My name is Ruanqianqian Huang, aka Lisa or Qianqian. I’m excited by programming languages (PL), human-computer interaction (HCI), and cognitive science.

I’m a PhD student studying Computer Science at UC San Diego in the Programming Systems Group advised by Sorin Lerner. Before coming to UCSD, I obtained my B.A. in Computer Science and Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences from Wellesley College near Boston, MA, where I worked extensively with Franklyn Turbak on PL and HCI.

See Fun for my life outside of computer science.


I build interactive systems for programming, hoping to bring more cognitive ergonomics to programmer <-> computer communication in programming tasks. Note that this is a two-way communication:

  1. From the computer’s perspective, with the abundance of information available when a program is being authored, modified and executed, I aim to present the most relevant information to the programmer in an appropriate manner using techniques such as instrumentation and slicing; and

  2. From the programmer’s perspective, I would like to improve the existing programming setup such as the design of IDEs and input modalities to ease the processes of code authoring, comprehension, navigation and debugging.

To that end, I build live programming-based tools for various domains of programming, and I use mixed methods to understand programmers as well as to improve the design of programming environments. My life-long mission is to make programming a more enjoyable experience.

Ongoing Projects

Please refer to the Projects tab for a full list of my projects (and a flavor for the kind of research I’m interested in).