Current Topics in Media Computing and Human–Computer Interaction SS 2016


This lecture is available on iTunes U.


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.


  • 31.05.16 There will be no lab tomorrow (01.06.16)
  • 18.04.16 You can increase your chances for a spot in the class by handing in the Declaration of Compliance in the first lecture or the first lab!
  • L2P: Link (Will be open after the first lab)
  • CAMPUS: Link
  • First lecture: April 19, 10:15am, room 2222. Can't register? We will solve your problem in the first lab on April 20th.


For any questions about the class, contact Philipp Wacker.

Class Times and Locations

Lecture Tue 10:15h – 11:45h Room 2222, Ahornstr. 55 First lecture on 19.04.16
Lab Wed 14:15h – 15:45h Room 2222, Ahornstr. 55 First lab on 20.04.16

Syllabus - click for full size (last updated Apr 15, 2016)


LectureTopicPresenterLabTopicReading AssignmentWritten Assignment
19.04. Research Literacy 1: Research Approaches in HCI
Jan 20.04. 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. 27, 6:00 AM
Peer review: Apr. 27–May 02
Final submission: May 04, 6:00 AM
26.04. Research Literacy 2: Experimental Research (Case study: Text Entry Research) Jan 27.04. 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. 27–May 02

Final submission: May 04, 6:00 AM
03.05. No lecture 04.05. Designing experimental user studies Required:
• (McGrath, 1994) Methodology matters
A02: Reverse-engineering User Study Protocol

Draft: May 11, 6:00 AM
Peer review: May. 11–16, 6:00 AM
Final submission: May. 18, 6:00 AM
10.05. Research Literacy 3: Understanding Statistics in HCI Research Krishna 11.05. Required:
• (Cumming et al., 2005) Inference by eye
• (Delmas et al., 2005) Reading and Interpreting Graphical Representations of Distributions
• (Yatani) Statistical methods for HCI research
• (Wobbrock) Practical statistics for HCI
• (Cumming) Exploratory Software for Confidence Intervals (under 'The software')
24.05. Topic 1: Textiles Nur 25.05. Writing a review for papers Required:
(Holleis et al., CHI 2008) Evaluating capacitive touch input on clothes.
(Karrer et al. CHI 2011) Pinstripe: eyes-free continuous input on interactive clothing.
(Profita et al., ISCW 2013) Don't mind me touching my wrist: a case study of interacting with on-body technology in public.
A03: Writing reviews for scientific articles

Draft: June 01, 6:00 AM
Peer review: June 01-06, 6:00 AM
Final submission: June 08, 6:00 AM
31.05. Topic 2: HCI Research in Augmented Reality Phil 01.06. No Lab Required:
• (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: June 01–06, 6:00 AM
Final submission: June 08, 6:00 AM
07.06. Topic 3: Personal Fabrication Jan 08.06. Midterm Preparation  
14.06. Midterm exam Phil and Nur 15.06. Midterm exam discussion and A04 kick-off A04 Mini research project:
Group formation:Jun. 20, 6:00 AM
Part 1: Research questions Jun. 22, 6:00 AM
21.06. Topic 4: HCI Design Patterns Jan 22.06. A04 Part 1 group appointments Research question for 'Analog vs. Digital'
28.06. Topic 4 continued Jan 29.06. No lab Required:
• (Dearden, Finlay, Human–Computer Interaction, Vol. 21, Iss. 1, 2006) Pattern Languages in HCI: A Critical Review
Experiment protocol
05.07. Topic 5: Interactive Museum Guide Systems Phil 22.06. A04 Group appointments Required:
• (Lanir et al., 2011) Examining proactiveness and choice in a location-aware mobile museum guide
Pilot study appointments
12.07 Topic 6-1: Multi-Touch Surfaces Simon 13.07. Final exam preparation lab    
19.07. Topic 6-2: Tangibles on Interactive Surfaces Christian 20.07. Final Project Presentations   Final report submission: 21.07.

Course Allocation

ECTS Credits: 6
Course language: English throughout (for all lectures, assignments, submissions, and exams)

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 do Remarks
08.3. – 20.4.16 Register for the lecture in CAMPUS System • Only 30 40 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. 
• You can increase your chances by handing in the No such attachment on this page in the first lecture or first lab. 
• TK students with PO 2010 and students from other majors: drop Phil an email for registration.
20.04.16 Registration result announcement. Make sure that you have access to L2p L2P.
27.05.16 Last date to deregister from course and exam  
Before 20.05.16 Register for the exam  


Midterm Tue 14.06.2016, 10:15h – 12:30h Room AH 4, Ahornstr. 55 (ONLY)
Final (1st Chance) Tue 02.08.2016, 10:00h – 12:00h Room AH 6, Ahornstr. 55
Final (2nd Chance) Tue 16.08.2015, 10:00h – 11:30h Room 2222, Ahornstr. 55

Missing the Midterm

If you cannot attend the midterm for valid reasons (medical reason, exam schedule conflicts), you need to inform us before the midterm, and submit a scanned copy of the evidence (medical certificate, course registration, boarding passes) within 5 days after the midterm.

  • If the reason for missing the midterm is valid, you will do your first attempt of the midterm 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 midterm. If your overall score passed the course, you will not have a chance to take the midterm again.

If you are writing the final exam on the 2nd chance date and had a valid reason for missing the midterm (see above), you will have to take both the midterm and final exam in the second chance on the same date.

How Your Final Grade Is Calculated

Assignments A01–03
15 %
30 %
Mini HCI research project
10 %
45 %


Previous Offerings

SS 2015 - SS 2014 - SS 2013 - SS 2011 - SS 2010 - SS 2009 - SS 2008 - SS 2007 - SS 2006 - WS 2004/2005

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