CSE 510 - Advanced Topics in Human-Computer Interaction

Time and Location:

Spring 2012

Tuesday and Thursday, 10:30 to 11:50

MGH 238

Course Description:

Provides an introduction to several major areas of HCI research. This course is a combination of readings, small labs at the beginning of the term, and a term project.

The reading component of this course will require preparing reports on a combination of historical and recent papers. This will help you examine what the HCI community considers a meaningful contribution across a variety of problems, thus preparing you to make contributions in these and other areas of HCI.

This course is explicitly not focused on the methods used in HCI practice. The initial labs will introduce paper prototyping and evaluation, but the focus of this course is on research. The course does not assume a strong background in HCI (i.e., there is no prerequisite).

The project component of this course will require hands-on experience with HCI research. You can choose to design and implement a new piece of HCI technology or to design and execute an appropriately compelling study with HCI research implications.


There are several research papers to be read for each day of class. This course will be based on those readings, several small labs, and a term project.

Class discussions should be informal and enjoyable. Everybody should feel comfortable commenting and offering their insight. The participation component of grading in this course will be based on active participation in discussion throughout the course.

Grading will roughly correspond to 50% project, 25% reading reports, 15% labs, and 10% class participation.

Reading Reports:

You are expected to have read and thought carefully about each reading. To help you out, we require participation in a reading report forum.

Unless otherwise noted, you must post 300 to 500 words related to the readings for each day of class, in the appropriate part of this forum:


You can start a new discussion, participate in an existing discussion, or do a bit of both. You can discuss all of the assigned readings, or focus on a portion of the reading that you found most interesting. You can put all of your 300 to 500 words in one post, or spread them out across several. The important part is that we can see an intellectual effort in your forum participation, not just simple summaries of papers.

Your participation in each day's forum discussion will be graded on a scale from 0 to 3.

0:If you do not participate.
1:If your participation seems weak and does not convince us you read, understood, and thought about the readings.
2:If your participation shows that you clearly read and understood the papers and had something interesting to say. This will be the most common grade.
3:Reserved for especially insightful participation.

In discussing readings, it is generally easy to find something to criticize in any piece of research. But focusing exclusively on the potential flaws of research is generally not productive. You will generally find it more intellectually worthwhile to focus on what aspects of a piece of work are particularly well done, what new ideas are prompted by a piece of work, or what you might have done differently if you conducted the research. This will also lead to much more valuable discussions.

Potential topics for discussion are:

Participation will only "count" if posted by 3:00 AM before each class meeting. This ensures that the day's discussion coordinator has ample time to review discussion the next morning. Feel free to continue a discussion thread after this time (and even after class). But know that you need to post before then in order to get discussion credit.


There will be several short labs at the beginning of the term. The first will focus on designing and prototyping an interface, the second will focus on simple regression analyses.

Term Projects:

Term projects will be a major focus of this course. You will form groups, submit a proposal, present at the mid-term, present at the end of the quarter, and submit a final report.

Projects can be studies or implementations. Brainstorm amongst yourselves, talk with other people, or otherwise come up with a great idea for a project. I intend to be highly available to meet and discuss potential projects.


We will use this Catalyst system for most submissions:


Anonymous Feedback:

I encourage you to feel comfortable discussing any aspects of this class with both myself and the TA. I am also happy to provide a mechanism for anonymous feedback:



March 29 Overview I

No Reading Assigned

Paper Prototyping Resources:

Gomoll, Kathleen. (1992). Some Techniques for Observing Users. From The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design, 85-90.

Rettig, Marc. (1994). Prototyping for Tiny Fingers. Communications of the ACM (CACM), 37(4), 21-27.

Snyder, Carolyn. (2003). Paper Prototyping, Chapter 4.

Nielsen Norman Group. Paper Prototyping: A How-To Video.

Nielsen, J. Heuristic Evaluation.

Lab 1 Assigned: [pdf]

Material: [slides] [video]

April 3 Overview II

Bush, V. (1945). As We May Think. Atlantic Monthly.

Material: [slides] [video]

April 5 Design of Everyday Things

Design of Everyday Things, Chapters 1 to 7

Project Partner Due

Material: [slides]

April 10 Experimental Design and Statistics

No Reading Assigned

Lab 1 Due

Lab 2 Assigned: [zip]

Material: [slides]

April 12 On Appropriate Evaluation

Greenberg, S. and Buxton, B. (2008). Usability Evaluation Considered Harmful (Some of the Time). Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2008), 111-120.

Olsen, D.R. (2007). Evaluating User Interface Systems Research. Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST 2007), 251-258.

Project Proposal Due

Material: [slides]

April 17 CSCW and Social Computing : Merrie Morris

Grudin, J. (1994). Groupware and Social Dynamics: Eight Challenges for Developers. Communications of the ACM (CACM), 37(1), 92-105.

