Hi! I am Ruolin Wang (Violynne), a 4th-year PhD candidate in the Human-Computer Interaction Research Group at University of California, Los Angeles, advised by Prof.  Xiang 'Anthony' Chen. Prior to joining UCLA, I worked in the Tsinghua Pervasive HCI Group, advised by Prof. Yuanchun Shi and Chun YuI received M.Sc degree in Computer Science from Tsinghua University and BEng degree in Microelectronics from Tianjin University. [Resume]


My mission is to break the cycle of exclusions through the lens of human interactions by

  • reversing the existing barriers of sensing as innovative inputs
  • bridging the gulf of execution with ability-based user interfaces
  • empowering machines with insights from human perception, cognition, collaboration and domain knowledge

Selected Publications

EarTouch: Facilitating Smartphone Use for Visually Impaired People in Public and Mobile Scenarios

Ruolin Wang, Chun Yu, Xing-Dong Yang, Weijie He, Yuanchun Shi (CHI 2019, Best Paper Honorable Mention 🏅)


Have you ever been troubled by unintentionally hanging up due to an ear touch on the screen? We reverse it as an innovative input to support one-handed interactions for blind or low vision people in public and mobile scenarios. Users can hold the smartphone in a talking position and listen to speech output from ear speaker privately. Eight ear gestures were deployed to support seven common tasks including answering a phone call, sending a message, map navigation, etc. EarTouch also brings us a step closer to the inclusive design of smartphone for all users who may suffer from situational disabilities. 

Revamp: Enhancing Accessible Information Seeking Experience of Online Shopping for Blind or Low Vision Users

Ruolin Wang, Zixuan Chen, Mingrui 'Ray' Zhang, Zhaoheng Li, Zhixiu Liu, Zihan Dang, Chun Yu, Xiang 'Anthony' Chen (CHI 2021)


So much of the language we use to describe a product is centered around vision, which poses a barrier to people who don’t experience the world visually. Inspired by observing how sighted friends help blind people with online shopping, we propose Revamp, a system that leverages customer reviews for interactive information retrieval. We identified four main aspects (color, logo, shape, and size) that are vital for blind and low vision users to understand the visual appearance of a product and formulated syntactic rules to extract review snippets, which were used to generate image descriptions and responses to users’ queries. Revamp also inspired several exciting future directions in accessible information seeking: (i) simplifying and reconstructing the web pages according to users’ current task; (ii) providing coordinated experience of active query and passive reading to support flexible information seeking; (iii) leveraging relative text resources on the web page, such as reviews, to fill in the information gap.

📧Contact: violynne@ucla.edu

Latest News

Sept 16, 2022: Three works submitted to CHI.

Aug 2, 2022: Became a PhD Candidate, finally.

July 29, 2022: Hope I could spend more time on Neuromatch computational neuroscience course.

April 7, 2022: Two works submitted to UIST.

March 28, 2022: Started a course on Neural Signal Processing.

Sept 21 2021: Finished my first industry internship at Microsoft EPIC Research Group. So grateful.

April 23 2021: Attended 2021 CRA-WP Grad Cohort for Women. 

March 19 2021: Finished a course on Neural Networks and Deep Learning.

Feb 13 2021: Attended weSTEM conference. Such an inspiring experience!

Dec 18 2020: Finished a course on Computational Imaging.

Dec 12 2020: Three works accepted by CHI.

Nov 22 2020: My first time attending NAISys.

Sept 17 2020: Three works submitted to CHI.

June 20 2020: One work rejected by UIST.

May 6 2020: One work submitted to UIST.

March 20 2020: Finished a course on Bioelectronics.

Feb 7 2020: One work accepted by CHI LBW.

Dec 13 2019: Finished a course on Neuroengineering.

Dec 8 2019: One work rejected by CHI.

Oct 25 2019: One work accepted by IMWUT.

Oct 22 2019: One work presented at UIST SIC.

Sep 20 2019: One paper submitted to CHI.

Aug 15 2019: One paper submitted to IMWUT.

July 30 2019: My first time attending SIGGRAPH.




UCLA Disabilities and Computing Program

NLP Group @ Computer Science, UCLA

Laboratory for Clinical and Affective Psychophysiology @ Psychology, UCLA

ACE, Makeability, Make4all @ UW

Human-Computer Interaction Initiative @ HKUST

 Interaction Lab @ KAIST



SIGCHI Accessibility Committee (2021 - )

UCLA ECE Faculty Recruitment Student Committee (2021)

Accessibility Co-chair (UIST 2020, 2021)

UCLA ECEGAPS Prelim Reform Committee (2020)

Publicity Co-Chair (ISS 2020)

Associate Chair (CHI LBWs 2020, 2022)


Student Volunteer (UIST 2019, 2020, NAISys 2020)

Volunteer at Beijing Volunteer Service Foundation and the China Braille Library (2018)



ECE 209AS Human-Computer Interaction, UCLA (2019 Fall, 2020 Fall, 2022 Winter)


Honors & Awards

Selected for a SIGCHI Student Travel Grant, 2020

Selected to CRA-WP Grad Cohort for Women, 2020

Graduates with distinction & Outstanding Thesis Award , Tsinghua University 2019

Best Paper Honorable Mention Award (Top 5%), CHI 2019

National Scholarship (Top 1%), Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, 2018

Second Prize, Tsinghua University 35th Challenge Cup, 2018

Comprehensive Scholarship (Top 4%), Tsinghua University, 2017

First Prize, GIX Innovation Competition, 2016

Outstanding Thesis Award, Tianjin University, 2015


Invited Talks

"Inclusive Design: Accessibility Ignites Innovation" at TEDxTHU, 2018


Selected Press

TechCrunch: Alibaba made a smart screen to help blind people shop and it costs next to nothing

The Next Web: Alibaba’s inexpensive smart display tech makes shopping easier for the visually impaired 

Techengage: Alibaba's Smart Touch is everything for the visually impaired

Google’s AI hardware, in new hands