UPDATE DUE TO COVID-19 IMPACT ON CLASS
We have had to update the planned assessment structure for the class due to COVID-19. We’ve made changes to the Undo assignment and the weighting of class participation up until this point. In both cases, things that were changed are marked as
crossed out if they have been replaced.
Welcome to Interaction Programming!
Interactive technology is changing society. Some of today’s interfaces are used by a billion people at a time. Almost everything we create is created for people to use, through user interfaces. We will learn about interactive systems, including programming paradigms and design of event handling, layout, undo, accessibility and context awareness.
For quick links to key things, check out the navbar above and the table of contents here:
- Class Instructors, time and date
- Should I take this class?
- Prereqs and expectations
- Other relevant classes to know about
- Course Structure
- Class Coordination
- Class Expectations
Class Instructors, time and date
CSE 340 will be held on M/W/F at 12:30pm Labs will be Thursday morning
CSE 340 is taught by Jennifer Mankoff. Adam Towers is Head TA.
|Instructor||Pronouns||Role||Office Hour Time/Location|
|Jennifer Mankoff||She/her||Instructor||1:30-2 Wed (Gates 211); 8:30-9:30pm Sun (online)|
|Lauren Bricker||She/her||Friday Instructor||1:30-3:30 Tues (Allen 552)|
|Adam Towers||He/him||Head TA||Thur. 11:30am-12:30pm @ Gates 152|
|Sophie Tian||She/her||TA||Tues. 9:30-11:30am @ Gates 152|
|David Chen||He/him||TA||Mon 1:30-3:30pm @ Gates 150|
|Zach Cheung||He/him||TA||Tues. 12:30-1:30pm & Fri. 2:30-3:30pm/Gates 153|
|My Tran||She/her||TA||Mon. & Wed. 11:30am-12:30pm, Gates 152|
Should I take this class?
Yes! Some of today’s interfaces are being used by a billion people at a time. Almost everything we create is created for people to use, and user interfaces are how people interact with anything else you do (whether it is a new machine learning algorithm or a database system). User interfaces are incredibly important, but they also represent a different programming paradigm than you may have learned before. This class will teach you
- How to write an event-driven program which reacts to user input and displays output. If you’ve never done this before, the abstractions you will learn are standard in almost any user interface toolkit. Even if you have, too often, without attention to structure, interfaces become impenetrable spaghetti code.
- How to think about the design of novel interaction techniques. As devices diversify, so too do the ways in which people interact, from voice based interfaces to augmented reality. By understanding the principles of interaction technique design you can do a better job of making interactions that users will want, which improves both the user experience and the business value of what you create.
- How to avoid common gotchas in the implementation of user interfaces. We will teach you the proper way to implement Undo and create Accessible Interfaces. We will also touch on other necessities (no modal dialogues; good use of color; inclusion of support for help and so on).
Taking a class is a big commitment, and you will work hard in this class. So we want to help you make sure this is the right class for you. Below is some information about prerequisites and expectations.
Prereqs and expectations
The only requirement for this class is that you have taken CS 142 and 143 or an equivalent class, meaning you are comfortable programming in Java, and have some experience with data structures. However, if you are not comfortable working in an IDE environment, using version control, and picking up and working with someone else’s library code, you will likely need to plan for extra time with TAs, and possibly attend extra tutoring sessions, to keep up with the class. A good plan is to take 391 just before or concurrently with 340 to learn some of these things.
The specific platform and language for this class are Java on Android phones (or simulators); using the IntelliJ IDE (Android Studio). While Google is switching over to Kotlin, there are good reasons to start learning Android with Java first.
Note that this class is designed for CS majors, and other students who work regularly with information technology and are strong programmers. While we will consider applications from outside the major, financial and room restrictions may limit space for such students.
Other relevant classes to know about
There are a number of classes on campus that teach related concepts which you may wish to consider in addition to this one. As of summer, 2018, here are the ones we are aware of:
- HCID 520: User Interface Software + Technology (Wi 17, Wi 16 Wi 19) This course teaches about user interfaces, including what they are, how they are built, and some inventions in user interface software and technology. There are many similarities between these classes. However HCID 520 is only open to MHCI+D students Masters students.
- HCDE 310: Interactive Systems Design & Technology This course is a project based course that teaches how to prototype applications on the web using Python that solve human problems or enable new activities. Includes information about APIs and how people interact with them. It differs from CSE 340 in its choice of platform. Additionally, it doesn’t cover the theory of UI programming, nor issues such as accessibility, undo, and so on.
- HCID 521: Prototyping This class is for the MHCI+D students only and focuses on prototyping techniques, not implementation. It covers everything from paper prototyping to physical interfaces to 3D printing.
