My name is Lisa. I am excited by programming languages (PL), human-computer interaction (HCI), and cognitive science.

I am a PhD candidate 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 design and develop programming assistants. I define programming assistants as the following: (1) they show the ground truths of the program execution, and (2) they suggest usable and understandable edit to the code. Programming assistants with a technology-first design can lead to usability problems and cognitive burdens, requiring the user to adapt their behavior to the tool. How do we design usable programming assistants?

To that end, I adopt the human-centered approach to design programming assistants:

  • I use evidence from cognitive science and empirical investigations to derive the design space of a programming tool; and
  • I work with potential users of a programming tool to refine the design space and to iterate on existing designs.

I believe that comprehension is key to the successful execution of many programming tasks (e.g., debugging, refactoring). My goal is to develop programming tools that help programmers understand the information presented to them, let it be program execution or code suggestions, in order to be more effective with other programming tasks.

Recent Projects

The Projects tab shows a full list of my projects.