Janet H. Hsiao
Division of Social Science

Janet H. Hsiao

BSc NTU, MSc SFU, PhD Edinburgh

Division of Social Science
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Office: Room 3374
Phone: +852 3469-3127
Email: jhhsiao at ust dot hk


Janet Hsiao is a Professor in the Division of Social Science at Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST). Before joining HKUST, she was a Professor of Psychology at University of Hong Kong. She received her Ph.D. in Informatics from University of Edinburgh and was a postdoctoral researcher at University of California San Diego. She is best known for her research on learning and visual cognition, including face recognition, reading, and object detection and identification. She adopts an interdisciplinary approach, using methods and theories from artificial intelligence, experimental psychology, psycholinguistics, and cognitive neuroscience to study the human mind. In particular, she developed the Eye Movement analysis with Hidden Markov Models (EMHMM) method to quantify individual differences in eye movement pattern and consistency, which has revolutionized the use of eye movement data to understand cognition. She has also combined EMHMM with deep learning methods to understand the role of attention in human learning and its implications for explainable Artificial Intelligence research. She received the Best Language Modelling Paper Prize from the Cognitive Science Society in 2006 and the Early Career Award from the RGC Hong Kong in 2012. She is now a Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society and serves on the Governing Board. She is also Editor-in-Chief of British Journal of Psychology and an Associate Editor of Cognition.

Research Interests

Cognitive Science, Computational Modeling, Eye Movement analysis with Hidden Markov Models (EMHMM), Visual Cognition, Learning, Perceptual Expertise, Face Recognition, Reading, Psycholinguistics, Explainable AI.

(Please see this article "Understanding human cognition through computational modeling" for a summary of my research before 2023).


  • University of Edinburgh, the United Kingdom
    Ph.D., Informatics, 2006.
  • Simon Fraser University, Canada
    M.Sc., Computing Science, 2002.
  • National Taiwan University, Taiwan
    B.S., Computer Science & Information Engineering, 1999.

Positions and Employments

  • Co-Director, AI Ethics & Governance Lab, Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research (CAiRE), Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, 2024 - now
  • Professor, Division of Social Science, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, 2024 - now
  • Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Hong Kong, 2023-2024
  • Steering Committee Member, Institute of Data Science, University of Hong Kong, Aug. 2022 - Jan. 2024
  • Head, Department of Psychology, University of Hong Kong, Oct. 2020 - Sept. 2023
  • Principal Investigator, The State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Hong Kong, Sept. 2019 - Jan. 2024
  • Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Hong Kong, 2015 - 2023.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Hong Kong, 2009 - 2014.
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, University of California, San Diego, 2005 - 2008.

Editorships and Services

  • Editor-in-Chief, British Journal of Psychology, Nov. 2022 - now
  • Governing Board Member, Cognitive Science Soceity, Aug 2022 - Aug 2028
  • Section Editor, Cognition, June 2021 - now
  • Associate Editor, Cognitive Science, July 2018 - Dec. 2022
  • Academic Editor, PLOS ONE, Jan 2014 - Jan 2021
  • Program Committee Member, Annual Meetings of Cognitive Science Society, 2016 - now

Awards and Honors

  • Fellow, the Cognitive Science Societiy, 2023
  • Early Career Award, the Research Grant Council of Hong Kong, 2012
  • Best Language Modeling Paper Prize, the Twenty Eighth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Vancouver, Canada, 2006.
  • CCK Fellowships for Ph.D. Dissertations, Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange, Taiwan, 2005.
  • 2nd prize, Informatics Jamboree poster competition, University of Edinburgh, UK, 2005.
  • Overseas Research Student scholarship, British Council, UK, 2002-2005.
  • Informatics studentship, University of Edinburgh, UK, 2002-2005.
  • Graduate Fellowship, Simon Fraser University, Canada, 2001.
  • Five Presidential Awards in succession (Top 5% in class), National Taiwan University, Taiwan, 1996-1999.
  • Scholarship from Rotary Club, Taiwan, 1996.


Copyright ©2009 Janet Hsiao