- CSE 440: Introduction to HCI; 441: Advanced HCI This is an advanced series of courses for undergraduate seniors. The focus of 440 is less on programming and more broadly on methods for designing, prototyping, and evaluating user interfaces to computing applications, while 441 is an open ended capstone course. These are excellent follow on courses to 340, for a student who wants to go deeper into how to make usable, enjoyable effective interfaces, and how to solve interesting problems with HCI. Related is CSE 510, the HCI course for the professional masters program.
Many of the goals in this class center around learning by doing. This means that hands on time trying out everything from implementation to evaluation is critical to learning. An educational approach that can support this is active learning. To support this, class time will be used as much as possible for activities, discussion, review, and homework. Preparation outside of class and participation in class are both very important and will improve your class experience. Stay on top of course materials, bring your questions to class and seek help if there are problems.
This is a challenging, four credit class, meaning you should expect 8 hours of homework a week. We hope make the workload as predictable as possible. Assignments will have a fixed and an open ended piece, followed by peer review in many cases. After you turn an assignment in, you will also work on a short quize on the most relevant material taught in the assignment.
Homework will typically involve either a single (one-week) part or be split into two parts, with each about a week long
We want you to succeed in this class, and an important way that you do that is by asking questions and discussing course issues with your peers and teaching staff. Some ways to do that include:
- We have a class discussion board on Piazza, where you can make public posts that benefit the whole class, and are answered more quickly because your fellow students can help the course staff by responding also. This is the best way to ask questions about things like homework. Before posting, please search through the questions that have already been posted in case someone has already asked the same question.
- We hold office hours (see Piazza Staff Page). If none of those times work for you. You can also discuss matters with us privately on Piazza. Using Piazza gets the whole course staff at once and is usually faster than email. Lastly, if none of these work for you you can send an email asking to set up an appointment.
The class is a shared learning environment, and it is important that you treat everyone in the class with respect. Some specific things we will do to try to make the class a welcoming environment:
- Accessibility: We have attempted to make all the course materials accessible according to web standards. If you need any additional support, we am always happy to work with you and the Disabled Students Office to make sure that the class meets your needs
- Inclusivity: We will be working toward a broad base of examples, and a welcoming environment for all. Please let us know if you see opportunities to improve this.
- Working Together: Working together is encouraged, as long as you in the end implement your own code, and make sure to document any information you get from other students in comments at the top of the relevant file.
- Integrity: Academic integrity is an important value that we adhere to in this class. Instructors are expected to respect student privacy, and treat students fairly. Students are expected not to share code/solutions with the broader public, and not to plagiarize or cheat, as described in the Allen school conduct guidelines
Grades will be assigned approximately as follows:
- 80%: Assignments
10%: Effort, participation and altruism
- 15%: Effort, participation and altruism
- 5%: Midterm Exam
To estimate your final GPA, multiply your current overall grade (from 0 to 100) by 4 and divide by 100.
You have 3 free late days which will automatically be applied until they run out, following which each late day will incur a 10% penalty.
Each homework will allow up to two late days, after which turn-ins will be given a zero.
Reflecting on feedback is one of the most valuable ways you can learn from your mistakes, and we encourage you to do so. If you have a question about a grade you received or if you feel the grade you received is incorrect, please email an instructor for an appointment to discuss the assignment and your grade in detail.
It is also possible for the graders to make mistakes. If that happens we certainly would like to correct the error. Please note the following:
When you request a regrade, we may look at the entire assessment, homework or reflection. Therefore, it is possible for your grade to go either up or down through this process.
- Coding Assignments: Regrade requests for homework assignments must be submitted within on week of when the grade was returned to you. You must do two things in order to request a regrade of a homework (failure to do these two things may result in the regrade not happening):
- Reply to the code review comment that is prompting your request of the regrade. You can find your code review comments in your GitLab repository for that assignment.
- Send a private message on Piazza to the instructors that you are requesting a regrade. Include a link to the repository in your message and a written summary describing why your work should be reexamined.
- Exams and Written Assignments: We will use Gradescope to grade exams and manage regrade requests. Via Gradescope, you should submit any requests separately for each problem with an explanation of why you want this problem regraded. The time limit for such regrade requests will be detailed in the email you receive from Gradescope.
There will be two exams in this class.
- Exam 1 was Friday February 7th (class time).
- Exam 2 will be held Thursday, March 19th, 8:30-10:20 am.
Alternate exams will only be given in unusual extenuating circumstances. You must contact the instructor prior to the exam date if you believe you need to take the exam at another time, but no later than least two days prior to the exam.
You will be given an instructor provided “cheat sheet” for the exams. More information about the exams, their structure, and what resources you will be allowed to use will be discussed in class and listed on the course website as we approach the exam times.