CMPT 773 (Fall 2006): Human-Computer Interaction

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Class meetings:

Note: Different rooms on each day.
Tue 9:30-11:20, AQ 5008
Thu 9:30-10:20, AQ 5007


Ted Kirkpatrick
TASC 8015

Instructor Office Hours:

Wednesday 14:30-15:30
Thursday 13:30-14:30
(Subject to change if these times prove inconvenient for a large number of students.)
Other times by appointment.


Area III. This course provides an overview of a number of research areas in human-computer interaction (HCI). On first glance, it may seem easy to describe how people interact with a computer, and good design may appear to be just a matter of "giving people what they need". This course will disturb that apparent simplicity, showing the complexities and challenges of creating satisfying interaction. We will consider different ways of describing interaction, what those approaches describe well, and what they miss. Along the way, you will gain a strong understanding of how design fields such as computing science can make use of experimental data. The course is designed so that students without a formal background in computer science can participate. I encourage registration by students from other disciplines involved in the design of interactive systems, such as Communications, Education, Engineering Science, Health Sciences, Interactive Arts and Technology, Kinesiology, and Psychology. We will spend most of our time reading, talking about, and writing about papers.

We will begin with a review of the logic of the experimental method, then proceed through a series of fundamental and recent papers in the main areas of human-computer interaction. We will also read articles on experimental methods in HCI. This edition of the course will have a specific focus on interaction techniques, methods for directly issuing requests to an interactive system.