Lu Xiao

Lu Xiao

I am an associate professor at the School of Information Studies (a.k.a., iSchool) in Syracuse University. My research interests and activities are related to three broad areas: collaborative and social computing, digital humanities, and community informatics. I use a variety of research methods and approaches ranging from field observations and interviews, to UI design and prototyping, to the application and development of computational techniques for large-scale data analysis. Please feel free to stop by at my office to chat about these areas if you are interested. I am always looking for students to work together in these areas.

Before coming to Syracuse, I was an associate professor at the University of Western Ontario. I received my Ph.D. from the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Pennsylvania State University. I was a visiting professor at Syracuse from Fall 2015 to Spring 2016, and at Xerox Research Center in Europe in Summer 2015.


I am looking for motivated students who are interested in exploring the following research topics. Let's chat if you want to know more about what my group does on these topics:

  • To leverage collective intelligence in social media environments;
  • To understand and facilitate the curation and analysis of human rights research data, and;
  • To foster informal learning in community settings.

See my faculty page for more information.


Consistent with constructivist and connectivist learning theories, my teaching method seeks to: promote intentional learning, offer authentic learning, encourage collaborative learning, nurture reflective thinking, and provide a mutual learning environment. These five principles provide a framework for my teaching guiding my curriculum design. A good educator is a reflective practitioner. To me, one of the most rewarding aspects of an academic position is the opportunity to teach and interact with students. 


  • I hold a doctoral degree in Information Sciences and Technology, a Master's degree in Computer Engineering, and a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering.
  • I grew up in a hot and humid city in China close to the southern part. Throughout my graduate education period, I kept moving towards north starting from University of Florida. My friends were genuinely concerned that I could only graduate in North Pole. Thankfully, Penn State issued me a doctoral degree and stopped this pattern.
  • I love Martial Art (I learned a little of Small Chang Quan, Small Hong Quan, Wu Style Tai Chi, Tae Kwon Do, and Chi Gong)
  • I won Pop Song singing competition in middle school