Academic and Teaching Staff

Dr NGAI Grace

Associate Professor

ScB(Brown); MSE, PhD(Johns Hopkins)


Human Computer Interaction, Human Centered Computing, Pervasive Computing, Natural Language Processing


Dr Ngai received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University in 2001. Her thesis supervisor was Professor David Yarowsky. Prior to that, she studied Engineering at Brown University, where she got her Sc.B. She also got her M.S.E. (Masters of Science in Engineering) at JHU along the way to getting her Ph.D.

Dr Ngai’s main research interest is in human-centered computing, including Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Affective Computing. Specifically, she is interested in how humans use computers, the interplay between culture and computing, the aspect of computing that interacts back at the human, and computing that interacts with the environment. Dr Ngai’s other research interests are in computational linguistics and statistical natural language processing. She is also very interested in computing education and educational technology.

Dr Ngai strongly believes in designing things and giving them away. She is one of the co-authors of the fnTBL (Fast Transformation-based Learning Toolkit), a powerful method for automatic extraction of patterns from templates.

She has served as reviewer and on the program committee for several journals and conferences including CHI, TALE, TOCE, IEEE TSMC-B, CL, CLCLP, ACL, COLING, EMNLP and IJCAI. Within the department, she is one of the faculty-in-charge of the CHILab, which focuses on human-centered computing.

Dr Ngai was awarded the University's President Award in Teaching, 2009-10. In addition, she was the recipient of the Faculty of Engineering's Individual Merit Award in Teaching for the 2005-06 and 2007-08 academic years, and the Outstanding Award in Teaching for the 2009-10. Together with her colleagues Dr Stephen Chan and Dr Vincent Ng, they were awarded the Faculty of Engineering's Team Outstanding Award in Teaching for 2006-07; as a team with some other colleagues, they were awarded the University's President Award in Services for 2007-08.