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Johnny Cho

Ph.D. Candidate

User Experience Researcher 

University of Washington

Information School

Hi! Nice to meet you! 
I am a UX Researcher. I have researched Human-Computer Interaction for 5 years experiencing various fields such as user research & design, game behaviors, emerging technologies (ex. AR/VR), education technology, data analytics. 


(chronological order →)


#Gaze based VR



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#Data Sciences






#Mobile App





I care about my students and I enjoy helping them achieve their academic endeavors. 

INSC 565


IMT 596

LIS 570C

DD 364

DD 275

Computer/Tech-nology Literacy


Teaching Practicum I: qualitative & quantitive methods, University of Washington (Spring 2021)

Technical Foundations of Informatics: Teaching  R studio, University of Washington (Autumn 2020)

Capstone Project: leading 6 projects, University of Washington (Winter-Spring 2020)

Research, Assessment, Design: teaching research methods, University of Washington (Autumn 2019)

Digital Design Studio II:  New Jersey Institute of Technology (Spring 2019)

History of Games, New Jersey Institute of Technology (Fall 2018)

Computer/Technology Literacy: Virtual Reality Content, Alfred Cramer College Preparatory Lab School (Spring-Fall 2018)

English, North Side Learning Center (Fall 2016)



Conference Papers

AR-Vis: Augmented Reality Interactive Visualization Environment for              Exploring Dynamic Scientific Data

Hannah Hye Jin Kum-Biocca, Hyomin Kim, Frank Biocca,& Yeonhee Cho (2018, May)

The 21st International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, Florida (HCI '19) 



The AR Vis project seeks to develop a general-purpose interactive data visualization platform for collaborative interaction with scientific data. The platform will be designed for augmented reality displays of data supporting multi-user interaction and simulations. Methods and a development pipeline for data culling, modeling, visualization, and porting to multiuser augmented reality are to be developed. A prototype interactive visualization application will demonstrate the system by developing visualization and simulation of magnetic fields. The magnetic field visualizations will be attached to physical objects or embedded in the environment as well as transformed with tangible models of nano and geospatial scales magnetic phenomena accessible to a user’s full body (embodied) interaction. The project can make a significant contribution to scientific visualization. Extending beyond the cognitive impact of traditional scientific visualization the goal of AR Vis to additionally leverage human perception and spatial cognition and make data patterns tangible, manipulable and more accessible. In supporting augmented information cognition in scientists and learners, the AR Vis seeks to support data discovery and learning. The project will yield both a prototype platform and developed a data visualization pipeline. Both will be demonstrated in substantial and concrete implementation and demonstration of AR Vis techniques and platform using physics data modeling of the invisible and largely intangible forces of magnetism across different scales. The internal funding will support prototype development yielding later NSF projects and a collaborative bridge between the processes of digital design and physics.

The BagStands Alone: Stereotype Processing in Virtual Reality

Kelly Gaggin, Keonyoung Park, Jiyoung Lee, Se Jung Kim, Noah Kenneth Buntain, Irene Marie Domenico,
Laura Enid Canuealas, Gina Gayle, Jianin Hu, Alexandros Morntountak, Honey Aka Hani Lalitkumar Rao,
Andrew Francis Wirzburger, Jun Zhang, Tamara Makana Chock, & Yeonhee Cho (2018, May)

The 68th Annual International Communication Association Conference, Information Systems Division, Prague, Czech Republic (ICA'18), acceptance rate: 44%



This experimental study attempts to determine if priming pre-existing stereotypes affects the ways that people process and recall information in virtual reality environments (VE) and whether this also affects related judgments. A number of studies have found that if existing stereotypes are primed by exposure to stereotype-consistent media content, people’s assessments and judgments of subsequent events and individuals tend to be consistent with the media prime (see Molden, 2014; Roskos-Ewoldsen, Roskos-Ewoldsen, and Carpentier, 2009). This may be particularly important in examining the ways that people process VEs. Because of the interactive and immersive nature of VEs, users have far greater control over their ability to select and attend to specific features or characteristics in the environment than they would in other media formats. This study uses VEs to identify the extent to which are cuing stereotypes of terrorism, or of sympathy for fleeing refugees, influences attention, interpretation, and memory for an ambiguous scenario in an airport terminal. We will also attempt to determine whether these factors impact generalized attitudes towards immigration and about Muslims. We expect that preexisting attitudes toward immigration and Muslims will mediate the priming effects of audio cues and affect the attention to, and recognition and memory for, content that is consistent with existing cognitive biases.

