8). IEEE. (ACII 2022) [Publication]

Zhou, Xingchen, 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. (Psychiatric Quarterly) [Publication]

Hawaii, photographed by Zhenyao Cai, 2024
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
Art & 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 learning to play the drum set.

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, 2024
Contact Me

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


beach_accessMy Medium Blog