Human-Centered Computing & Cognitive Science

Human-centered computing (HCC) addresses the pressing industrial and societal need for advanced education and research in humanizing computer technology. Computers are all around us — in our homes, our cars, our offices, our classrooms, stores, factories, planes, ships. They affect us in every aspect of our lives, from the time of our birth to our passing, in our education, our entertainment, our working, our shopping, and our traveling. Human-centered computing focuses on the relationship between people and computing, how that relationship affects our lives, how we think about and use these machines, how they will enhance learning, and how we can make them more approachable, engaging, and effective.

Human-centered computing permeates our undergraduate offerings within the areas of human computer interaction (HCI), cognitive science and learning sciences, and technologies. The College of Computing’s People thread provides a broad range of course options, including learning how to design user experiences in software, how we learn and how technologies can support that, as well as developing an understanding of the mind as an information processor. Our Computational Media program focuses on the computer as a medium, helping students develop knowledge not just of the technical aspects of computing, but also about how to apply human-centered computational thinking to the design of new digital media forms. Our graduate programs build on these same sources of knowledge but emphasize advanced professional education required to lead in these areas (such as our master’s degrees in HCI and CS) or the acquisition of knowledge and skills to advance the state-of-the-art in the human-centered computing sciences (such as our Ph.D. in HCC).

Within the School of Interactive Computing, Gregory Abowd, Rosa Arriaga, Mike Best, Amy Bruckman, Keith Edwards, Ashok Goel, Beki Grinter, Mark Guzdial, Janet Kolodner, Blair MacIntyre, Beth Mynatt, Nancy Nerssesian, Thad Starner and Bruce Walker commonly publish at top venues in the field, with many more faculty contributing according to their current interests.

Coordinator: Beth Mynatt