Tianshi Li

[email protected]


Starting Fall 2024, I will be an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University in the Khoury College of Computer Sciences. That means:

📢 I’ll be recruiting Ph.D. students for Fall 2024!

If you’re interested in designing and building human-centered solutions for privacy, or developer tools for social good, let’s connect! Read my research statement to learn more about my research interests and research philosophy. I also have new projects studying the emerging privacy issues in human-LLM interactions. Read my recent preprint to learn more.

My research interests lie at the intersection of HCI, privacy, and software engineering. I strive to address the increasing privacy issues in software systems by making it easier for developers to recognize, mitigate, and communicate privacy risks in the systems they program. I apply a human-centered lens to study the challenges developers face with regard to privacy, and I design, build, and evaluate IDE plugins to tackle these challenges by breaking down privacy responsibilities into lightweight annotating tasks, making privacy-enhancing considerations and actions part of the normal development process. My work has been recognized with an ACM CHI best paper honorable mention award and supported in part by a CMU CyLab Presidential Fellowship.


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.
Apr 1, 2022 Our CHI’22 paper “Understanding Challenges for Developers to Create Accurate Privacy Nutrition Labels.” won a best paper honorable mention award.
Mar 1, 2022 Proposed my Ph.D. dissertation “Privacy-Enhancing Development Environment”
Feb 1, 2022 Our paper on developers’ challenges about privacy regulation features in ad networks is accepted to PETS 2022.
Jan 1, 2022 I started serving on the CHI 2022 Late-Breaking Work (LBW) Program Committee.

Selected Publications

  1. 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 🏅
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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