CPSC 671: Computer-Human Interaction

Spring Semester, 1999
Time and place: MWF 1:50 - 2:40, 126 HRBB
Instructor: Dr. Frank Shipman
Office hours: HRBB 402B, MW 2:45 - 3:45 pm, or by appointment


This class provides an overview of the research and practices of human-computer interaction, its history and techniques. This course will cover (1) development processes, (2) interaction mechanisms, (3) psychology and human factors, and (4) emerging technologies.


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


Readings in Human-Computer Interaction, Ronald Baecker et al.


Short assignments			20%
Class participation			20%
Term paper				20%
Team project				40%


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.

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.

Programming for projects: done in language and operating system of your choice on machines wherever you have access.

Class participation: Most class periods will include a discussion of reading materials. One or two students will be selected to present a brief (10 minute) overview of the material for each class and another student (or two) will be assigned to have discussion questions ready. All students are expected to have done the readings and be able to participate in discussions. Keep up with the readings so there will be no pop quizzes!

Term paper: Each student will select a topic on which to write a 10-15 page term paper. These papers are to describe the current state of practice and research with references to the current literature. Topics need to be approved by the instructor

Projects: Students will form three-person teams and define a semester project or select one from a list of existing ideas. There will be three 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,
(2) creating an initial system design and mock-up, and
(3) instantiating the design in a prototype implementation.
The final project report (10-20 pages) will also require the design of an evaluation procedure for refining the resulting interface. The in-class presentations of project progress will be 5 minutes long and the final presentation on the project will be approximately 15 minutes long and include all members of the team.

Project grades will be determined by both the instructor's review of the project and student's description of their and other member's work.


Jan. 20		Overview & Introductions
Jan. 22		Readings (pages 1-34)
Jan. 25		Readings (pages 35-70)
Jan. 27		Readings (pages 71-92)
Jan. 29		Readings (pages 93-127)
Feb. 1		Readings (pages 128-151)
Feb. 3		Project Status Reports
Feb. 5		Readings (pages 187-204)
Feb. 8		Readings (pages 215-232)
Feb. 10		Readings (pages 233-253)
Feb. 12		Readings (pages 273-292)
Feb. 15		Readings (pages 293-312)
Feb. 17		Readings (pages 313-343)
Feb. 19		Readings (pages 344-372)
Feb. 22		Readings (pages 373-398)
Feb. 24		Readings (pages 399-424)
Feb. 26		Readings (pages 444-468)
March 1		Group Work Day
March 3		Project Status Reports
March 5		Readings (pages 469-493)
March 8		Readings (pages 494-508)
March 10	Readings (pages 509-524)
March 12	Readings (pages 525-545)
March 22	Readings (pages 546-570)
March 24	Readings (pages 571-602)
March 26	Readings (pages 603-639)
March 29	Readings (pages 640-666)
March 31	Readings (pages 667-683)
April 5		Readings (pages 684-697)
April 7		Readings (pages 718-738)
April 9		Project Status Reports
April 12	Readings (pages 739-761)
April 14	Readings (pages 762-782)
April 16	Readings (pages 783-803)
April 19	Readings (pages 804-832)
April 21	Readings (pages 833-848)
April 23	Readings (pages 849-866)
April 26	Readings (pages 867-885)
April 28	Readings (pages 897-912)
April 30	Readings (pages 913-940)
May 3 		Project Reports
May 4 		Project Reports

CPSC 671 Assignment 1:

Due in class on January 29

1. Write no more than two pages about the best system / computer interface you have used.
Describe the interface and why you selected it as best. Is it good for a variety of users and tasks or just for you? How might you improve on its design?

2. Write no more than two pages about the worst system / computer interface you have used.
Describe the interface and why it is bad. How could it be improved? Why might the designers have developed it the way they did?

Important: All reports are to be printed on a word processor or typed (no handwritten assignments will be accepted). It is expected that students will correct grammar and spelling -- these are grounds to deduct from your grade. (i.e. Use a spelling checker and reread what you write before turning it in.)