CMU HCII Process & Theory

This is a seminar for first semester Ph.D. students in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute. The primary goal is to give students experience and feedback in identifying interesting and tractable research problems in human-computer interaction from a variety of perspectives. Students will participate in a mini research project and be challenged to come up with a research idea and carry each through to an early prototype/testing stage. In addition to the research project, the course includes readings and exercises that should help new students with professional skills and career development.

These include

  • skills at identifying and refining interesting HCI research topics and questions,
  • skills at organizing and motivating research ideas,
  • skills at writing critiques & reviewing proposals and articles,
  • skills at articulating the values behind different genres of HCI research,
  • skills at orally presenting research ideas,
  • skills at writing a proposal,
  • skills at writing a literature review,
  • skills at working in interdisciplinary groups,
  • help in selecting a research advisor,
  • help in selecting a research career, and
  • introduction to research ethics and the IRB process at CMU.

Schedule Overview

Week Topics Homework (Due Sunday 11:59 PM)
1 Introduction
Developing research rubric
Choosing an advisor panel
2 Approaches to HCI
3 Literature reviewing
(see: Writing Literature Reviews)
Submit summaries, challenges, and opportunities for 20 articles
4 Generating good research questions
(see: Generating Research Questions)
5 Writing a grant proposal
(see: Writing Grant Proposals)
6 Critiquing past fellowship applications Submit critiques of each application
7 Elevator pitches
(see: Giving Elevator Pitches)
Submit your personal statement
8 Critiquing your fellowship applications Submit your research proposal
9 Conferences and networking
(see: Conferences & Networking)
10 Midterm project updates
11 Presenting well
(see: Giving Presentations)
Submit videotapes and critiques of everyone in your group
12 Writing a good paper
(see: Writing Papers)
13 Rebuttals and reviewing
(see: Reviewing Papers)
Submit your reviews
14 Mock PC
15 IRB Final project paper
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