Brown CS News

Brown CS Alum Jiaju Ma Is A CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Finalist

Click the links that follow for more news about previous recipients of honors for this award and other recent accomplishments by our students.

The Computing Research Association (CRA) is a coalition of more than 200 organizations with the mission of enhancing innovation by joining with industry, government, and academia to strengthen research and advance education in computing. Every year, they recognize North American students who show phenomenal research potential with their Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award, and in 2022, Brown CS alum Jiaju Ma was one of only twenty finalists.

Jiaju situates his research by explaining that despite the abundance of commercial creativity support tools like Figma and Adobe Creative Suite, there exists a significant gap between the creative outputs of a designer and a layperson.

"Just as researchers employ scientific methodologies," he says, "designers utilize established principles; I apply iterative design and human-centered design thinking from industrial design to build innovative solutions. Without such knowledge, it can be difficult for a layperson to achieve similar results with the same tools."

Drawing from the interdisciplinary background in computer science and industrial design he acquired in the Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program, Jiaju hopes to build hybrid human-artificial intelligence (AI) creativity support tools that actively assist lay users to apply design principles for more effective outputs, shaping the future of work in domains like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), animation, and fabrication.

"I couldn't have won this without the support from Brown CS," Jiaju says, "and especially from my advisor, Jeff Huang."

The full list of Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award recipients and honorees is available here.

For more information, click the link that follows to contact Brown CS Communication Outreach Specialist Jesse C. Polhemus.