Hancheng Cao

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Curriculum Vitae

Contact: hanchcao AT stanford.edu

Hi! I am a final year PhD candidate in Department of Computer Science, Stanford University (with a PhD minor in management science and engineering), working with Prof. Daniel McFarland and Prof. Michael Bernstein. I am affiliated with Stanford HCI group and Stanford NLP group .

During my PhD, I have interned at Office of Applied Research, and Computational Social Science Group at Microsoft Research, and Semantic Scholar Team at Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. I have also collaborated with Prof. Melissa Valentine and Prof. Julien Clement.

I received my bachelor degree (with honors) from Department of Electronic Engineering, Tsinghua University in 2018. In the past, I was fortunate enough to work under the supervision of Prof. Yong Li at Tsinghua University, Prof. Vassilis Kostakos at University of Melbourne, Prof. Hanan Samet at University of Maryland, Prof. Alex 'Sandy' Pentland at MIT Media Lab, and Prof. Xiaowen Dong at University of Oxford.

My research interests encompass computational social science, social computing, and human-AI interaction, with a specific emphasis on their applications within the context of the future of work. Bridging computation and social science theories, my works seek to unravel the intricacies of work dynamics and interactions through mining large-scale data with state-of-the-art computational methods, complemented by qualitative evidence and system building. My works have won three best paper/best paper honorable mention awards at top conferences in human-computer interaction, including CHI, CSCW. My works have also appeared in top social science journals, e.g. American Sociological Review, and reported in venues such as Wired, Forbes and TED. My research is supported by Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship.

I am on the job market this year! I will graduate with my PhD degree in spring 2024. I'm open to tenure track faculty positions or relevant industry roles. Please get in touch!


Sep. 2018 - Jun. 2024 (Expected), Department of Computer Science, Stanford University,

Doctor of Philosophy. Major in Computer Science, Minor in Management Science & Engineering.

Aug. 2014 - Jul. 2018, Department of Electronic Engineering, Tsinghua University,

Bachelor of Engineering (with honors).

Aug. 2016 - Dec. 2016, A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park,

Exchange Student.

Jun. 2017 - Sep. 2017, Human Dynamics Group, Media Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Visiting Student and Research Assistant.

Industrial Experience

Jun. 2022 - Dec. 2022 , Semantic Scholar/AllenNLP, Allen Institute for Artifical Intelligence

Research Intern.

Hosts: Lucy Lu Wang, Kyle Lo, Jesse Dodge

Jun. 2020 - Sep. 2020, Mar. 2022 - Jun. 2022, E & D Office of Applied Research, Microsoft

Research Intern.

Hosts: Longqi Yang, CJ Lee, Shamsi Iqbal, Mary Czerwinski.

Brent Hecht, Jaime Teevan

Jun. 2021 - Sep. 2021, computational social science group, Microsoft Research

Research Intern.

Hosts: Jake Hofman, Dan Goldstein.

Jul. 2018 - Sep. 2018, Map Service, Mobile Internet Group, Tencent Inc

Research Intern.


  • W. Liang*, Y. Zhang*, H. Cao*, B. Wang, D. Ding, X. Yang, K. Vodrahalli, S. He, D. Smith, Y. Yin, D. McFarland, J. Zou, Can large language models provide useful feedback on research papers? A large-scale empirical analysis, preprint 2023. [pdf]

  • H. Cao, J. Dodge, K. Lo, D. McFarland, L. Wang, The Rise of Open Science: Tracking the Evolution and Perceived Value of Data and Methods Link-Sharing Practices, preprint 2023. [pdf]

  • H. Cao, S. Spatharioti, D. Goldstein, J. Hofman, Comparing scalable strategies for generating numerical perspectives, preprint 2023. [pdf]

  • J. Li, H. Cao, L. Lin, Y. Hou, R. Zhu, A. Ali, User Experience Design Professionals’ Perceptions of Generative Artificial Intelligence, preprint 2023. [pdf]

  • H. Cao, Y. Lu, Y. Deng, D. McFarland, M. Bernstein, Breaking Out of the Ivory Tower: A Large-scale Analysis of Patent Citations to HCI Research, in CHI 2023. Best Paper Award [pdf]

  • M. Cheng, D. Smith, X. Ren, H. Cao, S. Smith, D. McFarland, How New Ideas Diffuse in Science, in American Sociological Review. [pdf]

