spring 2011

CS376: Research Topics in Human-Computer Interaction

Example final presentations

Here's one from last year. Manolis Savva and Bo Zhang. Here's one I made: Colorific

I've polled some other students about this too, will post here when they send me their files

Project Overview

In this course, you will complete a quarter-long research project. This project will be completed in groups of two.

At a high level, successful projects will raise an important research question, and plan and execute a methodology for answering that question. Often, this methodology will include building and evaluating a prototype system, but hacking is not strictly necessary. All projects require a study — obviously a much more thorough study will be expected of projects that do not involve system building. The goal of the project abstract draft (described below) is to help you scope your work appropriately.

To get a sense of what a good scope for a project is, here are some examples of final papers from the last year:

2011 final papers

And a couple from the previous years:

For information on how the project will be evaluated, see the grading page.

Forming Groups

This project will be completed in groups of two (email cs376@cs if you'd like a larger group. You will be subject to lengthy and brutal questioning. No teams with a single member). Project groups will be self-paired. When discussing a potential partnership with someone, you should discuss your background (e.g., programming proficiency or other skills you bring), availability (e.g., do you plan to primarily work evenings or mornings? weekdays or weekends?), and motivation level (ambition for a turing award? Or to just barely graduate?). It's important to be honest with your partner up front, and follow through on commitments you make.

At the end of class Monday April 9th, use the online submission system to submit the name(s) of who you will be working with. (All group members should complete a submission.)

For assistance in finding a group, go to the Piazzza forum to post your ideas and communicate with others. Also, take a look at the opportunities for collaboration with individuals outside of the class.

Project Ideas

This year, there are two research themes: diverse form factors, and online collaboration. All of the research projects must in some way explore, touch on, or illustrate the increasing diversity of computing devices and/or modes of online collaboration. Here is a list of collaboration opportunities; we encourage you to take advantage of them as a way of participating in a long-term research endeavor. It will take some thinking to find a project where you can ask and answer a research question inside a 10-week quarter. You'll likely iterate on your idea several times -- take care not to fixate on one idea early on.

Project Abstract (Draft and Final Versions)

You must submit a draft of your project abstract. Course staff will provide feedback on the draft to assist in the preparation of a final version (see homepage for deadlines). Everything is submitted online.

The project abstract should cover the following topics:

For a guide to the APA format, go to APA Style. Note that the information on the site is possibly too detailed for the abstract. If you want a good example of the detail expected for the final paper, look at Dynamic Speedometer: Dashboard Redesign to Discourage Drivers from Speeding, Manu Kumar and Taemie Kim.

For estimating number of users, see tutorial slides, or the handout from PSYCH 252 (posted here in a hurry---I haven't asked Prof Thomas for permission. Please don't redistribute.)

For the draft, we expect you to cover all topics in ~3 paragraphs--be concise but concrete in your descriptions. For the final version, you'll want to go into greater depth (approximately 2 paragraphs for each issue, with the exception of the research question, which should still be be one precise sentence).

We encourage you to iterate multiple times on this abstract. While there is only one formally defined point for receiving feedback from course staff, you should seek out more informal feedback as you work on this. E-mail us at any point if you'd like us to take a look at your current submission, or come to office hours if you'd like to discuss in person. You are free to change directions after submitting your draft, but the sooner you nail down a direction, the better your project is likely to be.

Progress Meeting

Course staff will meet individually with each project group to provide feedback on your progress. These meetings will happen in the last 30 minutes of our scheduled class time. Please use this google doc to sign up for a time slot. You should be prepared to present your working system, discuss your study plan, and have pilot results. Use the online submission system to submit any materials you'd like to discuss (e.g., prototypes, data, draft writing.) Come to the meeting prepared to show and tell with preliminary results and how you plan to course-correct based on your early experimentation. How will you revise your system/design/experiment/framing so that your project really pops. What will the title of your final paper be? In other words, how will you summarize your research contribution in just a few words? This exercise will helps you focus and sharpen your efforts on what will best address your research question. This focus will be especially important as time gets tight: some things will matter more than others.

Final Presentation

At the end of the quarter, you will present your research results to the class and outside guests. We have invited a couple HCI luminaries. Feel free to invite interested friends and colleagues!

Final Paper

In addition to the presentation, you will present your findings in a final paper.

Page limit: Final papers should be 3-5 pages long in the UIST format. While this may sound short, it is much harder to write an effective, complete short paper than it is to ramble.A good approach to writing a great short paper is to write a long one first, and then trim it down to the most vital parts. Appendices are acceptable and optional (they don't count towards the page limit), but won't be graded. Add one for materials you want an interested reader to see (for example, when we post your project on the website for next year), but don't need to be graded. Page limit includes references.

Much of the advice from above for preparing your presentation applies to the paper as well. Here are a few more suggestions for preparing your paper: