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CSCI E-180 Calendar - Spring 2006

News and announcements

May 30

Grades for Project 3 have been distributed.

The best paper was Making an Accessible Website, by Karen Zelevinsky.

The best project was Captuer, by Philipp Hanes.

Thanks to everybody for their participation in the class.

May 20

I found that paper on HTTP and time setting.

May 19

This talk announcement may be interesting to class members:

Extremely Humanlike Interfaces, Experiments in Humanizing Computers
Robotics Seminar Series Spring 2006
Speaker: David Hanson
Speaker Affiliation: Hanson Robotics, inc.
Host: Aaron Edsinger
Host Affiliation: MIT

Date: 5-24-2006
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Refreshments: 3:30 PM
Location: Building 32 Room D463 (Star)


The face is the dynamic icon of the human identity. A considerable portion of our brain activities are dedicated to social cognition, with the face serving as the primary input-output device. A humanlike robotic face may be a promising paradigm for computer interfaces, if the nuances of the human face could be mastered in robotic media. Need such a realistic humanlike robot be as intelligent as a person to be effective? Perhaps the efficacy of a robot depends on the quality of the aesthetic and interaction design, regardless of the level of realism? To address these questions, the speaker will describe his work replicating the dynamic action of the face in robots, discussing the materials, mechanics, software and artistry incorporated in the works. Specific examples discussed will include the android portrait of sci-fi writer Philip K Dick, and the walking Einstein portrait Albert-Hubo. The speaker will also discuss results from experiments on human reaction to these near-realistic robots, results which indicate that people can enjoy interactions with realistic and nearly realistic robots, if designed well. The author will also demonstrate a functioning Einstein robot prototype.

May 19

Lecture Notes and materials from last night are now posted.

May 11

The unicode characters in URL demo can be found at:

May 5

Final Project: A mini-paper.

In the remaining 3 weeks of class, you are to design a simple program or analyze the interface design of an existing program in detail. You can do your design completely on paper, you can use a paint program, or you can do a prototype design in Java, HTML, wxPython, or what have you.

Your paper should be about 2000 words long plus screenshots. We want the paper to clearly articulate why existing programs don't satisfy the design and your proposal for a new, improved design. Feel free to use any of the analysis tools that we have discussed in class such as persona or the cognitive walk-through.

Final papers should be submitted by email prior to the last class on May 25th. Late papers will not be accepted.

May 3

The deliverables for Project 2 are the same as for Project 1.

April 26

Greetings. Even though the Baseline article is the only assigned reading for the 26th, it is highly recommended that you also read the optional reading for class on Thursday.

April 25

Please take a moment to complete the Extension School's online course evaluation. Thanks!

April 20

Today's notes: access.txt.

As noted in class, you have an extra two weeks for P2.

April 10

The revised assignment for Thursday has been posted. Rather than moving on to Accessibility, we'll be staying on the privacy-and-security theme, and discussing the role of encryption in desktop applications.

You now have two-and-a-half weeks until the P2 is due. Since we haven't had a chance yet to discuss P2 in class, here is what you need to know about it.

For Project 2, you and your partner may take one of the two projects that you have developed, refine it and extend it. Alternatively, you could take a new project from scratch and develop it to a workable point. Whereas for Project 1 the emphasis was to create software that demonstrated concepts that we had discussed to date in the course, for Project 2 you should focus on interactivity and polish. If you and your partner are starting with a game, make it a two-player game. If you have a tool, concentrate on making the tool more useful.

Before Thursday, please send in a project proposal containing a 2 paragraph description of your project and a description of what work has been done to date.

April 9

The revised assignment for Thursday will be posted shortly.

April 2

Welcome back from break. Below is a list of the students who posted their projects:

March 19th

Professor Henrik Artman's student Erik Markensten has written a thesis which is a follow-up to the Artman paper that we read in class last week. It's called "Mind the Gap: A Procurement Approach to Integrating User-Centred Design in Contract Development." You can download it.

March 9th

Here are the requirements for the first project.

Your first project is to develop a working application that demonstrates some aspect of graphical user interface design and interaction that we have discussed during this class. Your turned in work should consist of the following:

We would prefer it if you would put all of this information on a web page and email us the URL. Please also let us know if we may post your URL to the class. If you wish for your submission to be private, please feel free to put your project on a password-protected website. If you do not have access to such a website, please bring your project to class on a CDROM. (Please bring two copies of the CDROM, one for the teacher, one for the TF.)

March 18th

A few articles about HCI in procurement:

Philip Scown, Improving the procurement process: humanizing accountants with a human factors education, International Conference on Information Systems archive Proceedings of the international conference on Information systems table of contents Helsinki, Finland Pages: 1 - 7 1998

Ira Winkler, Elizabeth Buie HCI challenges in government contracting: a CHI '95 workshop October 1995 ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, Volume 27 Issue 4

Elizabeth Buie, Ira Winkler HCI challenges in government contracting: a CHI '94 SIG report October 1994 ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, Volume 26 Issue 4

Erik Markensten, Henrik Artman Procuring a usable system using unemployed personas October 2004 Proceedings of the third Nordic conference on Human-computer interaction NordiCHI '04

Henrik Artman Procurer usability requirements: negotiations in contract development October 2002 Proceedings of the second Nordic conference on Human-computer interaction NordiCHI '02

March 4th

To answer some recent questions from class:

February 25th

The Napkin look and feel can be downloaded from Sourceforge.

Assignment for this Thursday will be posted by 5pm Sunday.

February 23th

A LiveJournal community has been created for class discussions. It is csci_e180_206. If you wish to join the community, create a live journal account and then click this link.

February 11th

A list of GUI development kits is now online. If you have suggestions for additions, please let us know!

February 10th

The assignment for next week has been posted.

February 5th

The class has been moved to 51 Brattle Street, room 321, which is a nice room with a large (we hope!) table for the class.


All assignments will be posted from the reading list page, which you should check regularly for updates. Click on the recitation number or lecture number to see the assignment for that class meeting. If an assignment refers to a paper number, it typically is the number of the paper in the reading list. For your convenience, I have posted electronic versions of most papers. If an assignment requires you to hand in something, you are expected to hand it in at the beginning of the class meeting.

Questions or comments regarding CSCI E-180? Send e-mail.

Last modified September 24, 2023