About Me

about me

Hi! I am a PhD student in Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego, advised by Dr. Margaret Roberts and Dr. Berk Ustun. My research is in fairness and machine learning. I am interested in understanding complex system dynamics - how we (and our data) interact and coevolve with ML models over time, interact with and understand the information on the internet, and connect to each other.

Languages:​ Python, Java, R, D3, Javascript, C, HTML/CSS, Unix, Matlab
Data Platforms:​ Amazon Web Services, Spark
ML Tools:​ Keras, TensorFlow, Scikit-learn
Applications:​ Final Cut, LaTeX, Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Solidworks, Arduino
Spoken Languages:​ Mandarin-Chinese (Intermediate-High on ACTFL/ETS proficiency scale)

Research Areas: Machine Learning, Optimization, Human-Centered Design, Algorithmic Fairness, Interpretability, Accountability, Reliability

Awards and Honors

  • Graduate Fellowships for STEM Diversity (GFSD) Fellow (previously National Physical Science Consortium) (2021-2027)
  • UCSD School of Global Policy & Strategy Science Policy Fellow (2020-2022)
  • Xilinx WIT University Grant Program Awardee (funds allocated to GradWIC, valued at $25K)
  • Doctoral Award for Excellence in Service and Leadership (CSE End of Year Awards) (June 2021)
  • UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering Fellowship (2019-2021)
  • Honorable Mention in the 2021 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Competition (April 2021)
  • Team selected to innovate in the CFPB Virtual Tech Sprint on Adverse Action Notices (Oct 5-9, 2020)
  • #LWTSUMMIT Scholarship (February 2020)
  • 2020 CRA-WP Grad Cohort for Women Workshop Scholarship (November 2020, attended May 2021)
  • Honorable Mention in the 2019 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Competition (April 2019)
  • Rewriting the Code 2019 Fellow (2019-2020)
  • Best Visualization and Analysis (Best In Show) – 2018 BOW Datafest (April 2018)
  • Best Presentation Award – Intern Research Review Novartis Institute for BioMedical Research (August 2017)

  • Leadership

    I am also the President of UCSD Graduate Women in Computing (GradWIC) which is a graduate student organization that primarily focuses on community building and outreach. I organize and lead mentorship programs, professional development workshops, movie nights, beach bonfires, graduate school application workshops, and manage scholarships for students to attend Grace Hopper and ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing. I strive to create an innovative, informative, and inclusive environment; focusing primarily on those who identify as women and underrepresented minorities in computing fields.

    I am the CSE Representative to Graduate and Professional Students Association (GPSA), operating as a point of contact and organizer for broader CSE community events.

    I am currently a mentor in three UCSD-based mentorship programs:
  • GradPal: Kyeongyeon Lee and Langley Barth (2020-2021)
  • GradWIC: Feng Hou and Alisha Ukani
  • Jacobs Undergraduate Mentoring Program (JUMP): Erin Griggs (SWE President), Ava(Diego) Real, and Dadian Zhu
  • Unofficially to some members of our undergraduate sister organization, WIC: Priyal Suneja