  • M. Lee, M. Srivastava, A. Hardy, J. Thickstun, E. Durmus, A. Paranjape, I. Gerard-Ursin, X. Li, F. Ladhak, F. Rong, R. Wang, M. Kwon, J. Park, H. Cao, T. Lee, R. Bommasani, M. Bernstein, P. Liang, Evaluating Human-Language Model Interaction, in TMLR. [pdf]

  • Z. Chen, J. Piao, X. Lan, H. Cao, C. Gao, Z. Lu, Y. Li, Practitioners Versus Users: A Value-Sensitive Evaluation of Current Industrial Recommender System Design, in CSCW 2022. [pdf]

  • Z. Chen*, H. Cao*, X. Lan, Z. Lu, Y. Li, Beyond Virtual Bazaar: How Social Commerce Promotes Inclusivity for the Traditionally Underserved Community in Chinese Developing Regions, in CHI 2022. [pdf] [新智元] [集智]

  • H. Cao, C. Lee, S. Iqbal, M. Czerwinski, P. Wong, S. Rintel, B. Hecht, J. Teevan, L. Yang, Large Scale Analysis of Multitasking Behavior During Remote Meetings, in CHI 2021. Honorable Mention Award [pdf][doi][presentation] [Wired] [Forbes-1] [Forbes-2] [TED] [Microsoft Research Blog] [LifeWire] [TechRepublic] [Slack Blog] [Terra] [L'usine Nouvelle] [Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung] [Business Daily] [Yahoo Japan] [NYTeknik] [量子位] [新智元]

  • Z. Chen*, H. Cao*, Y. Deng, X. Gao, J. Piao, F. Xu, Y. Zhang, Y. Li, Learning from Home: A Mixed-Methods Analysis of Live Streaming Based Remote Education Experience in Chinese Colleges during the COVID-19 Pandemic, in CHI 2021. [pdf][doi][presentation]

  • H. Cao*, Z. Chen*, M. Cheng, S. Zhao, T. Wang, Y. Li, You Recommend, I Buy: How and Why People Engage in Instant Messaging Based Social Commerce, in CSCW 2021. [pdf][doi] [Podcast]

  • G. Zhang, Y. Li, Y. Yuan, F. Xu, H. Cao, D. Jin, Y. Xu, Community Value Prediction in Social E-commerce, in WWW 2021. [pdf] [presentation]

  • Y. Yuan, F. Xu, H. Cao, G. Zhang, H. Pan, Y. Li, D. Jin, Persuade to Click: Context-aware Persuasion Model for Online Textual Advertisement, in IEEE TKDE. [pdf][doi]

  • Y. Fan, Z. Tu, T. Li, H. Cao, T. Xia, Y. Li, X. Chen, L. Zhang, Understanding the Long-term Dynamics of Mobile App Usage Context via Graph Embedding, in IEEE TKDE. [pdf][doi]

  • H. Wang, Y. Li, J. Lin, H. Cao, D. Jin, Context-Aware Semantic Annotation of Mobility Records, in ACM TKDD. [pdf][doi]

  • H. Cao, V. Yang, V. Chen, Y. Lee, L. Stone, N. Diarrassouba, M. Whiting, M. Bernstein, My Team Will Go On: Differentiating High and Low Viability Teams through Team Interaction, in CSCW 2020. Honorable Mention Award [pdf][doi] [Project Site][presentation]

  • Z. Chen, H. Cao, F. Xu, M. Cheng, T. Wang, Y. Li, Understanding the Role of Intermediaries in Online Social E-commerces: an Exploratory Study of Beidian, in CSCW 2020. [pdf][doi][presentation]

  • H. Cao*, M. Cheng*, Z. Cen*, D. McFarland, X. Ren, Will This Idea Spread Beyond Academia? Understanding Knowledge Transfer of Scientific Concepts across Text Corpora, in EMNLP(Findings) 2020 . [pdf][doi][presentation]

  • Z. Lin, S. Lyu, H. Cao, F. Xu, Y. Wei, P. Hui, H. Samet, Y. Li, HealthWalks: Sensing Fine-grained Individual Health Condition via Mobility Data, in PACM IMWUT (UbiComp 2021) . [pdf][doi]

