Current Topics in Media Computing and Human–Computer Interaction SS 2015

[CAMPUS] [L2P] [iTunes U]


  • 03.08.15 Midterm (2nd Chance) on Tue 11.08.2015, 10:00h – 11:00h in Room 2222, Ahornstr. 55
  • 03.08.15 Final (2nd Chance) on Tue 11.08.2015, 11:00h – 12:00h in Room 2222, Ahornstr. 55
  • 23.07.15 Final exam will take place on 28.07.15 at 10:00am in room AH 6, E2, Ahornstr. 55
  • 08.06.15 Midterm exam will take place on 09.06.15 at 10:00am in Seminarraum 9222, E3, Ahornstr. 55 (ONLY)
  • 22.04.15 iTunes U link will be published this week
  • L2P: Link (Will be open after the first lab)
  • CAMPUS: Link
  • First lecture: April 14, 10:15am, room 2222. Can't register? We will solve your problem in the first lab on April 16th.


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

DatesWhat to doRemarks
30.3. – 10.4.15 Register 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 Nur an email for registration.
21.4.15 16.04.15 Registration result announcement. Make sure that you have access to L2P.
05.6.15 on CAMPUS 26.05.15 Last date to deregister from course and exam  
Before 26.05.15 Register for the exam  


Lecture Tue 10:15h – 11:45h Room 2222, Ahornstr. 55 First lecture on 14.04.15
Lab Thu 08:15h – 09:45h Room 2222, Ahornstr. 55 First lab on 16.04.15

Midterm Tue 09.06.2015, 10:00h – 12:00h Seminarraum 9222, E3, Ahornstr. 55 (ONLY)
Final (1st Chance) Tue 28.07.2015, 10:00h – 12:00h Room AH 6, Ahornstr. 55
Midterm (2nd Chance) Tue 11.08.2015, 10:00h – 11:00h Room 2222, Ahornstr. 55
Final (2nd Chance) Tue 11.08.2015, 11:00h – 12:00h Room 2222, Ahornstr. 55

Missing the exam
  • 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.

Course Work

LectureTopicPresenterLabTopicReading AssignmentWritten Assignment
14.04. Research Literacy 1: Research Approaches in HCI
Jan 16.04. Paper reading and identifying contribution types

• (Wobbrock, 2014) Research Contribution Types in Human Computer Interaction
• (Griswold, n.d.) How to Read an Engineering Research Paper
A01: Search, Classify, and Summarize

Draft: Apr. 23, 6:00 AM
Peer review: Apr. 23–28
Final submission: Apr. 30, 6:00 AM
21.04. Research Literacy 2: Experimental Research (Case study: Text Entry Research)
Nur 23.04. Literature searching and contributions & benefit statement Required:
• (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 Peer review: Apr. 23–28
Final submission: Apr. 30, 6:00 AM
28.04. Topic 1: Research in Coding and IDEs
Jan-Peter 30.04. Designing experimental user studies Required:
• (McGrath, 1994) Methodology matters
• (LaToza et al., ICSE 2010) Developers ask reachability questions
• (Bragdon et al., CHI 2010) Code bubbles: a working set-based interface for code understanding and maintenance
A02: Reverse-engineering User Study Protocol

Draft: May. 07, 6:00 AM
Peer review: May. 07–12
Final submission: May. 14, 6:00 AM
05.05. No lecture 07.05. Writing a review for papers A02 Peer review: May. 07–12
Final submission: May. 14, 6:00 AM
12.05. Topic 2: Touch and Tangibles on Large Interactive Surfaces
Simon Voelker 14.05. No lab Required:

• (Voelker et al., ITS 2013) PUCs: Detecting Transparent, Passive Untouched Capacitive Widgets on Unmodified Multi-touch Displays
• (Weiss et al., CHI 2009) SLAP Widgets: Bridging the Gap Between Virtual and Physical Controls on Tabletops
• (Weiss et al., ITS 2010) BendDesk: Dragging Across the Curve
A03: Writing reviews for scientific articles

Draft: May. 22, 6:00 AM
Peer review: May. 22–27
Final submission: May. 29, 6:00 AM
20.05. Topic 3: HCI Research in Augmented Reality
Nur 22.05. Midterm preparation

• (Möller et al., CHI 2014) Experimental evaluation of user interfaces for visual indoor navigation
• (Grubert et al., CHI 2015) MultiFi: Multi Fidelity Interaction with Displays On and Around the Body
A03 Peer review: May. 22–27
Final submission: May. 29, 6:00 AM
26.05. No lecture 28.05. No lab
02.06. Research Literacy 3: Statistical Analysis in HCI Research
Krishna 04.06. No lab Required: Interpreting Graphs
• (Cumming and Finch, American Psychologist 2005) Inference by Eye: Confidence Intervals and How to Read Pictures of Data
• Statistical Methods for HCI Research by Koji Yatani, U. of Tokyo, (with R)
• Practical Statistics for HCI by Jacob O. Wobbrock, U. of Washington, (with SPSS, JMP)
09.06. Midterm exam Nur and Phillip 11.06. Midterm exam discussion and A04 kick-off A04 Mini research project:
Group formation:Jun. 12, 6:00 AM
Part 1: Research questions Jun. 18, 6:00 AM
16.06. Topic 4: HCI Design Patterns Jan 18.06. A04 Part 1 group appointments Research question for text entry on very small devices
23.06. Topic 4 continued Jan 25.06. A04 Part 2 group appointments Experiment protocol
30.06. Topic 5: Gestural User Interfaces Chat 02.07. A04 Part 4 group appointments Required:
• (Vatavu et al., ICMI 2013) Relative accuracy measures for stroke gestures
Pilot user study
07.07. Topic 6: Human Computation Nur 09.07. Final exam preparation Required:
• (Bernstein et al, UIST 2010) Soylent: a word processor with a crowd inside
User study
14.07. Topic 7: Personal Fabrication Jan 16.07. A04 Final presentations  


Course plan (click for full size) (updated 12.07.15)



Your grade will be calculated as follows: 

Scored Items
Assignments A01–03
Mini HCI research project


Past semesters:

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