CS 889

Fall 2015


This is a seminar course in the area of human-computer interaction. As is typical of seminar courses, it will include student presentations and a course project as the bulk of the course work for students.


  1. Join the class's Piazza list. You can submit your assignments (except A1) there.
  2. Project recruiting materials posted here.

Topics Schedule


Assigned Readings


Sept. 14th The papers below were used in class during discussion of replication studies. Posted here so you can read for interest, but no synopsis required. Slides
Sept 16th Slides
Sept 21st Slides
Sept 23rd
Sept 30th No synopsis required for this reading. This paper is useful to skim so that you understand the challenges of mobile text input for exercise 1. Slides


These small exercises are for weeks 3 - 5 of the course. They are designd to be done with your "group". Note that your group can be either one or two students, so if you are working alone the number of data points needed is smaller. Please post the information by midnight on the due date (Tuesday) so that I can organize the data for Thursday's class. For exercise 1, the information will be posted in a Google Docs spreadsheet. For exercises 2 and 3, the information should be posted on the Piazza list.

Exercise 1: Touchscreen typing

Due Sept 28th

Find 2 friends per group member and ask them to type four different paragraphs as follows:

Note that each of the paragraphs should be different.

Calculate typing speed in words per minute (where 1 word = 5 characters) and residual error rate ((word errors remaining)/(total words) * 100) for each of the devices and languages. Enter these values into this Google Spreadsheet.

Exercise 2

Due October 6th

Pick an online dating site, preferably one where you don't need a membership. Pick a postal code in Alberta or a zip code in the US (so you don't know people). Perform a search for individuals aged 20 - 25, 30 - 35, and 40 - 45 (male or female) and pick the first three profiles returned in each. Using techniques from qualitative analysis, analyze the profiles. Look for things like picture, narrative, interests. Are there patterns that exist? Similars or differences? Take one more profile from each age range and decide whether it adds to the set of data you have or if it calls into questions your initial categorization.

Create two slides to describe your findings. The first should describe the results from your first-three search; the second from your add-one participant.

Come to class on October 7th prepared to discuss your results!

Paper Presentations

To start thinking about papers that you might want to present, I'd suggest taking a look at the CHI 2015 proceedings, located here. Other conferences that are relevant include SOUPS, UIST, Graphics Interface, among others. Paper presentations can be scheduled here.

Project Details

For October 2, please post a less than 2-page description of your project. The project description should include a synopsis of what you would like to do (1/3 - 1/2 page), a pointer to a paper that describes an experiment most related to your project with some brief sketch of the experiment (1/3 page) and a detailed description of your experimental methodology (less than 1 page).

The October 2nd synopsis constitutes phase one of your project presentation. Please post so that your project is visible to the entire class.

Between October 2 - 6, pick two projects in the class to comment on. Project comments are first-come. Maximum of three commentators for each project. So, for example, say I posted a project by May 26th. Up to three people can add project comments between May 26th and May 30th for my project. The goal of these comments should be to make suggestions. Think carefully before posting. Ask yourself:

Project recruiting materials have been posted here. These may be revised as the class protocol needs to be re-activated.