Yu Chen, Ph.D.

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Postdoc researcher
Mailing Address:
Donald Bren Hall 5099
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697
Email: ychen25 at uci dot edu


Research Interests

As a researcher, designer, and engineer, my research is mainly grounded in Human-Computer Interaction, Computer Supported Collaborative Work, Ubiquitous Computing, and Health Informatics. I aim to apply social psychology theories in social applications to enhance human welfare. I first gather user requirements using qualitative methods, and then implement system interfaces and functions with standard design and development tools. I evaluate the systems by conducting longitudinal studies using a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods. 


  • Ph.D. Human Computer Interaction. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. 2010.09 – 2015.01. 

  • M.S. Security and Mobile Computing. Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway.  Graduate with distinction. 2009-2010.  

  • M.S. Security and Mobile Computing. Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland. Graduate with distinction. 2008-2010. 

  • B.E. Information Security. Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China. Graduate with honor. 2004-2008.

Industry Experience

  • Nokia Research Center, Helsinki. Mentor: Dr. Zheng Yan. 2009-2010.

Research Projects

  • Designing Positive Computing Technologies for Emotional Well-being. UCI
  • Group Lifestyle Management Systems for Obese and Diabetic Patients. UCI&EPFL.
  • EHR: A Technology Acceptance Model for Lifestyle Changes. EPFL
  • HealthyTogether: Exploring Social Incentives for Mobile Fitness Applications. EPFL
  • Empatheticons: Designing Emotion Awareness Tools for Group Music Experience. EPFL
  • CoFeel: Designing Emotion Awareness Interface for Group Recommender Systems. EPFL


  • Mon smartphone me coache (My personal coach on smartphone). RTS Un, Swiss public television channel. 2012/11/8. 


  • Early Postdoc.Mobility Fellowship provided by Swiss National Science Foundation. 2015
  • Erasmus Mundus scholarship provided by European Commission. 2008 – 2010.

Journal Publications

  • Yu Chen, Gloria Mark and Sanna Ali. Promoting Positive Affect through Smartphone Photography. Psychology of Well-Being: Theory, Research and Practice, 2016.
  • Zheng Yan, Yu Chen and Yue Shen. PerContRep: A Practical Reputation System for Pervasive Content Services. Journal of Supercomputing. Springer, 2014.
  • Zheng Yan, Yu Chen and Yue Shen. A practical reputation system for pervasive social chatting. Journal of Computer and System Sciences, 2013.

Book Chapters

  • Zheng Yan, Valtteri Niemi, Yu Chen, Peng Zhang and Raimo Kantola.  Towards Trustworthy Mobile Social Networking. Book Chapter in Mobile Social Networking. Springer, 2014.

