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Cheryl Zhenyu Qian

Cheryl Zhenyu Qian

Chair and Professor // Art and Design // Rueff School

Professor // Industrial Design // Rueff School

Research focus:
Interaction Design, InfoVis and Visual Analytics, Industrial Design

Office and Contact

Room: PAO 3121B


Phone: (765) 494-3057

Fax: (765) 496-2076

Professor of Interaction Design and Industrial Design


Dr. Cheryl Zhenyu Qian is a full professor of Interaction Design in Industrial Design at Purdue University. She received a B.Arch. from Southeast University in China, M.A.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees of Interactive Arts and Technology from Simon Fraser University in Canada. Being a boundary crosser, Dr. Qian is interested in studying and developing cognitive systems to enrich knowledge, employing interdisciplinary research methodologies to improve the design quality, and adopting innovative technologies to accommodate user experience. Her current research is focused on 1) the harmonious integration of physical and virtual interactions in the user experience design, 2) adopting interaction design theories, tools, and evaluation methods to review, compare, guide, and enhance product design outcomes, and 3) employing innovative design thinking into the domain of visual analytics.

Dr. Qian’s graduate-study-research developed her professional core from a designer (architect) to a design researcher. Her career at Purdue University focused her on new research directions in the industrial design context. She has opportunities to collaborate with not only researchers, designers, and engineers, but also industrial manufacturers, network security analysts, business managers, and more importantly real product users.  She noticed and understood the urgent needs of interaction design to shape the user experience. Her interpretation and exploration of interaction design have gone from cyberspace, immersed into everyday products, and covered across interdisciplinary domains such as user experience analysis, service design, human-computer interaction, information design, visual analytics, and computer-aided design.

As an academic researcher, apart from winning seventeen IEEE VAST challenge system design awards (2010~2023), the 1st demo contest prize of I2LOR'07 and the 2nd demo contest prize of I2LOR'05, Cheryl has built up a 90+ publication list ranging from journals, conference proceedings, poster presentations, and book translations in the interdisciplinary domains of Interaction Design, Digital Learning, Computer-aided Design, Human-computer Interaction, and Engineering Education. Her Ph.D. dissertation won the Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal from Simon Fraser University in 2010.

Dr. Qian developed the Purdue University Interaction Design MFA program and its four core courses based on the perspectives of interdisciplinary methods and innovative design processes. She initiated frequent undergraduate and graduate student participation in collaboration with other programs on campus and with other universities in community service, special education, and game design. Over ten years of development of the program, Dr. Qian’s students have succeeded in procuring positions with companies such as Amazon, Google, eBay, Facebook, Samson, Whirlpool, GE Appliances, Electronic Arts, NASA, Esri, and Motorola.