Current Topics in Media Computing and Human–Computer Interaction

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This class covers basic research methods and current research trends in Human–Computer Interaction and Media Computing. We use a mix of recent book chapters and papers from conferences and journals of the last few years to give you an idea of how HCI research is conducted, and of the hot topics that are being worked on in the international research community. Examples from past years include interactive surfaces, tangible user interfaces, hybrid documents, human computation, gestural input, and personal fabrication. The class explains the differences between empirical, ethnographic and systems research in HCI, and how to quickly retrieve and evaluate information from existing literature, a skill you will need for your Master's thesis and future research work in HCI.

Course Allocation:

ECTS Credits: 6
This lecture will be held in English. All assignments submissions and exams will be in English.

The primary audience for this class are Master students of Computer Science, Media Informatics, Software Systems Engineering, and Technical Communication.
For a full list of eligible programs, see CAMPUS

Course Registration

Dates What to doRemarks
31.3. – 11.4.14Register for the lecture in CAMPUS System • Only 30 seats are available on this course due to limited resource for the lab.
• We will allocate the slots based on students' background in HCI and in our previous courses.
• TK students with PO 2010 and students from other majors: drop Chat an email for registration.
15.4.14Registration result announcement. Make sure that you have access to L2P.
6.6.14Last date to deregister
(to be announced)Register for the exam


Tue 10:15h – 11:45hRoom 2222lecture
Wed 13:15h – 14:45hRoom 2222lab

Midterm Tue 03.06.2014 10:15 – 11:45. 2222 Ahornstraße 55
Final (1st Chance) Tue 29.07.2014 10:15 – 12:00. AH6, Ahornstraße 55
Final (2nd Chance) Tue 12.08.2014 10:00 – 12:00. 2222, Ahornstraße 55

LectureTopicPresenterLabTopicReading AssignmentWritten Assignment
08.04.Research literacy 1: Research approaches in HCI

Slides: [1up] [4up] [Literature]
Jan09.04.Paper reading and identifying contribution types

Slides: [1up] [4up] [In-class exercise] [Declaration of compliance]
• (Wobbrock, 2014) 7 Research Contribution Types in HCI

• (Griswold, n.d.) How to Read an Engineering Research Paper
16.04.Research literacy 2: Experimental Research (Case study: Text Entry Research)

Slides: [1up] [4up] [Literature]
Chat17.04.Literature searching and contributions & benefit statement

Slides: (Continued the lecture slides)
• (MacKenzie, 2007) Evaluation of Text Entry Techniques

• (Wobbrock, 2007) Measures of Text Entry Performance

• (Vertanen & Kristensson, TOCHI 2014) Complementing text entry evaluations with a composition task
A01: Search, Classify, and Summarize

Draft: Apr. 23, 6:00 AM
Peer review: Apr. 23–28
Final submission: Apr. 30, 6:00 AM

[A01] updated (17.4.14)
15.04.Topic 1: Research in coding and IDEs

Slides: [1up] [4up] [Literature]
Jan-Peter 23.04.Designing experimental user studiesRequired:
• (Ko et al., IEEE TRANS SOFT ENG 32(12), 2006) An Exploratory Study of How Developers Seek, Relate, and Collect Relevant Information during Software Maintenance Tasks
A01 (peer feedback and revision)
[Peer feedback instruction]
29.04.(no lecture: CHI 2014) 30.04. (no lab: CHI 2014) Required:
• (McGrath, 1995) Methodology matters
A02: Reverse-engineering user study protocol

06.05.(no lecture: Fachschaftsvollversammlung) 07.05. Recap from CHI 2014 Required:
(continued from the last week)
A02 (peer feedback and revision)

[Peer feedback instruction] Updated 09.05.14
13.05.Topic 2: Interactive surfaces and tangibles

Slides: [1up] [4up] [Literature]
Simon 14.05. • A01 discussion
• Writing a review for research papers
(Liang et al., CHI ’14) GaussBricks
A03 Writing a review

20.05.Topic 3: Research in Augmented Reality

Slides: [1up] [4up] [Literature]
Nur 21.05. Mock PC Meeting on the assigned papers from A03 Required:
• (Möller et al., CHI ’14) Experimental Evaluation of User Interfaces for Visual Indoor Navigation
• (Winkler et al., CHI ’14) Pervasive Information through Constant Personal Projection
A03 (peer feedback and revision)

Use the guideline described in the assignment sheet.
27.05.Research Literacy 3: Understanding Statistics in HCI Research

Slides: [1up] [4up] [Simulation used]
Chat 28.05. Midterm preparation

Slides are available on L2P
(Dragicevic et al., alt.chi ’14) Running an HCI Experiment in Multiple Parallel Universes
03.06.Midterm exam Chat & Leonhard 04.06. • Midterm exam debriefing
• Kick-off A04 Mini HCI Research Experiment
A04 is available on L2P
10.06.No lecture and lab due to Exkursionswoche
17.06.Topic 4: Human Computation

Slides: [1up] [4up] [Literature]
Leonhard 18.06. Mini project meeting: research questions Required:
• (Bernstein et al, UIST ’10) Soylent: a word processor with a crowd inside

• (Quinn and Bederson, CHI ’11) Human computation: a survey and taxonomy of a growing field
(continue A04)
24.06.Topic 5: Pattern language (Part 1)

Slides: [1up] [4up]
Jan 25.06. Mini project meeting: design of experiments Required:
• (Dearden and Finlay, 2006) Pattern Languages in HCI: A Critical Review
(continue A04)
01.07Topic 5: Pattern language (Part 2)

Slides: (see previous lecture)
Jan 02.07. Mini project meeting: pilot studies (continue previous week) (continue A04)
08.07Topic 6: Interactive Television UIs

Slides: [1up] [4up] [Literature]
Christian 08.07. Mini project presentation Required:
• (Wobbrock et al. 2005) Maximizing the guessability of symbolic input

(continue A04)
15.07Topic 7: Personal fabrication and personal design

Slides: [1up] [4up] [Literature]
René 16.07. Exam preparation lab
(Slides are available on L2P)
(Mueller et al., 2012) Interactive Construction

Preliminary schedule (click for full size):


Your grade will be calculated as follows:
Scored Items
Assignments A01–03
Mini HCI research project A04
Statistics lab and user study participation
Active participation in PC meeting

User Study for Learning Statistics

In order to improve learning statistics in HCI, a user study will be conducted as part of the lecture. You can find all information about this user study statstudy.

Missing the exam
See: Exam descision tree
  • If you cannot attend the exam with valid reasons (medical reason, exam schedule conflicts), you need to inform us before the exam, and submit a scanned copy of the evidence (medical certificate, course registration, boarding passes) within 5 days after the exam.
    • If the reason for missing the exam is valid, you will do your first try of the exam for the parts that you missed on the same date as the second chance exam.
    • If the reason is not valid, you will not get any score from that exam. If your overall score passed the course, you will not have a chance to take the exam again.
  • If you fail the course in the overall score, you will have to take both parts of the exam in the second chance.


Past semesters:

Created by jon. Last Modification: Thursday 07 of August, 2014 10:17:34 by chat.

Media Computing Group at RWTH Aachen