Human-computer interaction (HCI) combines disciplines within the fields of computing and information sciences (information systems, software engineering, artificial intelligence) and the behavioral sciences (cognitive science, cognitive psychology, sociology, organizational psychology, and social psychology) to study the design, implementation and evaluation of interactive computer-based technology. The primary objective of HCI is to solve real problems in the design and human use of computing technology. HCI principles are applied to designs found in smart phones, intelligent tutoring systems, virtual worlds (such as Second Life), wearable computers, emergency management applications, and highly interactive Web applications.
The BS HCI provides necessary background to conduct design activities including: eliciting from the client, formulating, and articulating functional specifications; knowing how human factors and cognitive models influence design; knowing the principles of, and having experience with, communication design; understanding how implementation constraints influence design; and incorporating evaluation results into iterated designs.
Students implement their design knowledge by using their analysis and programming skills and demonstrating their computational literacy, such as knowledge sufficient for effective communication and decision making about interface construction tools and languages, multimedia authoring tools, data structures and algorithms and systems development. They also become proficient in evaluation activities, including experimental design, survey methods, usability testing and statistical analysis.
The BSHCI curriculum provides a strong foundation in key Information Systems and Computing courses, such as Designing the Multimedia Experience, Evaluation Methods for the User Experience, Web-Enabled Mobile Applications and Design Studio for Ubiquitous Computing. In the Senior Capstone course, HCI students work on a team in a real-world environment with a corporate sponsor. As part of the BSHCI, students must choose four courses in one of the following options: Cognitive Psychology, Game Design and Production, Graphical Arts Design and Web & Multimedia Design.
All students majoring in HCI are required to prepare a Program of Study Form, an approved copy of which must be on file with the Department of Information Systems through the Academic Advisor. The form should be prepared as early as possible in the student's career, and changes should be made only in consultation with the Academic Advisor.