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Junnan Yu

Junnan Yu

Assistant Professor

  • V902b
  • +852 2766 6830
  • Expertise: Human-Computer Interaction; Interactive Learning Technologies; Computing Education for Children; Design Research
  • Portfolio


Dr Junnan Yu is an Assistant Professor in the School of Design at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and directs the Little Design Lab. Residing at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction, Learning Sciences, and Design, his research focuses on studying and designing creative technology-mediated learning experiences for young people, investigating the roles that social context plays in children’s learning, and innovating design research in educational contexts. Some of his research and design practices also go beyond learning and children’s contexts and extend to broader HCI research, such as reflecting on HCI research methodologies and addressing emergent technology-related challenges in people’s everyday lives. His research has been published and recognized in top-tier venues for Human-Computer Interaction and Child-Computer Interaction, such as the ACM CHI, CSCW, and IDC conferences.  

Before joining PolyU Design, Dr Yu was a Temporary Research Faculty in the Department of Information Science at the University of Colorado Boulder and once a research intern at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University. Dr Yu earned his Ph.D. in Information Science from the University of Colorado Boulder, a Master’s degree in Design from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design from Zhejiang University. 

Dr Yu is looking for Ph.D. students interested in interactive learning technologies, computing education for children, and child-centered AI design. For those interested, you may want to check and consider applying for the 
PolyU postgraduate fellowships. Note these fellowships are highly competitive. Finally, Dr Yu also welcomes postdocs through the RGC Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme. Feel free to reach out if you are interested.


Education and Academic Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in Information Science, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Master in Design, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Bachelor in Industrial Design, Zhejiang University

Teaching Area

  • Interaction Design
  • Interactive Media

Research Outputs

Yu, J., Hayden, R., & Roque, R. (2023). Exploring Computational Thinking with Physical Play through Design. In Interaction Design and Children (IDC’ 23), June 19–23, 2023, Chicago, IL, USA. ACM, New York, NY, USA.

Cen, J., Xu, T., & Yu, J. (2023). Examining Gender-oriented Design Features in Computational Toys and Kits for Young Children. In Proceedings of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’23), April 23–28, 2023, Hamburg, Germany. ACM, New York, NY, USA. 19 pages.

Yu, J., Widman, S., & Roque, R. (2023). Family Negotiation in Joint Media Engagement with Creative Computing. In Proceedings of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’23), April 23–28, 2023, Hamburg, Germany. ACM, New York, NY, USA. 15 pages

Xu, T.* , Yu, J.*, Doyle, D., & Voida, S. (2023). Technology-Mediated Strategies for Coping with Mental Health Challenges: Insights from People with Bipolar Disorder. Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact. (CSCW ’23) ( * : Equal contribution)

Yu, J., Granados, J., Hayden, R., & Roque, R. (2021). Parental Facilitation of Young Children’s Technology-based Learning Experiences from Nondominant Groups During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact., 5 (CSCW2, October). (CSCW ’21)

Yu, J., DeVore, A., & Roque, R. (2021). Parental Mediation for Young Children’s Use of Educational Media: A Case Study with Computational Toys and Kits. In Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’21), 1–12.

Yu, J., & Roque, R. (2019). A Review of Computational Toys and Kits for Young Children. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, 21, 17–36



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