How Spatial Presence in Virtual Reality Affects Memory Retention and      Motivation in Second Language Learning

Yeonhee Cho, Frank Biocca, Hannah Biocca (2018, May)

The 68th Annual International Communication Association Conference, Instructional & Developmental Communication Division, Prague, Czech Republic (ICA'18), acceptance rate:  44%

Nominated by the Top Student Paper



This research examines the efficacy of media effects and memory retention in second language(L2) learning by comparing desktop-based learning and VR-based learning. It is assumed that VR uses latent acquisition when used for learning L2, increasing memory retention by producing spatial presence and a stronger immersion experience. Thus, we investigate whether Virtual Reality Head Mounted Display (VR HMD) with strong spatial presence improves language learning simulation through the use of ‘Method of Loci’. If so, the VR method has potential to be an effective novel approach that uses subconscious mechanisms of memory coding to facilitate the L2 acquisition of the new words. Participants played the VR language program to test the effectiveness of learning of Korean vocabulary using interactive objects arrayed around the 3D classroom environment. The results indicated that VR had significant effects on enhancing language learning through the use of spatial memory, spatial presence, enjoyment, and motivation. Lastly, structural equation modeling was used to find the significant path in media effects.

Keywords: Virtual Reality, Spatial Presence, Language Learning, Spatial Memory, Enjoyment, Motivation

The Impact of Interaction in Virtual Reality Language Learning as Active   


Yeonhee Cho (2018, April)

The 10th Korean American Educational Research Association Annual Conference, NY (KAERA 2018)



The trend in Virtual Reality (VR)-based learning is increasing. Since the VR apparatus is stable and getting smaller and portable to carry around, many VR contents are available. In this paper, we hypothesized that VR language learning will make people active learners because a high interaction in VR will promote intrinsic motivation. Therefore, we conducted quantitative research to measure perceived interactivity and intrinsic motivation through comparing desktop-based learning (i.e., low-immersive environment) and VR HMD-based learning (i.e., high-immersive environment). We created two different Korean language modules and tested them on participants who had no prior Korean language learning experience. The primary implication of this research was that perceived interactivity served as a full mediator between medium and intrinsic motivation. Overall, this paper emphasizes the importance of interaction in VR environment that can make language learners more active.
Key words: Virtual reality Language Learning, Immersion, Perceived Interactivity, Intrinsic Motivation

What makes a Virtual Concert More Realistic: Spatialized 3D Sound with

Head Tracking Function in a Multi-Model Virtual Reality System

Mincheol Shin, Stephen Song, Yeonhee Cho, & Sejeong Kim (2017, May)

The 67th Annual International Communication Association Conference, Communication and Technology Division, San Diego (ICA '17)



Can three-dimensional (3D) sound in a virtual concert affect the relational evaluation of performers? Although previous studies demonstrate that realistic auralization (i.e., 3D sound) in virtual environments can foster perceived realism, whether sound itself can affect the formation of an interpersonal relationship between users and media personas has yet to be empirically examined. To further investigate the power of sound in virtual environments, a 2 x 2 factorial design experiment (N = 44), having sound as a within factor (3D vs. 2D) and visualization source as a between factor (Virtual reality vs. TV), was conducted. Specifically, we examined the effects of auralization on social presence, parasocial relationship, enjoyment, and intent of supportive action as well as the moderating effects of the visualization source on social presence. The results from the consecutive analyses indicated that auralization had a significant effect on social presence, and that heightened social presence, in turn, positively influenced parasocial relationship, enjoyment, and intent of supportive action. In addition, social presence was found to be a significant mediator for the relationship between auralization and the dependent variables. The findings have an implication for the future design of virtual reality contents.
Key words: Three-Dimensional sound, virtual reality, social presence, parasocial relationship, enjoyment, intent of supportive action.

Kind TV: Interactive and Personalized Television news and Credibility

Sung Yoon Ri & Yeonhee Cho (2016, August)

The 7th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics, Florida (AHFE '17) 



Since the advent of television, the media environment has changed drastically. For a long time, television has wielded the mighty power to influence the audience’s view of the world (Gerber & Gross, 1976). However, today’s media diversification which brought about the channel proliferation and selective exposure weakened the power. Moreover, fast evolving information technology enables the audience to enjoy interactive and personalized media. Although the personalized Internet news services have been researched (Beam & Kosicki, 2014), the assessment of credibility in news from personalized television has been scarcely studied. Thus, this research will test whether the interactive and personalized television news has higher credibility.

Effects of Reverberation and SPL on Social Presence and Para-social 

Relationships: Why do People Prefer Live Music to Recorded Music?

Mincheol Shin, Stephen Song, Frank Biocca, Yeonhee Cho, & Hyun Yang (2016, July)

The 66th Annual International Communication Association Conference, International Society for Presence Research, Preconference, Kyoto, Japan (ICA '16)



The current study investigates the effects of live music on social presence and parasocial relationships. Specifically, we compare the effects of live music to recorded music and examine the underlying psychological mechanism of why people prefer live music to recorded music. In order to examine and illustrate the reason why people prefer to experience live music over recorded music, this study uses Presence Theory as a framework. We conducted an experiment with a three-group, between-subject design. A total of 59 participants were randomly assigned to three conditions and were asked to listen to (or watch) music (or a performance) for 10 minutes. Next, social presence, parasocial relationships and enjoyment were measured via self-report surveys. The results showed that people tend to have a greater perception of social presence, parasocial relationship and enjoyment when it comes to live music. However, there was no significant difference between live performance (i.e., live music with visual cues) and live music (i.e., live music without visual cues). In the current study, plausible reasons were discussed.
Key words: Live music, spatiality, social presence, enjoyment, parasocial relationship

