General | Syllabus | Schedule & Assignments | Resources

COS 436 / ELE 469

Important dates:
6 February: First lab day
14 May: Dean's Date, 5:00 PM
15 May: Final take-home exams available
16 May: Final project poster & demo session, 10:00 AM–12:00 PM & 1:00–3:00 PM, Friend 113
20 May: Final exams due by 5:00 PM at the latest; All course-owned project parts due to Computer Science 408

Weekly Schedule (subject to change):

Lecture Topic
Lab Activity
(see below for due dates)
4 Feb
1. Introduction to HCI and physical computing. Electronics review.

2. Mice, Fitts' Law, intro to input device research
Chapters 1–3 (Review electricity, get familiar with parts)

Read Arduino Introduction
Install Arduino and Processing
Labs begin Wednesday 2/6/13.
Intro to lab and policies;
L0: Hello, Arduino
Bring your laptop if you have one.

11 Feb

3. Intro to the design process; brainstorming

4. Contextual inquiry; task analysis
Before lab: skim chapter 4 (get familiar with pins; see debugging p. 62–63)
L0: Hello, Arduino
Lab group formation
A1 due 2/11
18 Feb
5. Paper prototyping, storyboarding

6. History of GUI, WIMP; Motivation for post-WIMP interfaces; Tangible User Interfaces
Before lab: read chapter 6 (analog and digital input and output; schematics) and chapter 11 (touch)
L1: Resistance is Not Futile (work with permanent lab group)
P1 due 2/22
L0 due, beginning Wednesday (see lab PDFs for exact lab due dates, which will be on the day of your lab)
25 Feb
7. Guest lecture by Janet Vertesi on 2/26

8. Ubiquitous computing, sensor examples
Before lab, read:

Accelerometers: p. 229–230
RC circuits: p. 106–108
Sound: p.353–354; scan rest of chapter

L2: Sensor Playground
A2 due 3/1
L1 due starting Wednesday (see PDF)
4 Mar
9. Touch sensing

10. Heuristic evaluation

Finish L2 and/or work on your projects
L2 due beginning Thursday (i.e., your lab day + 1 day; see revised L2 PDF for specific deadlines)
11 Mar
11. In-class heuristic evaluation

12. Finish heuristic evaluation; mid-semester review;
Before lab: read chapter 10 (motors) L3: Motor Control
Bring anything you'd like to attach to a motor!
Peer grading of A2 due 3/11

P2 due 3/11

Mid-semester feedback and parts lists due 8AM on Monday 3/18 (Monday of spring break)
18 Mar
Spring break!
Mid-semester feedback and parts lists due 8AM on Monday 3/18
25 Mar
13. Data-gathering exercise; quantitative data analysis

14. More on data analysis

P3 due 3/29

1 Apr
15. Finish data analysis; surveys & interviews

16. Example study analysis; intro to machine learning for HCI

L3 due 4/1 (same due date for all lab groups)

8 Apr
17. Machine learning for HCI, Part 1; Kinect revisited

18. Machine learning for HCI, Part 2; Interactive machine learning

P4 due 4/8
A4 due 4/8
15 Apr
19. Guest lecture by Sid Choudhuri; musical instruments

20. Guest lecture by Kayur Patel, Google


22 Apr
21. Other musical interfaces; evaluating creative technologies

22. Discuss projects in class

P5 due 4/22
29 Apr
Last week of class

23. Accessibility

24. Wrap-up, exam discussion, gamification

P6 due 5/3
6 May
Reading week
13 May
Dean's date, 5/14/13, 5:00 PM: Final project documentation due; final group member & self-evaluations due
5/16: 10:00–12:00 & 1:00–3:00 PM: Final project posters and demos (Friend Center Convocation Room, Friend 113)
5/20: Must return all lab kits & 436-owned parts by 5:00PM, to COS 408 (Prof. Fiebrink's office)

Final exam will be available on 5/15
20 May
Final exam (take-home) due, no later than 5:00 PM

Individual assignments

A1: Circuits & Electricity and Course Survey and Lab Agreement
    Due 2/11/13, 11:59 PM
    Please submit both the assignment and the pre-course survey online
    Hand in a paper copy of the lab agreement in class or lab
A2: Individual Design Exercise
    Assignment due 3/1/13, 11:59 PM
    Peer and self-grading due 3/11/13, 11:59 PM
A3: Heuristic Evaluation
    In-class exercise, 3/12/13
A4: Data Analysis
    Assignment due 4/8/13, 11:59 PM

Lab assignments (in groups)
L0: Hello, Arduino
    Work in any group of 4 students (not 3)
    Due by 11:59 PM on your lab day, week of 2/18
L1: Resistance is Not Futile
    Due by 11:59 PM on your lab day, week of 2/25
L2: Sensor Playground
    Due by 11:59 PM on your lab day + 1 day (see PDF), starting week of 3/4
L3: Motor Control
    Due by 11:59 PM on 4/1 (same due date for everyone)

Course project components (in groups)
P1: Group Brainstorming
    Due by 11:59 PM on 2/22/13
P2: Contextual Inquiry & Task Analysis
    Due by 11:59 PM on 3/11/13
Mid-semester group (& self) evaluation and Parts List
    You will be providing evaluations for each project group member, including yourself   
    You will also turn in (as a group) a parts list for your final project
    Due by 8:00 AM on 3/18/13
P3: Low-Fidelity Prototype
    Due by 11:59 PM on 3/29/13
P4: Usability Test with Lo-Fi Prototype
    Due by 11:59 PM on 4/8/13
P5: Working Prototype
    Due by 11:59 PM on 4/22/13
P6: Pilot Usability Study
    Due by 11:59 PM on 5/3/13
Final Project Documentation
    Due Dean's Date, 5PM

Last updated 11 May 2013