Conference and Workshop Proceedings

  • Yu Chen, Yunan Chen, Mirana Randriambelonoro, Antoine Geissbuhler and Pearl Pu. Peer Influence on the Engagement of Fitness Tracker Usage: A Diabetic and Obesity Study.  IEEE International Conference on Healthcare Informatics 2016 (forthcoming). 
  • Yu Chen, Mirana Randriambelonoro, Antoine Geissbuhler and Pearl Pu. Social Incentives in Pervasive Fitness Apps for Obese and Diabetic Patients. In Proceedings of the 19th ACM Conference Companion on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (CSCW’16 Companion). 2016
  • Mirana Randriambelonoro, Yu Chen, Antoine Geissbuhler and Pearl Pu. Exploring physical activity monitoring devices for diabetic and obese patients. In Adjunct Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing and Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers (UbiComp/ISWC’15 Adjunct), pages 1003-1008. New York, USA, September 2015
  • Yu Chen, Jiyong Zhang and Pearl Pu. Exploring Social Accountability in Pervasive Fitness Apps. The 8th International Conference on Mobile Ubiquitous Computing, Systems, Services and Technologies (UBICOMM2014). Rome, Italy, Aug. 24-28, 2014
  • Yu Chen, Xiaojuan Ma, Alfredo Cerezo and Pearl Pu. Empatheticons: Designing Emotion Awareness Tools for Group Recommenders. In the 15th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction (Interaccion2014). Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Spain, Sept. 10-12, 2014 
  • Yu Chen and Pearl Pu. Designing Emotion Awareness Interface for Group Recommender Systems. The 12th  ACM International Working Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces (AVI 2014), Como, Italy, May 27-30, 2014 
  • Yu Chen and Pearl Pu. HealthyTogether: Exploring Social Incentives for Mobile Fitness Applications. In the second International Symposium of Chinese CHI 2014, Toronto, Canada, Apr. 26-27, 2014
  • Yu Chen and Pearl Pu. CoFeel: Using Emotions to Enhance Social Interaction in Group Recommender Systems. Alpine Rendez-Vous (ARV) 2013 Workshop on Tools and Technology for Emotion-Awareness in Computer Mediated Collaboration and Learning, Villard-de-Lans, France, Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2013.
  • Zheng Yan, Yu Chen and Peng Zhang. An Approach of Secure and Fashionable Recognition for Pervasive Face-to-Face Social Communications. In Proceedings of Fifth International Workshop on Selected Topics in Mobile and Wireless Computing, Barcelona, Spain, Oct. 8-10, 2012.
  • Yu Chen and Pearl Pu. CoFeel: Emotional Social Interface in Group Recommender Systems. In Proceeding ofRecSys’12 Workshop on Interfaces for Recommender Systems, in conjunction with the 6th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys’12), Dublin, Ireland, Sept. 9 – 13, 2012.
  • Yu Chen and Zheng Yan. Gemini: A Handbag for Pervasive Social Communications. In Proceeding of IEEE 11th International Conference on Trust, Security and Privacy in Computing and Communications (TrustCom), Liverpool, UK, June 25-27, 2012
  • Zerrin Yumak-Kasap, Yu Chen and Pearl Pu. EmoSoNet: An Emotion-aware Social Network for Emotional Wellbeing. In Proceedings of ACM SIGCHI 2012 Workshop on Interaction Design and Emotional Wellbeing, Austin, TX, USA, May 05-10, 2012
  • Yu Chen, Zheng Yan and Valtteri Niemi. Implementation of a Reputation System for Pervasive Social Networking. In Proceeding of In Proceeding of IEEE 11th International Conference on Trust, Security and Privacy in Computing and Communications (TrustCom), November 16-18, 2011, Changsha, China.
  • Yu Chen. Interface and Interaction Design for Group and Social Recommender Systems. In Proceedings of the 5th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys’11), Chicago, USA, Oct. 23 – 27, 2011. Travel grant by US National Science Foundation.
  • Yu Chen and Pearl Pu. Do You Feel How We Feel? An Affective Interface in Social Group Recommender Systems. In Procedding of the 3rd Workshop on Recommender Systems and the Social Web (RSWEB’11), in conjunction with the 5th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys’11), Chicago, USA, Oct. 23 – 27, 2011.
  • Zheng Yan and Yu Chen. AdChatRep: a Reputation System for MANET Chatting. In Proceedings of the 1st International Symposium on Social and Community Intelligence (SCI’11), in conjunction with the 13th ACM International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp’11), Beijing, China, Sept. 17 – 21, 2011.
  • Zheng Yan and Yu Chen. AdContRep: A privacy enhanced reputation system for MANET content services. Inthe 7th International Conference on Ubiquitous Intelligence and Computing (UIC’11), October 26-29, 2010, Xi’an, China.


  • Teaching assistant
    • Introduction to Human Computer Interaction (CS-486). 2011 – 2014. EPFL
  • Supervised students
    • Mirana Michelle Randriambelonoro (master thesis, spring 2014)
    • Asma Ghandeharioun (summer internship, 2013), co-supervised with Onur Yuruten.
    • Danni Le (semester project, fall 2012).
    • Alfredo Cerezo (semester project, spring 2012). Now at Samsung R&D, Spain.

Social activities

  • Election Committee Chair of International Chinese Association of Computer Human Interaction 2016-2018.
  • Newsletter editor of International Chinese Association of Computer Human Interaction. Fall 2014
  • Board member of International Student Union (ISU), Trondheim, Norway. 2009-2010.


  • Chinese (native)
  • English (fluent)
  • French, German, Finnish, Norwegian (basic)


In my spare time, I enjoy meditating, drawing, hiking and swimming.

photo 2