R06: Human-Computer Interaction

  • Due Oct 15, 2018 at 2:39pm
  • Points 3
  • Questions 3
  • Available until Dec 10, 2018 at 10am
  • Time Limit None


Philio Guo created the PythonTutor website we've been using to demonstrate Java code in class. He is an Assistant Professor of Cognitive Science (not Computer Science) at UC Berekely. This is similar to Adam's situation as an Assistant Professor of Computational Media (not Computer Science) at UC Santa Cruz. They both teach very large Introduction to Programming classes that emphasize the relationship between computers and the human beings who use or are used by them.

Read Philip's short article What is HCI research? And What is its relationship to computer science? Here's a brief glossary of potentially unfamiliar terms:

  • HCI: human-computer interaction
  • Internet-of-things: the network of programmable devices that don't look like traditional computers (including "smart" devices like refridgerators, smoke detectors, thermostats, security cameras, household electrical/gas meters, etc.)
  • faculty: the professors hired by a certain academic department
  • CS: computer science
  • AI: artificial intelligence
  • humans in the loop: computer systems that ask for human input before proceeding (not fully automated)
  • Stanford, CMU, UC Berkely, MIT, UW, UIUC, Georgia Tech: a bunch of universities that are known to be among the best for computer science research (UC Santa Cruz is #44 on one commonly referenced international ranking of CS schools: http://csrankings.org/ -- rankings are highly influenced by the size rather than the quality of CS department)
  • systems-building: work that involves programming to make new software rather than studying how people use existing systems
  • subjectivity: is the idea/result/outcome specificly relevant to a one specific person (subject) or a specific people (subjects) rather than the entire physical/mathematical universe?
  • operationalize: turning an abstract idea/theory into a concrete, repeatable process (often in the form of a computer program)

Optionally read his article On Grades for some reflection on the importance (and not-so-importance) of course grades.

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