HCI Curriculum

Golisano College of Computing and Informaiton Sciences

In addition to degree offerings in the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, students at RIT can benefit from the highly regarded design courses and programs offered through RIT's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, which includes schools of Design, Film & Animation, and Media Sciences. Students can also benefit from various co-curricular opportunities at RIT.

Degrees

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Computing and Information Sciences

This degree prepares students for careers as independent scholars, well-prepared educators, and cutting-edge researchers. The program is structured around a flexible curriculum, including coursework in three core areas: Infrastructure, Interaction (including coursework in Human Computer Interaction), and Informatics. Students in this program can conduct research in the fields of Human Computer Interaction or Accessibility, participating in work of faculty-led research groups.

Master of Science in Human Computer Interaction

This degree program prepares students to solve complex user-focused problems in the ever-changing landscape of technology. Students are exposed to theoretical and practical themes in HCI, user experience, interaction design, human factors, information architecture, and usability. Technology and research skills are acquired and applied to challenges found in business, government, entertainment, health care, education, and academia. The degree program includes a capstone experience, in which students can conduct a project or thesis, giving them an opportunity to conduct hands-on research with RIT faculty.

Bachelor of Science in Human Centered Computing

This degree program prepares students to work at the intersection of computing, design, and psychology to advance the ways people and communities interact with modern technology. This four-year degree program includes a cooperative experience (co-op) component, in which students work full-time at companies, as part of their degree.

Undergraduate Courses

Various courses in Human-Computer Interaction are offered as part of undergraduate degrees in the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, including:

  • Designing the User Experience (ISTE-260)

    The user experience is an important design element in the development of interactive systems. This course presents the foundations of user-centered design principles within the context of human-computer interaction (HCI). Students will explore and practice HCI methods that span the development lifecycle from requirements analysis and creating the product/service vision through system prototyping and usability testing. Leading edge interface technologies are examined. Group-based exercises and design projects are required.

  • Foundations of Human Centered Computing (ISTE-262)

    This course explores how the fields of psychology, digital design, and computing converge in the design, development, and evaluation of new technologies that people find effective and enjoyable to use. Students will investigate the field of human-computer interaction (HCI), with a focus on how users` various sensory, motor, and cognitive abilities are essential to their successful use of technology. Students will be exposed to modern research methods and paradigms in field of human-computer interaction, including predictive modeling, heuristic evaluation, interpretive methods, and experimental user testing. Students will learn key design principles and guidelines and apply them to analyze existing designs and conduct a design process that is centered on human users of technology.

  • Prototyping and Usability Testing (ISTE-264)

    This course will explore how modern human centered computing design and evaluation methodologies can be effectively used to create high-quality and usable technologies for a variety of users. Students will learn how an initial design can be evaluated and improved through the use of prototyping and user evaluations. Students will investigate a variety of high- and low-fidelity prototyping techniques, plan an iterative design process for an application, conduct an evaluation of a prototype, and analyze the results of user testing to drive a design process.

  • Foundations of Mobile Design (ISTE-252)

    This course is an introduction to designing, prototyping, and creating applications and Web Apps for mobile devices. These devices include a unique set of hardware and communications capabilities, incorporate novel interfaces, are location aware, and provide persistent connectivity. Topics covered include user interaction patterns, connectivity, interface design, software design patterns, and application architectures.

  • Design for Accessibility (ISTE-266)

    This course will explore the design, evaluation, and use of computing and information technologies to benefit people with disabilities and older adults. Students will learn how to analyze the accessibility of existing software or websites, and they will learn how to design technology that can be effectively, enjoyably, and efficiently used by people with diverse sensory, motor, and cognitive abilities. Students will learn about cutting-edge ways in which science and technology has provided assistance and accessibility for people with disabilities. Students will learn how to investigate the needs of users with disabilities, design technologies according to universal design or accessibility principles, interpret key accessibility regulations and guidelines, and include people with disabilities in the design and evaluation of new technologies.

Additional Undergraduate Courses

You can find additional undergraduate courses listed on the curriculum section of the Human Centered Computing website.

Graduate Courses

Graduate courses are offered through the masters program in HCI and through the doctoral program in Computing and Information Sciences. Details about doctoral level courses are available on the doctoral program curriculum information website.

  • Research Methods in HCI (HCIN-600)

    This course provides students with an introduction to the practical application of various research methods that can be used in human computer interaction. The course provides an overview of the research process and the literature review, and provides initial study in survey research and experimental research methods. Students will analyze several existing research studies and design and conduct studies.

  • Foundations of Human Computer Interaction (HCIN-610)

    Human-computer interaction (HCI) is a field of study concerned with the design, evaluation and implementation of interactive computing systems for human use and with the study of major phenomena surrounding them. This course surveys the scope of issues and foundations of the HCI field: cognitive psychology, human factors, interaction styles, user analysis, task analysis, interaction design methods and techniques, and evaluation. This course will focus on the users and their tasks.

  • Information and Interaction Design (HCIN-620)

    Designing meaningful relationships between people and the products they use is both an art and a science. This course will focus on the unique design practice of: representing and organizing information in such a way as to facilitate perception and understanding (information architecture); and, specifying the appropriate mechanisms for accessing and manipulating task information (interaction design). This course will also explore the various design patterns (design solutions to particular problems) that are appropriate for the HCI professional.

  • Usability Testing (HCIN-630)

    This project-based course will focus on the formal evaluation of products. Topics include: usability test goal setting, recruitment of appropriate users, design of test tasks, design of the test environment, test plan development and implementation, analysis and interpretation of the results, and documentation and presentation of results and recommendations.

Additional Graduate Courses

Additional elective and application-area courses are described on the curriculum page of the Masters Program in HCI website.

Opportunities

SIGCHI at RIT

SIGCHI at RIT logoStudents are welcome to participate in the activities of the local chapter of SIGCHI, the Association for Computing Machinery's special interest group on Human Computer Interaction. This student-led organization plans special events, guest speakers, and other activities for HCI community at RIT.

Research Opportunities

Current and prospective students are welcome to contact the faculty on the People page if they have interest in working on research projects that relate to their work. For more information about on-going projects, please visit faculty or research group websites.