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Jonathan Zong


Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ph.D. Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Minor in Science, Technology, and Society
Advisor: Arvind Satyanarayan
S.M. Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Princeton University

B.S.E. Computer Science
Advisor: J. Nathan Matias
Certificate in Visual Arts
Advisor: David Reinfurt

University of Oxford

Spring 2017
Visiting Student

Research Experience

Visualization Group, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab

Graduate Researcher
Advisor: Arvind Satyanarayan

Digital Theory Lab, New York University

Nov 2020–

Citizens and Technology Lab, Cornell University

Jun–Aug 2020
Graduate Research Fellow
Mentor: J. Nathan Matias

Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University

Undergraduate Researcher
Advisor: J. Nathan Matias

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Feb–Jun 2017
Undergraduate Researcher
Mentor: Scott Hale

Fluid Interfaces Group, MIT Media Lab

Jan 2016
Undergraduate Researcher
Mentor: Tal Achituv

Work Experience

Google Research, AI UX Team

Jun–Sep 2018
UX Engineering Intern

Google Design, Material UX Team

Jun–Sep 2017
UX Engineering Intern

Linked by Air

Jun–Aug 2016
Software and Design Intern


Jun–Sep 2015
Software Engineering Intern


Jun–Aug 2014
Software Engineering Intern (KPCB Engineering Fellow)

Awards & Honors


Forbes 30 Under 30 (Science)


MIT Morningside Academy for Design Fellowship

MIT Prize for Open Data Honorable Mention

Fast Company Innovation By Design Awards Finalist


Schnitzer Prize in the Visual Arts, MIT


Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Hertz Foundation Fellowship Finalist


Lucas Award in Visual Arts, Princeton University

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention


Santos-Dumont Prize for Innovation, Princeton University

Tau Beta Pi Scholarship

Students All to Chaumont 3rd Place, Centre National du Graphisme

Peter B. Lewis Summer Fund for the Arts


Facebook Global Hackathon Finals Honorable Mention


Greylock Partners Hackfest, 1st Place


HackRice, 1st Place, Rice University

KPCB Engineering Fellowship

MIT THINK Scholars

Interact Fellowship


Eagle Scout


Peer-Reviewed Publications

2024. Umwelt: Accessible Structured Editing of Multi-Modal Data Representations. Jonathan Zong, Isabella Pedraza Pineros, Mengzhu (Katie) Chen, Daniel Hajas, Arvind Satyanarayan. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (ACM CHI) (Forthcoming).
2024. “Customization is Key”: Reconfigurable Textual Tokens for Accessible Data Visualizations. Shuli Jones, Isabella Pedraza Pineros, Daniel Hajas, Jonathan Zong, Arvind Satyanarayan. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (ACM CHI) (Forthcoming).
2024. Beyond Dark Patterns: A Concept-Based Framework for Ethical Software Design. Evan Caragay, Katherine Xiong, Jonathan Zong, Daniel Jackson. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (ACM CHI) (Forthcoming).
2024. Data Refusal From Below: A Framework for Understanding, Evaluating, and Envisioning Refusal as Design. Jonathan Zong, J. Nathan Matias. ACM Journal on Responsible Computing.
2023. Animated Vega-Lite: Unifying Animation with a Grammar of Interactive Graphics. Jonathan Zong*, Josh Pollock*, Dylan Wootton, Arvind Satyanarayan. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (IEEE VIS).
2022. Rich Screen Reader Experiences for Accessible Data Visualization. Jonathan Zong*, Crystal Lee*, Alan Lundgard*, JiWoong Jang, Daniel Hajas, Arvind Satyanarayan. Computer Graphics Forum (EuroVis). Best Paper Honorable Mention
2022. Bartleby: Procedural and Substantive Ethics in the Design of Research Ethics Systems. Jonathan Zong, J. Nathan Matias. Social Media + Society.
2021. Lyra 2: Designing Interactive Visualizations by Demonstration. Jonathan Zong, Dhiraj Barnwal, Rupayan Neogy, Arvind Satyanarayan. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (IEEE VIS).
2020. Representing Real-Time Multi-User Collaboration in Visualizations. Rupayan Neogy, Jonathan Zong, Arvind Satyanarayan. IEEE Visualization Conference (VIS).
2019. Unruly Cyborgs: The Relational Set Designs of Isamu Noguchi. Jonathan Zong. Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies.

Edited Publications

2023. Pointing, Mutual Intelligibility, and the Seeing Subject in HCI. Jonathan Zong. Interface Critique.
2020. From Individual Consent to Collective Refusal. Jonathan Zong. ACM XRDS (Crossroads).

