2008 Syllabus

M 1:30-3/W 1:30-4; NSH 2609

Instructor: Jen Mankoff (jmankoff @cs.cmu.edu)
Office: NSH 2504A
Office Hours: W 12-12:45

Key Dates to be Aware of (tentative)

  • Wednesday, 10 September Individual Project Proposal Presentations
  • By Monday, 15 September: groups formed
  • Monday, 22 September & Wednesday, 24 September: Group proposal presentations
  • Wednesday, 1 October: Mock IRB panel (have your group IRBs ready to hand out if you are doing a study)
  • Monday, 27 October: Mid semester break
  • Wednesday, 26 November: Thanksgiving break
  • Wednesday, 19 November Mock PC
  • TBD during finals Final Project Presentations

Topics and Activities (Tentative)

Course work will be divided into discussions about the nature of
interdisciplinary research in HCI in the context of enduring problems,, as
well as activities building specific skills, and a semester long group
project experience. Some examples of specific topics include:

About Research

  • Examples of Interdisciplinary work in problem areas such as the social web, etc.
  • Differences and values
  • Example project(s)
  • Human subjects and IRB
  • Other selected ethics topics (e.g., authorship/credit, confidentiality, and conflict of interest in the review process)
  • Quick tour of methodologies
  • Publishing norms
  • Picking problems
  • Reward structure (tenure criteria as a model)


  • Literature Skills
  • About writing
  • Organizing and motivating material
  • Research papers
  • Writing a proposal
  • Presentation skills

Project related topics and activities

  • Introduction and background for the project theme
  • Individual proposals (written and presented)
  • Group proposals (written and presented)
  • Work on the projects proper
  • Ongoing critiques
  • Group final project results (written and presented)

On-Line Materials and Required Pre-Class Electronic Discussion

Class materials including slides from presentations and readings will
be posted on-line.

The class discussion group will be heavily employed for extended
discussion of the readings and other class material. In particular,
each student is required to make at least two relevant postings a week to hcii-pandt@googlegroups.com. Postings need to be prior to class (by
11:59pm Sunday or Tuesday for readings related to Monday or Wednesday
classes respectively). These posts can be about:

  • a question you had about the reading, something important you did not understand,
  • an idea inspired by the reading,
  • an interesting connection with something you learned or did previously
    in this or another course, or in other professional work or research,
  • an on-topic, relevant response, clarification, or further comment on another student’s post.


See the Assignments page for information on expected assignment work.

(Tentative) Grading Criteria

  • Class participation 10%
  • Skills 10%
  • Individual project proposals 15%
  • Group project 65%

Past Years