Sarah Cooney

I am a PhD candidate studying Computer Science at the University of Southern California (USC) with a B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from Saint Joseph's University (SJU). I am advised by Professor Barath Raghavan. My research expertise is in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Specifically, I study how technology interacts with both physical structures (like urban form) and socio-cultural factors (such as faith and spirituality) to promote sustainability, resilience, and individual wellbeing within communities.

HCI Reading Group

I lead the USC HCI Reading group. Meetings for Fall 2021 are Wednesday 3-4pm PDT. The reading calendar can be found here. Email me for Zoom information

Selected Projects


A software system designed to allow everyday citizens to create designs for urban repair projects in their neighborhoods without the need for training or expert facilitation. Try the prototype here. (Enter any text as the MturkID.)

The CommYOUnity Data Project

A project to collect a dataset with photos of people's neighborhoods with captions describing what they love and what improvements they would make. Contribute here

Selected Publications

Opening the Gate to Urban Repair: A Tool for Citizen-Led Design
Sarah Cooney and Barath Raghavan

To Appear: CSCW 2022

Sarah Cooney

Doctoral Consortium, CHI 2021, Virtual

May 2021
Edward A. Cranford, Palvi Aggarwal, Cleotilde Gonzalez, Sarah Cooney, Milind Tambe, Christian Lebiere

Proceedings of the 53rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Maui, HI

Best Paper - Digital Government Track

January 2020
Sarah Cooney, Kai Wang, Elizabeth Bondi, Thanh Nguyen, Phebe Vayanos, Hailey Winetrobe, Edward A. Cranford, Cleotilde Gonzalez, Christian Lebiere, Milind Tambe

Proceedings of the Joint European Conference on Machine Learning and Knowledge Discovery in Databases, Würzburg, Germany

September 2019
Sarah Cooney, Wendy Gomez, Kai Wang, Jorja Leap, P. Jeffrey Brantingham, Milind Tambe

ECML-PKDD 4th Workshop on Data Science for Social Good (SoGood), Würzburg, Germany

September 2019