CPSC 436: Computer-Human Interaction

Fall Semester, 2014
Time and place: T/Th 3:55pm - 5:10pm Room 113 HRBB
Instructor: Dr. Frank Shipman
Office hours: HRBB 404, TBA, or by appointment
Teaching Assistant: Gabriel Dzodom (available for meetings, arrange by email)

Description of Course

This class provides an introductory level survey of human-computer interaction, its history and techniques. This course will cover (1) cognitive and social models and limitations, (2) hardware and software interface components, (3) design methods, (4) support for design, and (5) evaluation methods.


Students should have a basic knowledge of programming complex systems and be able to learn new software tools on their own.

Readings (all required)

The Design of Everyday Things, Revised and Expanded Edition, Donald Norman, Basic Books, 2013.

On-line materials:
The textbook will be supplemented by additional material made available through this web site below in the Schedule. Note that you have to be on the Texas A&M University computer network, or be using TAMU VPN, to access many of these documents.

This material will include useful pointers and references for your projects and homeworks. Questions about the on-line materials will be included on the exams.


  Exams                   40%
  Team project            25%
  Short assignments       25%
  Class participation     10%

Homeworks and short assigments

There will be a number of assignments due in class. These assignments may require use of specific software outside of class time and will take the form of short essays, written answers to questions, and design documents. All material turned in should be printed using a computer printer or typed except when noted otherwise.

Assignment List (to be updated throughout the semester)
Assignment 1: due 9/16/2014
Assignment 2: due 10/7/2014
Assignment 3: due 10/28/2014
Student Technical Presentations: due various dates (sign up sheets passed around in class)
Final Project Reports: due 12/9/2014

Homework late policy:
10% is deducted from your grade for every school day late up to a maximum of one week after the original due date.

Class participation

Most class periods will include a discussion of material from the textbook or other readings. All students are expected to have read the materials and be able to participate in discussions. Lectures and discussions will include material not in the book that will be covered by the exams.


Students will form three to five person teams and define a semester project. There will be two preliminary progress reports for the projects emphasizing particular phases of the interface design process:
(1) identifying a topic, determining cognitive and social issues, and determining an approach. Also identify the task(s) to be performed by each team member.
(2) creating an initial system design, and instantiating the design in a prototype implementation.
The final project report will also require the design of an evaluation procedure for refining the resulting interface. The in-class presentations of project progress will be 4-5 minutes long and the final presentation on the project will be 12-15 minutes long and will necessarilly include a demo.

First phase reports: due Sept. 30 (instructions)
Second phase reports: due Nov. 4 (instructions)

Programming for projects:
Done in language and operating system of your choice on machines to which you have access. It is your responsibility to ensure that your project can be demonstrated in the classroom.

Approximate Schedule (subject to change)

class 1: (Sept. 2) Class Overview, Syllabus, Introductions Different takes on CHI history: Saul Greenberg, Erik Duval, and Jonathan Grudin.

class 2: (Sept. 4) Chapter 1, The Psychopathology of Everyday Things, slides

class 3: (Sept. 9) Designing Games based on Real-World Data
Data-driven web entertainment: the data collection and analysis practices of fantasy sports players, and
Data Games

class 4: (Sept. 11) Supporting Heterogeneous Data Analysis
PerCon: A Personal Digital Library for Heterogeneous Data

class 5: (Sept. 16) Chapter 2, The Psychology of Everyday Actions, slides
Assignment 1 due

class 6: (Sept. 18) Chapter 3, Knowledge in the Head and in the World, slides

class 7: (Sept. 23) Chapter 4, Knowing What to Do: Constraints, Discoverability, and Feedback, slides

class 8: (Sept. 25) Multi-Application User Interest Modeling
Supporting document triage via annotation-based multi-application visualizations, slides

class 9: (Sept. 30) Project Progress Reports

class 10: (Oct. 2) Chapter 5, Human Error? No, Bad Design, slides

class 11: (Oct. 7) Chapter 6, Design Thinking, slides
Assignment 2 due

class 12: (Oct. 9) Chapter 7, Design in the World of Business, slides

class 13: (Oct. 14) Multimedia Interfaces

  • Sergio Avedillo, slides
  • Matt Bowersox, slides
  • David Canzonetta, slides
  • -Devan Huapaya, slides
  • Brandon Johnsen, slides
  • Tony Moma, slides
  • additional slides on multimedia interfaces

    class 14: (Oct. 16) Ubiquitous Computing Interfaces

  • Adam Kilpatrick, slides
  • Chandler Miles, slides
  • Ramon Roel Orduno, slides
  • Josh Privett, slides
  • Angela Ramsey, slides
  • -Ali Momin, slides
  • Matthan Myers, slides
  • Gustavo Pedroso, slides
  • Sarah Vance, slides
  • additional slides on ubiquitous computing