Design of a Smart TV Logging System considering Context of Audiences by

Using Beacons and Smartphones

Jehwan Seo & Yeonhee Cho (2015, June)

Advertising Research Foundation, Audience Measurement. Presentation: New York (ARF '15)



In this paper, a smart TV logging system comprising a beacon system and smartphones is proposed. To investigate the feasibility of our strategy, we designed and implemented a prototype system and conducted a trial study. The study results show that the prototype can unobtrusively capture viewers’ various events embedded in TV viewing behavior. The results of the study also suggest that the proposed method allows more robust and accurate data to be collected than do the TV viewing behavior analysis approaches used in existing qualitative research studies, such as surveys and interviews. As a future work, our system can be extended to the personalized recommendation service through analyzing the collected data. Also, a Bluetooth-based system is useful for screening engaged viewers. This system may have a tremendous impact in that it can match and classify the accurate TV rating data in real-time. Lastly, it can implement the user context (local-based) N-screen service.


Impact of Augmented Reality (AR) Types in Science Education: Focusing on Student-Centered Learning

Yeonhee Cho,

Master's thesis, University of Pennsylvania, 2019



The research paper aims to investigate how different types of Augmented Reality (AR) affect student-centered learning in science education. It will also explore why these types are used differently in a variety of contexts. Moreover, it is important to investigate how AR types, image-based AR, and location-based AR facilitate student-centered learning impact results. To research AR-related learning, it is necessary that the research in science education is up-to-date since AR technology is a new trend in educational technology. Thus, this paper analyzed 19 recent journal articles written from 2010 to 2017 regarding the use of AR in science education. The 19 journal articles were selected from the reviewed papers by Ibáñez & Delgado-Kloos (2018). In the first section, a general comparison of AR types is analyzed with the following categories: subjects, educational level, AR platform, and educational context. The analysis of the scholars’ papers explains where AR types are commonly used. After the first section, what follows is a discussion on how AR types generate effective outcomes, such as; (1) improving students’ conceptual understanding, (2) creating positive attitudes, and (3) promoting student engagement. This section focuses on analyzing how scholars conduct AR-based learning in science education. Last, the paper will discuss the challenges of using AR types in science education. The argument in this paper is that various AR types may take a different role in science education so that when instructors want to use AR technology in their curriculum, this paper will be a guide to using AR types in a variety of science education environments.



Virtual Reality (VR) software and hardware are becoming increasingly stable as are the production values for VR content. This progress makes it essential to research the impacts of language learning in VR to provide directions and guidelines for the field of educational technology. This research examines the efficacy of media effects and memory retention in language learning through computer assistance with an increased focus on VR. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of using VR as a method for the second language (L2) learning. It is assumed that VR uses latent acquisition when used for learning L2, increasing memory retention by producing spatial presence and a stronger immersion experience. Thus, the VR method has the potential to be an effective novel approach that uses subconscious mechanisms of memory coding, ‘Method of Loci’, to facilitate the acquisition of new words through learning. In order to corroborate it, immersive and desktop learning environments based on VR need to be compared to analyze the media’s impact on constructs, such as spatial presence, memory, enjoyment, and motivation. The Korean language learning module and a test were administered to a group of participants, none of whom had a prior learning experience with the Korean language. The research implication is a positive correlation between media and medium impacts with findings that provide an important foundation in the fields of language education and media communications. Accordingly, L2 learning through VR offers a novel method to learning new languages by facilitating convenience and effectiveness.



Data Analysis

Coding Skills

Visual Tool

Experiment & Research Tool


R Studio, Tableau

Unity, Unreal, Python, JavaScript, C#, HTML, CSS, JAVA

MAYA, 360-degree camera, ADOBE CS (Premiere, Aftereffects, Photoshop)

FNIR (Functional near-infrared spectroscopy; Measure brain function), ECG (Electrocardiography; Measure heartbeat), EDA (Electrodermal activity; Measure skin conductance), Morae (Usability testing software), Eye tracking, SPSS (Statistics), Qualtrics (Survey)

Korean(Native), English (Advanced), Chinese (Intermediate), and Japanese (Basic)


May 2018

March 2017

Jan 2017

May 2011

August 2010

December 2010



  • Virtual Reality Survey System (#10-2017-0103497): The innovative way to survey instantly by using virtual reality or augmented reality

  • Virtual Reality for Kids (#10-2018-0086001): User experience design of virtual reality hardware for kids use



Professional Links

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  • github
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Personal Links

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  • naver blog


I love pet. I have one cute puppy. Her name is B.B. She has a little talent. She can do some tricks which are "sit","down", "wait" ,"bang", "hand", etc. As commonly the parents think their kids are genius, so do I for my pet. 

Also, I am going to be a real father. I am so excited to have my first child. Including B.B, I am preparing myself to be a good father!

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