Xiao Ma


I am a research engineer at Google AI (2021 - present) working in the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Machine Learning. Between 2019 - 2021, I was a backend engineer on Google Geo Search and worked on query understanding for various COVID testing and vaccine-related features.

My research focuses on articulating how AI increasingly mediates social exchange and its societal impact on trust. Previously I worked at Facebook Core Data Science (2018) on trust in social groups and Airbnb (2016) on trust in host profiles. I run the NYC Computational Social Science happy hour series pre-pandemic. I also attempt to write about social computing in the wild on substack.


I hold a PhD in Information Science from Cornell (NYC campus) on the topic of Networked Trust: Computational Understanding of Interpersonal Trust Online. I was lucky enough to be advised by Mor Naaman, Karen Levy, Serge Belongie, and Jeff Hancock. Before coming to the U.S., I completed my bachelor's in Electronics Engineering at Peking University (2010-2014) in Beijing. I have also spent time at Technion (2012) and Stanford (2016) as a visiting student researcher.


As a New Yorker, I am always looking to support (through donation and technical volunteering) local cultural institutions that promote diversity in the intersection of art and technology, e.g., National Sawdust and Rhizome. Please reach out if you have other ideas. I sometimes also create art under the name Maximal Margin.


Happy to talk about grad school, research, career, diversity and inclusion. If you send me an email with concrete questions, I will try my best to reply.

xiao at jacobs o cornell o edu

111 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011