Tianshi Li

Assistant Professor


I’m an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University in the Khoury College of Computer Sciences, directing the PEACH (Privacy-Enabling AI and Computer-Human interaction) Lab.

Come and join us if you’re interested in designing and building human-centered solutions for privacy! Read my research statement to learn more about my work on developer support for privacy. I also have new projects studying the emerging privacy issues in human-LLM interactions. Read my recent CHI paper to learn more.

My research interests lie at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Privacy, with a focus on Human-Centered AI and Privacy. I strive to address the increasing privacy issues in today’s digital world using a blend of human-centered problem understanding and technical problem solving. I conduct mixed-methods research to understand the privacy challenges situated in different stakeholders’ lived experiences, and build systems and conduct computational experiments to measure, model, and tackle these human-centered problems.


Jul 17, 2024 Excited to share our NSF SaTC award on “Empathy-Based Privacy Education and Design through Synthetic Persona Data Generation” ($600K in total, $200K personal share). This grant is in collaboration with Prof. Toby Li (Notre Dame) and Prof. Yaxing Yao (Virginia Tech).
Feb 1, 2024 Our Special Integret Group proposal titled “Human-Centered Privacy Research in the Age of Large Language Models” is accepted at CHI’24! Excited to meet people from diverse backgrounds at CHI!
Jan 19, 2024 Two papers accepted at CHI’24! One on how LLMs may invade users’ privacy, and another on how LLMs may empower people to build better multimodal apps!
Jan 12, 2024 Our paper on the Matcha IDE plugin is accepted at IMWUT! Try out the tool.
May 3, 2023 Job search update: I’ll be joining the Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2024! Before that, I’ll spend a year in the Bay Area, working at Google Checks on privacy compliance intelligence and at Berkeley as a postdoc. Looking forward to the journey ahead!
Apr 20, 2023 Our paper on the COVID-19 contact-tracing app adoption problem won a Best Research Papers 2019-2021 Award at Pervasive and Mobile Computing!
Feb 20, 2023 Excited to share my first funded grant from CMU CyLab, titled “Engaging End Users and Developers to Improve App Store Privacy Audits”!
Dec 16, 2022 Just passed my dissertation defense. I’m a soon-to-be Ph.D. now!
Oct 12, 2022 Matcha is released on the JetBrains plugin store!
May 1, 2022 Our paper on C-PAK, a novel mobile text entry technique is accepted to TOCHI 2022.

Selected Publications

  1. CHI SIG
    Human-Centered Privacy Research in the Age of Large Language Models
    Tianshi Li, Sauvik Das, Hao-Ping (Hank) Lee, Dakuo Wang, Bingsheng Yao, and Zhiping Zhang
    In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’24 Companion) Apr 2024
  2. CHI
    “It’s a Fair Game”, or Is It? Examining How Users Navigate Disclosure Risks and Benefits When Using LLM-Based Conversational Agents
    Zhiping Zhang, Michelle Jia, Hao-Ping (Hank) Lee, Bingsheng Yao, Sauvik Das, Ada Lerner, Dakuo Wang, and Tianshi Li
    In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Apr 2024
  3. IMWUT
    Matcha: An IDE Plugin for Creating Accurate Privacy Nutrition Labels
    Tianshi Li, Lorrie Faith Cranor, Yuvraj Agarwal, and Jason I Hong
    Proc. ACM Interact. Mob. Wearable Ubiquitous Technol. Apr 2024
  4. CHI
    Understanding Challenges for Developers to Create Accurate Privacy Nutrition Labels
    Tianshi Li, Kayla Reiman, Yuvraj Agarwal, Lorrie Faith Cranor, and Jason I Hong
    In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Apr 2022
    Best Paper Honorable Mention Award 🏅
  5. IMWUT
    Honeysuckle: Annotation-Guided Code Generation of In-App Privacy Notices
    Tianshi Li, Elijah B Neundorfer, Yuvraj Agarwal, and Jason I Hong
    Proc. ACM Interact. Mob. Wearable Ubiquitous Technol. Sep 2021
  6. CSCW
    How Developers Talk About Personal Data and What It Means for User Privacy: A Case Study of a Developer Forum on Reddit
    Tianshi Li, Elizabeth Louie, Laura Dabbish, and Jason I Hong
    Proc. ACM Hum. Comput. Interact. Jan 2021
  7. PMC
    What makes people install a COVID-19 contact-tracing app? Understanding the influence of app design and individual difference on contact-tracing app adoption intention
    Tianshi Li, Camille Cobb, Jackie (junrui) Yang, Sagar Baviskar, Yuvraj Agarwal, Beibei Li, Lujo Bauer, and Jason I Hong
    Pervasive Mob. Comput. Aug 2021
    Best Research Paper 2019-2021 Award 🏆
  8. IMWUT
    Coconut: An IDE Plugin for Developing Privacy-Friendly Apps
    Tianshi Li, Yuvraj Agarwal, and Jason I Hong
    Proc. ACM Interact. Mob. Wearable Ubiquitous Technol. Dec 2018