CSCI 4250/8256 - Human-Computer Interaction

Fall 2012

Meeting time: TR 4:00-5:15
Classroom: PKI 261
Instructor: Dr. Harvey Siy
Office: PKI 281B
Phone: (402)554-2834
Office Hours: By appointment (call or email in advance)
Email: hsiy at unomaha dot edu
Textbooks: Alan Dix, Janet E. Finlay, Gregory D. Abowd, Russell Beale. Human-Computer Interaction, 3rd Edition, Prentice Hall, 2003
Donald Norman. The Design of Everyday Things, Basic Books, 2002
(optional) Robert W. Proctor, Trisha Van Zandt. Human Factors in Simple and Complex Systems, 2nd Edition, CRC Press, 2008


Human-computer interaction is concerned with the joint performance of tasks by humans and machines, human capabilities to use machines, and how machines interact with humans. The course also examines the theoretical underpinnings of the HCI discipline.

Learning Objectives

Students who complete this course should:
  1. have a good grasp of how people process and act on information
  2. have an overview of the technical capabilities and limitations of today's interaction devices
  3. understand how interaction can be modeled and measured
  4. be acquainted with the major cognitive theories with respect to human-computer interaction

Topics covered


Software Engineering (CSCI 4830) - may be taken concurrently

Event-driven programming experience


(See BlackBoard for current list.)


Students taking the class as CSCI4250 will be evaluated as follows:
Participation 25%
Homeworks 20%
Project 25%
Exams 30%

Students taking the class as CSCI8266 will be evaluated as follows:
Participation 15%
Homeworks 15%
Project 25%
Exams 30%
Research paper 15%


Throughout the semester, there will be various opportunities for participation in classroom activities, including interactions during lectures, structured discussions, demos, measuring human information processing performance, etc. Try your best to participate in all activities.

There may also be an opportunity to participate in a cognition experiment. More details later.


Some assignments will revolve around readings of research papers as well as book chapters from The Design of Everyday Things. Some class discussion sessions will be based on these assignments.

Policy on late homeworks


There will be a small- to medium-sized programming project. The theme of the project is "Unconventional Interactions." The idea is to experiment with modern devices that enable users to interact with systems in ways other than the standard GUI and keyboard/mouse combo.

Examples include applications that make use of body gestures, voice recognition, image recognition, motion recognition, eye tracking, light and sound sensing, etc.


Exam dates:

Graduate Student Research Paper

Students taking the class as CSCI8256 will also write a paper on an advanced topic in an area related to HCI. Each student must also make a 20-minute presentation on their paper near the end of the semester.

Academic Integrity

Cheating will not be tolerated for project assignments, exams and other assignments. For formal policies about cheating and plagiarism, consult the UNO Student Policies and Department of Computer Science Policies and Procedures (see below).

CS Department Policy on Cheating and Plagiarism

The general university policies on cheating and plagiarism apply within the department. Unless otherwise specified by an instructor, student work shall represent only the individual effort of that student, with portions of that work done by others given appropriate attribution. If a group effort is explicitly permitted or required by the instructor for one or more assignments, then the instructor shall indicate which part(s) of the assignment must be completed on an individual basis, if any.

If an instructor believes a student has plagiarized the work of another (regardless of whether the other person is a student in the same section/class or not), or represented as their own work that which another person produced (whether on a paid basis or not), then that instructor shall inform the student of the suspicion. The student shall be given an opportunity to explain, if they wish, why the work was not plagiarized. If after such student explanation the instructor still believes the work was plagiarized, the instructor has the responsibility for assigning an evaluation to the work that is substantially lower than if the work had not been completed at all. The department chair will be notified for the action. If the student whose work being copied or plagiarized knows the fact but does not take a proper action, the student will be held responsible the same as the copying or plagiarizing student.

If a second occurrence of plagiarism is evidenced for the same student, the instructor has the responsibility of assigning a grade of F to the student for the course and informing the registrar’s office that the student will not be permitted to withdraw from the course. Both the department chair and the college dean will be notified for the action.

Repeated occurrences of plagiarism (in multiple courses) by the same student shall result in notification of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and/or the Graduate Dean, as appropriate, from the department chair or the college dean, and possible dismissal of the student from the program.