Bigham, J.P., Jayant, C., Ji, H., Little, G., Miller, A., Miller, R.C., Miller, R., Tatrowicz, A., White, B., White, S., and Yeh, T. (2010). VizWiz: Nearly Real-Time Answers to Visual Questions. Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, 333-342.

April 19 Physiological Sensing Based Input : Scott Saponas

Wheeler, K.R. and Jorgensen, C.C. (2003). Gestures as Input: Neuroelectric Joysticks and Keyboards. IEEE Pervasive Computing, 2(2), 56-61.

Saponas, T.S., Kelly, D., Parviz, B.A., Tan, D.S. (2009). Optically Sensing Tongue Gestures for Computer Input. Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST 2009), 177-180.

April 24 Interacting with Code : Andy Ko

Teitelman, W. and Masinter, L. (1981). The Interlisp Programming Environment. IEEE Computer, 14(4), 25-33.

Bradgon, A., Reiss, S.P., Zeleznik, R., Karumuri, S., Cheung, W., Kaplan, J., Coleman, C., Adeputra, F., and LaViola, J.J. (2010). Code Bubbles: Rethinking the User Interface Paradigm of Integrated Development Environments. Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Software Engineering, 455-464.

Material: [slides]

April 26 Social Comparison and Persuasive Technology : Sean Munson

Wood, J.V. (1989). Theory and Research Concerning Social Comparisons of Personal Attributes. Psychological Bulletin, 106(2), 231-248.

Chen, Y.F., Harper, M., Konstan, J., and Li, S.X. (2010). Social Comparisons and Contributions to Online Communities: A Field Experiment on MovieLens. American Economic Review, 100(4), 1358-1398.

Lab 2 Due

May 1 Value Sensitive Design : Alan Borning

Friedman, B., Kahn, P.H., Borning, A. (2006). Value Sensitive Design and Information Systems. In Zhang, P. and Galleta, D. (eds.), Human-Computer Interaction in Management Information Systems: Foundations, 348-372. Armonk, New York; London, England: M.E. Sharpe.

Borning, A. and Muller, M. (2012). Next Steps for Value Sensitive Design. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2012), to Appear.

May 3 Project Presentations

Project Presentation Due

May 8 No Class - CHI 2012
May 10 No Class - CHI 2012
May 15 Human Performance Models in HCI : Jacob Wobbrock

MacKenzie, I.S. (1992). Fitts' law as a research and design tool in human-computer interaction. Human-Computer Interaction 7 (1), 91-139.

MacKenzie, I.S. (2003). Motor behavior models for human-computer interaction. In HCI Models, Theories, and Frameworks: Toward a Multidisciplinary Science, J. M. Carroll (ed.). San Francisco, California: Morgan Kaufmann, 27-54.

Optional Additional Paper :

Zhai, S., Hunter, M. and Smith, B.A. (2002). Performance optimization of virtual keyboards. Human-Computer Interaction 17 (3), 229-269.

May 17 Activity-Based Design : James Landay

Li, Y. and Landay, J. ActivityDesigner: Activity-Centric Prototyping of Ubicomp Applications for Long-Lived, Everyday Activities. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2008), 1303-1312.

May 22 Interacting with Cameras : Hrvoje Benko

Pierre Wellner. 1993. Interacting with paper on the DigitalDesk. Communications of the ACM 36, 7 (July 1993), 87-96.

Andrew D. Wilson and Hrvoje Benko. 2010. Combining multiple depth cameras and projectors for interactions on, above and between surfaces. Proceedings of the ACM symposium on User interface software and technology (UIST '10). 273-282.

May 24 Accessibility : Richard Ladner

Shaun K. Kane, Jeffrey P. Bigham, and Jacob O. Wobbrock. 2008. Slide rule: making mobile touch screens accessible to blind people using multi-touch interaction techniques. In Proceedings of the 10th international ACM SIGACCESS conference on Computers and accessibility (Assets '08).

Ladner, R. E.; , "Communication Technologies for People With Sensory Disabilities," Proceedings of the IEEE , vol.100, no.4, pp.957-973, April 2012.

May 29 Information and Communication Technologies and Development : Gaetano Borriello

Tapan S. Parikh, Paul Javid, Sasikumar K., Kaushik Ghosh and Kentaro Toyama, Mobile Phones and Paper Documents: Evaluating a New Approach for Capturing Microfinance Data in Rural India, ACM Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (CHI 2006).

Sarah van Wart, K. Joyce Tsai and Tapan S. Parikh, Local Ground: A Paper-Based Toolkit for Documenting Local Geo-spatial Knowledge, ACM Symposium on Computing for Development (DEV 2010).

May 31 Project Presentations

Project Presentation Due

June 4 Final Report

Final Report Due