About Me

a headshot I am a first-year Ph.D. student in Technology and Social Behavior, the combined Ph.D. program in Computer Science and Communication,  at Northwestern University. I am in the People, Space, and Algorithms (PSA) Research Group and advised by Prof. Brent Hecht. I study how people use technology to support social causes, e.g. disability rights and immigrant rights. My work involves using mixed methods to understand how advocates, activists, and organizations use technology to promote social change. This knowledge guides me to design and develop digital tools to help people engage with social causes and take actions.

Prior to my doctoral study, I gained design experience in multiple industrial domains, including healthcare, education, and shipping. I earned my MS degree in Human-Computer Interaction from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis’s School of Informatics and Computing, where I was advised by Profs. Erin Brady (primary advisor), Lynn Dombrowski and Andrew Miller. I graduated from Wuhan University, China, with a bachelor degree in Computer Science.


  • Hanlin Li, Disha Bora, Sagar Salvi, Erin Brady. 2018. Slacktivists or Activists?: Identity Work in the Virtual Disability March. In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’18). (Pre-Print PDF)
  • Hanlin Li, Lynn Dombrowski, and Erin Brady. 2018. Working toward Empowering a Community: How Immigrant-Focused Nonprofit Organizations Use Twitter during Political Conflicts. In Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference on Supporting Group Work (GROUP ’18). (PDF)
  • Hanlin Li and Erin Brady. 2017. #accessibilityFail: Exploring the Potential of Using Social Media Posts to Identify Accessibility Problems. In Proceedings of the 2017 International iConference.


  • Disha Bora, Hanlin Li, Sagar Salvi, Erin Brady. 2017. ActVirtual: Making Public Activism Accessible. In Proceedings of the 19th international ACM SIGACCESS conference on Computers & accessibility.
  • Hanlin Li and Erin Brady. 2016. #accessibilityFail: Categorizing Shared Photographs of Physical Accessibility Problems. In Proceedings of the 18th international ACM SIGACCESS conference on Computers & accessibility. (PDF)
  • Hanlin Li and Erin Brady. 2016. Using Technology to Plan Accessible Conferences. In Proceedings of The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.



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Frances Searle Building 1-310
Evanston, IL 60208