Workshops, Conferences, Posters, and Demos

2022. Olli: An Extensible Visualization Library for Screen Reader Accessibility. Matt Blanco, Jonathan Zong, Arvind Satyanarayan. IEEE VIS Posters.
2021. Design Spaces of Domain-Specific Languages: Comparing and Contrasting Approaches in PL and HCI. Jonathan Zong*, Josh Pollock*, Dylan Wootton, Arvind Satyanarayan. PLATEAU Workshop on the Intersection of HCI and PL.
2021. Pointing, Mutual Intelligibility, and the Seeing Subject in HCI. Jonathan Zong. Computer Mouse Conference.
2020. The (Minimal) Persuasive Advantage of Political Video over Text. Chloe Wittenberg, Adam Berinsky, Jonathan Zong, David Rand. International Conference on Computational Social Science.
2020. Lyra: An Interface for Designing Interactive Visualizations. Jonathan Zong, Dhiraj Barnwal, Rupayan Neogy, Arvind Satyanarayan. Computation + Journalism Symposium.
2020. Collective Refusal and the Limits of Informed Consent for Data Protection. Jonathan Zong, J. Nathan Matias. Data & Society Contested Data Workshop.
2018. Automated Debriefing: Interface for Large-Scale Research Ethics. Jonathan Zong, J. Nathan Matias. Companion of the 2018 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing. Best Demo Award


2018. Empirically Studying Research Ethics with Interface Designs for Debriefing Online Field Experiments. B.S.E. Thesis, Princeton University.

Talks & Presentations

Invited Talks

2024. Accessible Data Representations for Screen Reader Users. Quantitative and Digital Humanities Speaker Series, Emory University.
2024. Participation and Power in Data Collection and Analysis
Information Science Seminar, University of Colorado Boulder
Ethical Tech Working Group, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society
2023. Participation and Power in Data Collection and Analysis. Penn HCI Group, University of Pennsylvania.
2023. Accessible Data Visualization for Blind and Low Vision Users. MIT Morningside Academy for Design.
2022. Designing Data Representations for Embodiment and Refusal. Information Science Seminar, Cornell University.
2022. Rich Screen Reader Experiences for Accessible Data Visualization
HackNY Fellowship Speaker Series
Design for Assistive Technology, MIT Beaver Works Summer Institute
DiverseAbilities Employee Resource Group, New York Department of Transportation
2022. Designing Research Ethics Systems. Accountable Algorithms Reading Group, Northeastern University.
2022. Art, Concepts, Visualizations. Interact Fellowship Symposium.
2020. Designing Systems to Theorize Collective Power. Digital Theory Lab, NYU Media, Culture, and Communication.
2020. Layered Abstractions for Interactive Visualization Design. Digital Structures Group, MIT Department of Architecture.
2019. “The Most Liberal of Arts”. Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University.
2018. Public Accountability in Research Ethics. CivilServant Research Summit, MIT Media Lab.

Conference Talks and Panels

2023. Olli: Accessible Data Representations for Screen Reader Users. Information+ Conference.
2023. Data Refusal From Below: A Framework for Understanding, Evaluating, and Envisioning Refusal as Design. Panel: Resistance · AoIR 2023.
2022. Consent: A Research and Design Lens for Human-Computer Interaction (Panel). CSCW 2022.
2020. Public Display and Biometric Sans: Embodied Writing in the Age of Data. Before and Beyond Typography, Stanford University Department of History.
2019. In Our Own Image: The Autonomy of Artificial Bodies in Synthetic Porn. Panel: Internet Connection · Theorizing the Web.

Public Scholarship


2019. The Struggle to Democratize MIT. Rodrigo Ochigame, Alan Lundgard, Alonso Espinosa Dominguez, Jonathan Zong, Gabrielle Ballard, Sally Haslanger, Edmund Bertschinger, Mani Mengiste, Ruth Perry. The Tech (MIT).
2019. Consent Is Not an Ethical Rubber Stamp. Crystal Lee*, Jonathan Zong*. Slate.
2018. Researching the Researchers: Ethics and Privacy in Institutional Research. Jonathan Zong. Nassau Weekly.


2022. CAPSULE No. 1. Cammie Lee, Megan Pai.
2021. Form, Content, Data, Bodies: Jonathan Zong and Beth Semel on Biometric Sans. Jonathan Zong, Beth Semel. Somatosphere.
2021. Holly Herndon in conversation with Tabea Nixdorff and Jonathan Zong. Version Space.
2018. w-t-f: a conversation with Eric Li and Jonathan Zong. Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University.

Data Journalism

2021. The Data Visualizations Behind COVID-19 Skepticism. Crystal Lee, Jonathan Zong, Anna Arpaci-Dusseau, Katherine Huang, Mateo Monterde, Ethan Nevidomsky, Tanya Yang, Anna Meurer, Soomin Chun, Arvind Satyanarayan. MIT Visualization Group.


