CMSC434 | Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction

University of Maryland | Department of Computer Science | Fall 2015

Human-Computer Interaction has evolved from the blinking lights of the first computers sixty years ago to the myriad and ubiquitous interactions we all have with technology every day. It is clear that the human interface of computer systems is a critical component in their success or failure. In this course we will examine human aspects of computing and how to put people at the center of our design efforts.


Scott Gilkeson
Adjunct Faculty
Office: 3209 AV Williams
Office Hours: By appointment

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Pallabi Ghosh
Teaching Assistant
Office Hours:Thursday
Room:AVW 4103


Class Lectures: Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 - 10:45 am (75 minutes)
Class Location: Computer Science Instructional Center (CSIC) 2107
Credit Hours: 3
Class website:
Course syllabus:
Midterm: Thursday, November 5, during class time (75 minutes) in CSIC 2107

Final Exam: Tuesday, December 15, 8:00 - 10:00 am

We will be using ELMS (Canvas) for discussions and assignment submissions. I'm still learning to use ELMS, so I will also post things here. You can find links to these assignments in the menu and on Canvas.


See the Syllabus for a list of assignments and their relative value. I hope to use ELMS for the class calendar.

Course Material

This course is based on: (i) lectures/course curricula from "Intro to HCI" (and related) classes taught previously at UMD as well as at other universities (ii) my experience over 25 years as an interaction design practitioner and (iii) books and articles. I am heavily indebted to Dr. Jon Froehlich for generously sharing his slide decks and experience teaching this course for the last several semesters and to Dr. Ben Shneiderman for his advice and inspiration.


Although there is no required textbook for this class, there are several books that I recommend and will refer to from time to time. Check the Resources page.

Material from previous CMSC 434 classes is accessible through the CS Class Web Pages page and very helpful. I've pulled out the links to the past few CMSC 434 classes:

Spring 2015: taught by Vibha Sazawal
Fall 2014: taught by Jon Froehlich
Spring 2014: taught by Scott Gilkeson
Fall 2013: taught by Jon Froehlich
Spring 2013: taught by Jon Froehlich
Spring 2012: taught by Jon Froehlich
Spring 2012: taught by Evan Golub
Fall 2011: taught by Ben Shneiderman
Fall 2011: taught by Ben Bederson
Spring 2011: taught by Ben Bederson
Spring 2010: taught by Tom Yeh
Fall 2009: taught by Ben Bederson
Spring 2009: taught by Ben Bederson
Fall 2008: taught by Ben Shneiderman