My main research focus is in information visualization topics, in particular using artificial intelligence techniques to improve existing charts and graphical perception. I've also done work in a number other HCI-related topics.

AI and crowdsourced techniques for improving existing charts

The vast majority of published charts and visualizations are bitmaps, which means it is difficult to extract the underlying data. These projects explore computer vision techniques to extract the marks and data from existing charts and use this information to augment or redesign charts.

CHI 2014 - Text References Extracting References Between Text and Charts via Crowdsourcing.
Nicholas Kong, Marti A. Hearst, Maneesh Agrawala.
CHI 2014, To Appear.
InfoVis 2012 - Graphical Overlays Graphical Overlays: Using Layered Elements to Aid Chart Reading.
Nicholas Kong, Maneesh Agrawala.
InfoVis 2012, pp. 2631-2638.
UIST 2011 - ReVision ReVision: Automated Classification, Analysis and Redesign of Chart Images.
Manolis Savva, Nicholas Kong, Arti Chhajta, Li Fei-Fei, Maneesh Agrawala, Jeffrey Heer.
UIST 2011, pp. 393-402. [Notable Paper Award]
UIST 2009 - Perceptual Interpretation of Ink Annotations on Line Charts Perceptual Interpretation of Ink Annotations on Line Charts.
Nicholas Kong, Maneesh Agrawala.
UIST 2009, pp. 233-236.

Graphical perception

Data is visualized using different encodings, such as position, color, or size. I've done some studies on the interaction between these encodings on graphical perception -- the ability of people to quickly and accurately decode information from charts.

InfoVis 2010 - Perceptual Guidelines for Creating Rectangular Treemaps Perceptual Guidelines for Creating Rectangular Treemaps.
Nicholas Kong, Jeffrey Heer, Maneesh Agrawala.
InfoVis 2010, pp. 990-998. [Honorable mention for best paper]
CHI 2009 - Sizing the Horizon Sizing the Horizon: The Effects of Chart Size and Layering on the Graphical Perception of Time Series Visualizations.
Jeffrey Heer, Nicholas Kong, Maneesh Agrawala.
CHI 2009, pp. 1303-1312. [Best Paper Award]

Workflow comparison

Many software packages are very large and may contain thousands of features, which means there are usually many ways to complete the same task. While on an internship at Autodesk Research, I designed, built, and evaluated a system to help users find image-editing workflows.

CHI 2012 - Delta Delta: A Tool For Representing and Comparing Workflows.
Nicholas Kong, Tovi Grossman, Björn Hartmann, George Fitzmaurice, Maneesh Agrawala.
CHI 2012, pp. 1027-1036.

Tools for corporate wiki curators

Wikis are widely used in business as a common repository for information. However, updating and maintaining the wiki is a time-consuming task and wikis are often neglected. While on an internship at PARC, I worked on mixed-initiative tools for wiki updating and curation.

IUI 2011 - VisualWikiCurator VisualWikiCurator: Human and Machine Intelligence for Organizing Wiki Content.
Nicholas Kong, Ben Hanrahan, Thiébaud Weksteen, Gregorio Convertino, Ed H. Chi.
IUI 2011, pp. 367-370.
C&T - Mail2Wiki Mail2Wiki: Low-cost Sharing and Early Curation from Email to Wikis.
Ben Hanrahan, Guillaume Bouchard, Gregorio Convertino, Thiébaud Weksteen, Nicholas Kong, Cedric Archambeau, Ed H. Chi.
C&T 2011, pp. 98-107.

Modeling pointing at targets of arbitrary shape

As an undergraduate, I did work on a 2D model for pointing that handles arbitrary shapes.

CHI 2007 - Modeling Pointing at Targets of Arbitrary Shapes Modeling Pointing at Targets of Arbitrary Shapes.
Tovi Grossman, Nicholas Kong, Ravin Balakrishnan.
CHI 2007, pp. 463-472.