    class 15: (Oct. 21) Exam I, (over all material up through October 9)
    Study sheet for Exam 1

    class 16: (Oct. 23) Project Work Day

    class 17: (Oct. 28) Tangible Interfaces
    Assignment 3 due

  • *Shane Buckner, slides
  • Yash Chitneni, slides
  • Elizabeth Chlipala, slides
  • Michael Curry, slides
  • *Richard Haines, slides
  • Eric Heisler, slides
  • *Michael Hudgins, slides
  • Victoria McCloud, slides
  • Ben Sitz, slides
  • additional slides on tangible interfaces

    class 18: (Oct. 30) Mobile Interfaces

  • Joanne Bruno, slides
  • Matthew Carrasco, slides
  • Sara Fox, slides
  • Michael Gyarmathy, slides
  • David Harrison, slides
  • Taylor Hunt, slides
  • Chandler Sauers, slides
  • Frank Tian, slides
  • Richard Wilder, slides
  • additional slides on mobile interfaces

    class 19: (Nov. 4) Project Progress Reports

    class 20: (Nov. 6) Project Work Day

    class 21: (Nov. 11) Wearable Interfaces

  • *Anish Ali, slides
  • Kalil Armstrong, slides
  • Brandon Grey, slides
  • Charles Kernstock, slides
  • Michael Knight, slides
  • *Josh Latvatolo, slides
  • Raegan Lucero, slides
  • *Kristen Musolf, slides
  • Abul Siddiqui, slides
  • additional slides on wearable interfaces

    class 22: (Nov. 13) Interfaces for the Crowd

  • Edgardo Angel, slides
  • Michael Bass, slides
  • Erick Chaves, slides
  • Emeka Ede, slides
  • Corey Hall, slides
  • Nick Hanemann, slides
  • Patricia Mullgrav, slides
  • Lance West, slides
  • Harry Zhang, slides
  • additional slides on interfaces for crowds

    class 23: (Nov. 18) Interfaces for Software Developers

  • Jordan Cazamias, slides
  • Yeuyu He, slides
  • Karan Khatter, slides
  • Zachary Lewis, slides
  • Ishita Mandhan, slides
  • Zachary McKie, slides
  • Mandel Oats, slides
  • Christopher Spear, slides
  • Grant Uland, slides
  • additional slides on interfaces for software developers

    class 24: (Nov. 20) Exam II, (over all materials after Exam 1)
    Study sheet for Exam 2.

    class 25: (Nov. 25) Project Work Day

    class 26: (Dec. 2) Final Project Presentations

    class 27: (Dec. 4) Final Project Presentations

    class 28: (Dec. 9) Final Project Presentations

    Final Report Format

    Your final project reports is to be 8-12 pages formatted according to the ACM Conference Format. You can cut and paste into this format and use the paragraph styles provided. You can find Microsoft Word, RTF and Maker Interchange File templates at this ACM SIGCHI page.

    Avoiding Academic Dishonesty

    Scholarly dishonesty, especially plagiarism, will not be tolerated. The Aggie Honor System office (http://www.tamu.edu/aggiehonor/) provides valuable resources for understanding and avoiding academic dishonesty. It is your responsibility to read this information and make sure that you understand it. If you are unsure of whether or not you should do something, ask first.

    Attendance Policy

    All students are expected to attend and participate every class. Attendance policy will be administered in accordance with Texas A&M University Student Rule 7.

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Policy Statement

    The following ADA Policy Statement (part of the Policy on Individual Disabling Conditions) was submitted to the UCC by the Department of Student Life. The policy statement was forwarded to the Faculty Senate for Information.

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal antidiscrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Department of Student Life, Services for Students with Disabilities in Room B118 of Cain Hall or call 845-1637.

    Aggie Honor Code

    "An Aggie does not lie, cheat, or steal or tolerate those who do."

    Upon accepting admission to Texas A&M University, a student immediately assumes a commitment to uphold the Honor Code, to accept responsibility for learning and to follow the philosophy and rules of the Honor System. Students will be required to state their commitment on examinations, research papers, and other academic work. Ignorance of the rules does not exclude any member of the Texas A&M University community from the requirements or the processes of the Honor System. For additional information please visit: www.tamu.edu/aggiehonor/

    On all course work, assignments, and examinations at Texas A&M University, the following Honor Pledge shall be preprinted and signed by the student:

    "On my honor, as an Aggie, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this academic work."