  • Z. Chen, H. Cao, H. Wang, F. Xu, V. Kostakos, Y. Li, Will You Come Back / Check-in Again? Understanding Characteristics Leading to Urban Revisitation and Re-check-in, in PACM IMWUT (UbiComp 2020). [pdf][doi]

  • T. Zhen, H. Cao, E. Lagerspetz, Y. Fan, H. Flores, S. Tarkoma, P. Nurmi, Y. Li, Demographics of Mobile App Usage: Long-Term Analysis of Mobile App Usage, in Springer TPCI. [pdf][doi]

  • T. Li, M. Zhang, H. Cao, Y. Li, S. Tarkoma, P. Hui, "What Apps Did You Use?": Understanding the Long-term Evolution of Mobile App Usage, in WWW 2020. [pdf][doi]

  • H. Cao*, Z. Chen*, F. Xu, T. Wang, Y. Xu, L. Zhang, Y. Li, When Your Friends Become Sellers: An Empirical Study of Social Commerce Site Beidian, in AAAI ICWSM 2020. [pdf][doi]

  • H. Cao, Z. Chen, F. Xu, Y. Li, V. Kostakos, Revisitation in Urban Space vs. Online: A Comparison across POIs, Websites, and Smartphone Apps, in PACM IMWUT (UbiComp 2019). [pdf][slides][doi]

  • H. Cao, J. Feng, Y. Li, V. Kostakos, Uniqueness in the City: Urban Morphology and Location Privacy, in PACM IMWUT (UbiComp 2018). [pdf][slides][doi]

  • H. Cao, F. Xu, J. Sankaranarayanan, Y. Li, H. Samet, Habit2vec: Trajectory Semantic Embedding for Living Pattern Recognition in Population, in IEEE TMC . [pdf][doi]

  • H. Cao, J. Sankaranarayanan, J. Feng, Y. Li, H. Samet, Understanding Metropolitan Crowd Mobility via Mobile Cellular Accessing Data, in ACM TSAS . [pdf][doi]

  • M. Zeng, H. Cao, M. Chen, Y. Li, User Behavior Modeling, Recommendations, and Purchase Prediction During Online Shopping Festivals, in Springer Electronic Markets. [pdf][doi]

  • H. Shi, H. Cao, X. Zhou, Y. Li, C. Zhang, V. Kostakos, F. Sun, F. Meng, Semantics-Aware HMM for Human Mobility Modelling, in SDM 2019. [pdf][doi]

  • H. Shi, Y. Li,, H. Cao, X. Zhou C. Zhang, V. Kostakos, Semantics-Aware HMM for Human Mobility Modelling, in IEEE TKDE (Extended version of SDM'19 paper). [pdf] [doi]

  • F. Xu, T. Xia, H. Cao, Y. Li, F. Sun, F. Meng, Detecting Popular Temporal Modes in Population-scale Unlabelled Trajectory Data, in PACM IMWUT (UbiComp 2018). [pdf][doi]

  • * Indicates Equal Contribution.

    Honors and Awards

    Academic Service



    I have passions for a wide variety of fields, and I am constantly exploring new areas and possibilities. Some of my major interests include:

    Classical Music

    I was a member of Tsinghua Student Art Troupe Clavier team and served as vice captain in 2015 and 2016. I have been playing classical piano since 2001 and attained the highest level for amateur player in 2008. I also play the trombone and attained the highest level in 2007.

    I enjoy works by Ludwig van Beethoven (who provides me with immense power when I'm feeling down), Johannes Brahms, Franz Schubert, J.S. Bach, Claudio Monteverdi, Anton Bruckner, Gabriel Fauré, Claude Debussy and Alexander Scriabin. Glenn Gould, Yehudi Menuhin, Sergiu Celibidache, Maria Callas are some of my favourite interpreters.

    Right now I am studying Harpsichord at Stanford on a Stanford Friends of Music Scholarship.


    I enjoy British poems, Chinese modern literature, visual arts (painting, sculpture and architecture), history and social science. I am especially passionate about the field of social history (where I have drawn inspirations for my research).

    I am also keen on sharing my knowledge with others. I was captain of volunteer docents at Shanghai Soong Ching-ling Memorial Residence in 2012 and 2013.


    I enjoy swimming (I was a member of Tsinghua EE swimming team), jogging, tennis and working out. Currently I am learning Taekwondo and Karate, and I plan to start on rock climbing and camping.

    Ping me if you are interested as well!