My name is Ian Li and I'm the creator of Owlstown. When I was in grad school, I maintained my own academic website and it was time-consuming. I had to keep a server running, stay up-to-date on web technologies, and write the code for the website. This was on top of my grueling research work. My experience inspired me to create Owlstown, an online platform that helps academics and researchers make better academic websites without the time-consuming hassle.
I got my PhD at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. My research was focused on personal informatics, tools that help people understand their own behavior. My dissertation explored how contextual information can improve self-knowledge in personal informatics systems. My advisors were Anind Dey and Jodi Forlizzi.


Using context to reveal factors that affect physical activity

Ian Li, Anind K. Dey, Jodi Forlizzi

ACM Transactions on Computer Human Interaction, vol. 19(1), 2012 Mar, pp. 1-21

Understanding My Data, Myself: Supporting Self-Reflection with Ubicomp Technologies

Ian Li, Anind K. Dey, Jodi Forlizzi

Ubicomp 2011, 2011, pp. 405-414

A stage-based model of personal informatics systems

Ian Li, Anind K. Dey, Jodi Forlizzi

CHI 2010, 2010, pp. 557-566

Here's what I did: sharing and reusing web activity with ActionShot

Ian Li, Jeffrey Nichols, Tessa Lau, Clemens Drews, Allen Cypher

CHI 2010, 2010, pp. 723-732

Grafitter: leveraging social media for self reflection

Ian Li, Anind K. Dey, Jodi Forlizzi

ACM Crossroads Student Magazine, vol. 16(2), 2009 Oct 30, pp. 12-13

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Personal Informatics & Context: Using Context to Reveal Factors that Affect Behavior

Explores the use of contextual information in personal informatics systems to help users understand the factors that affect their behavior.

Model of Personal Informatics Systems

A model that serves as a common framework for describing, comparing, and evaluating personal informatics systems.


IMPACT, Improving and Motivating Physical Activity using ContexT, is a system that monitors and informs users about their physical activity and the context in which the activities happen. The system shows real-time information on a phone interface and ...


Ian Li, PhD

Creator of Owlstown


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