    Previous Leadership Roles

  • UCSD CSE MS Orientation Graduate Student Moderator and Panelist (Sept 2021)
  • UCSD CSE PhD Orientation Graduate Student Moderator and Panelist (Sept 2021)
  • Bruins in Genomics (BIG) Summer Alumni Panelist, Mental Health Discussion Facilitator
  • WIC GBM #2 - Explore Computer Science Panelist (May 2021)
  • CSE DEI Committee Celebration of Diversity Mini-Series: Fitting in vs. Belonging Workshop Leader
  • Jacobs Undergraduate Mentoring Program (JUMP) Grad School Panel & Graduate Research Opportunities Panelist (April 2021)
  • UCSD CSE Visit Day 2021 DEI Panelist and Game Night (hosted by GradWIC) Event Organizer (March 2021)
  • UCSD Women's Center STEMinist Panel: Visualizing a More Equitable Future for Womxn in STEM (March 2021)
  • Society of Women Engineers: Envision 2021 Workshop Volunteer (February 2021)
  • GradWIC x WIC Graduate School Application Workshop Series (7 Workshops) (Fall 2020)
  • UCSD Women's Center Virtual STEM Student Organization Fair (December 2020)
  • UCSD CS PhD Information Session Moderator (November 2020)
  • UCSD Jacobs Graduate Student Council Incoming Graduate Student Information Session Panelist (October 2020)
  • UCSD CSE MS Orientation Graduate Student Moderator and Panelist (September 2020)
  • UCSD CSE PhD Orientation Graduate Student Moderator and Panelist (September 2020)
  • GradWIC How to Network Event Moderator (August 2020)
  • Bruins In Genomics (BIG) Summer Alumni Panelist (July 2020)
  • Discussion Facilitator at UCSD GSA 2nd Annual Mental Health Matters Symposium (May 2020)
  • Founder and Chair of Wellesley ACM-W Student Chapter (2018-2019)

  • Good Reads

  • Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor: Extremely well researched ethnographic-style deep dive into different facets of automation and ML classifiers and how they affect lives of the lowest socioeconomic classes and works its ways up. For instance, prediction tasks for child protective services are trained on public data available, but the public data is majority composed of those that use public services. Higher socioeconomic status families can afford to use private services and are thus missing from the dataset. Thus, these ML predictors are often trained on unrepresentative and unreliable datasets that disproportionally cause harm to those affected by it.
  • Data Feminism: Extremely well written. Delves into the truly revolutionary perspective shift we need to take in order to approach equity in data and data science. Ideas such as the difference between data ethics (concepts that secure power because they locate the source of the problem in individuals or technical systems) to data justice (concepts that challenge power because they acknowledge structural power differentials and work toward dismantling them) (pg.60).
  • How to be Anti-Racist: Need I say more? This book is on the NYtimes best seller list. Read as a part of the CSE DEI committee book club and there have been some truly mind blowing revelations surrounding assimilation and dominant culture -- how to we accept racism in our daily lives, can we be racist against our own races (or other identities), what does it mean to act in an anti-racist manner and how to we continue to audit ourselves? There are some aspects of intersectionality that could be further explored and developed such as the chapters on gender and sexuality, they felt a bit superficial.
  • Weapons of Math Destruction: Introduction to algorithms and data usage manipulated at a large scale in the real world. Deconstructs a lot of CS jargon to be approachable to someone without a CS background.
  • Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria?: Amazing read, super approachable and doesn't get boring or overwhelming. The book emphasizes that we need to have race discussions in our daily lives and throughout our education. Stereotype threat is real. I learned a lot about my privilege as an Asian person and the privilege of being a model minority. Favorite image: Racism and systemic oppression are just like the moving walkways at the airport, it speeds some people along, even if you are doing nothing you still get moved forward. Only those actively moving against it can move in the opposite direction. Also resistance and change comes in many forms, both in conversations with your family, protests, and donating. Read as a part of the UCSD CSE Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee Book Club.

  • Personal Projects

    In my spare time, I love creating, cooking, and bettering myself.

    Picnics in the Park

    Socially distancing, getting fresh air, and snacking in the park. Themed attire required, we pick a new theme every meal!

    Quarantine Glow Up

    Started doing pilates. Still miss lifting at the gym.

    Spam Musubi

    Made fresh every Sunday. Still trying to find the PERFECT combination of ingredients.
    Pictured: spam, seasoned rice, egg, and lettuce.

    Plant Momma

    Philodendron from Trader Joes is thriving at home. My room is a jungle. Watering days are workouts.

    GradWIC Merch

    Hand-embroidered GradWIC merch for my board members coming soon!

    Unplug in Yosemite

    Being off-grid, completely unreachable for about a week makes you realize how plugged in we truly are.

    Connect With Me

    jjchien "at" eng "dot" ucsd "dot" edu
    Github, Twitter, LinkedIn

    UCSD GradWIC
    cse-gradwic-officers "at" eng "dot" ucsd "dot" edu
    Website, Facebook, Instagram