CPSC 634: Intelligent User Interfaces

Fall Semester, 2017
Time and place: M/W/F 3:00 - 3:50pm Room HRBB 126
Instructor: Dr. Frank Shipman
Office hours: HRBB 404, TBA, or by appointment

Description of Course

This course looks at embedding AI mechanisms in user interfaces, interfaces for knowledge acquisition and representation, issues concerning computational agents, and developing cooperative problem solving systems. Additionally, this class will discuss the applicability of AI techniques by reading and discussing works by Herb Simon and Lucy Suchman. Through projects students will learn how to work with a user community to identify the potential for intelligent support, design and instantiate that support, and evaluate the resulting application.


Students should have some knowledge of artificial intelligence (AI) and computer-human interaction (CHI). It is good to have taken one AI class and one CHI class but this is not required. See the instructor if you are unsure.

Readings (all required) (discussant list)

Sciences of the Artificial, 3rd edition, Herb Simon, The MIT Press

Human-Machine Reconfigurations: Plans and Situated Actions, 2nd edition, Lucy Suchman, Cambridge University Press

and collected conference and journal papers made available online or provided via handouts.

Major Topics

Topics to be included in the course are:

Class Work

The class will include projects, readings, quizzes, and short assignments. Projects will be group projects (3-5 members, with more members indicating a larger project.) Individual student's grades for projects will be influenced by their teamwork as evaluated by the other project group members. Projects are to include selecting a user community and specific tasks to support, designing an intelligent user interface to support the task, development of an initial prototype, and planning an evaluation of the prototype's success or failure to support the task. Project topics must be approved by the instructor.


Grading will be based on reading and participation in class, quizzes over the readings, homeworks, and projects. Project grades will combine the overall grade for the project and team members relative effort.
    class participation    10%
    quizzes                25%
    exams                  20%
    homeworks              15%
    project                30%
Grades will be on a 10 point scale: 90-100 = A, 80-89 = B, 70-79 = C, 60-69 = D, and <60 = F.

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. Here is a link to the MS Word Template. You can find RTF and Maker Interchange File formats at this ACM SIGCHI page.

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."