WRECKED ALPHABET. Marcel Broodthaers Society of America.
BODY TEXT. Wiesner Gallery, MIT.
w-t-f. Lucas Gallery, Princeton University.
Internet Yami-Ichi. Rhizome, New Art Dealers Alliance.
*a graphic design exhibition*. Princeton University and IN-FO.CO, Los Angeles.
Faire Signe. Biennale de design graphique, Chaumont, France.



Van Alan Clark, Jr. Library, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Tufts University


Graphic Arts Collection, Firestone Library, Princeton University

Art Book Fairs


Tiny Tech Zines, Navel LA

with Free Radicals

Press Play, Pioneer Works

with Tech Zine Fair

Odds and Ends, Yale University

Zine Soup 3.0: Makers Market, Chinatown Soup

NY Tech Zine Fair, School for Poetic Computation

Boston Art Book Fair, Boston Center for the Arts



2020. AI, Justice, Imagination: Technology and Speculative Fiction. Tufts University Experimental College
Visiting Lecturer (Adjunct) (co-instructor with Janet Zong York)

Guest Lecturer / Speaker

2023. Crowd Sourced City: Data Activism Edition. MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning
2023. Transversal Design for Social Impact. MIT Program in Art, Culture, and Technology

Guest Critic

2022. i-n-t-e-r-f-a-c-e. Princeton University

Student Mentorship

M.Eng. Students

Isabella Pedraza Pineros, Katie Chen
Summer 2023
Evan Caragay, Katherine Xiong
Shuli Jones
EJ Sefah, Katie Bacher
Rupayan Neogy

Undergraduate Students

Spring 2023
Isabella Pedraza Pineros
Fall 2022
Mufaro Makiwa
Spring/Summer 2022
Matt Blanco (Northeastern)
Summer 2021
JiWoong Jang (CMU)
Fall 2020
Anna Arpaci-Dusseau, Katherine Huang, Mateo Monterde, Ethan Nevidomsky, Tanya Yang, Anna Meurer, Soomin Chun


Peer Reviewing

ACM CHI, Research Ethics (SAGE Journal), ACM DIS
ACM CHI, IEEE VIS, IEEE TVCG, ACM SIGGRAPH, PacificVis Visual Data Storytelling Contest
ACM CHI (Special Recognition for Outstanding Review), IEEE VIS, Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics

Other Academic Service

Selection Committee Member, MIT Student Art Awards

Event Organizing

Princeton University Workshop on Ethics of Field Experiments

Community Building & Activism

MIT Graduate Student Union, Organizer
MIT Human-Computer Interaction, Social Committee
MIT Students Against War

Selected Press


2024. New software enables blind and low-vision users to create interactive, accessible charts. MIT News.
2024. Q&A: How refusal can be an act of design. MIT News.
2023. Improving accessibility of online graphics for blind users. MIT News.
2023. Student Spotlight: Jonathan Zong. MIT CSAIL.
2023. MIT MAD Fellow Improves Accessibility of Online Graphics for Blind Users. MIT Morningside Academy for Design.
2023. These tools help visually impaired scientists read data and journals. Nature Technology Features.
2022. Developing community around design. MIT News.
2022. Making data visualization more accessible for blind and low-vision individuals. MIT News.
2022. 3 Questions: Designing software for research ethics. MIT News.
2021. Helping data journalists create interactive graphics. MIT CSAIL News.
2020. Forty artists elide, dismantle, and politicize the alphabet. Art & Education.
2020. Students Plumb Barriers of Sound, Space, and Sight at MIT. Arts at MIT.
2020. Bezos, Bodies, and Backprop. The Tech (MIT).
2018. PolitEcho: A Mirror for the “Daily Me”. Frontier Magazine.
2017. Challenge everything you think — democracy depends on it. The Guardian.
2017. How to Escape Your Political Bubble for a Clearer View. The New York Times.
2016. This browser extension shows how biased your social media feed is. A.V. Club.
2016. Find out just how biased your Facebook feed is with this Chrome extension. Mashable.
2016. A Browser Extension That Shows You Your Filter Bubble. New York Magazine.
2016. Transformations: Students find creativity at intersection of art and engineering. Princeton University News.
2013. Houston’s Hackers Gather to Help City Solve Problems. Xconomy.


2023. Making chemistry accessible to all. Dell Technologies Perspectives.
2022. MIT grad students vote to form labor union. Boston Business Journal.
2022. After weeks of wrangling, MIT's grad student union will come to a vote this week. WBUR.
2021. Digital exclusions: mental health and digital life. Our Sick Society Podcast.
2020. Facial Recognition Software: Masks, Ethics & The Future. Forbes.
2019. The Dark Implications of Facial Swap Filter Technology. Paper Magazine.