Human-Computer Interaction

    The HCI research program in EECS comprises a diverse group of faculty and students who work in many different areas, all tied together by a common concern: creating systems that enhance human experience. This concern gives a different flavor to our research from much of traditional computer science, which is typically focused on engineering goals (such as performance, scalability and reliability) or on serving the needs of engineers themselves (eg through goals such as maintainability).

    As software-enabled devices, appliances and systems have become pervasive, we not only depend on them in every aspect of our daily life, but the very quality of our lives is impacted by our interactions with them. Moreover, it has become clear that understanding how humans interact with machines is essential not only for usability but also for safety and security: all major security attacks include a social engineering component, and unusable medical devices are responsible for thousands of deaths every year.

    Our research programs address all aspects of the development of systems that involve human-computer interaction, including design, construction and evaluation. We create systems that demonstrate new kinds of functionality in individual and community settings (eg, in social media, personal information management, and data visualization), as well as tools for building such systems more easily and effectively. Our work extends beyond software to physical design and new technologies for fabrication. We also develop foundational theories of design, and seek to understand the social and ethical ramifications of systems.


    Latest news in human-computer interaction

    A communication system whose users reveal only a few verified aspects of their identity can empower less confident participants to speak up, researchers report.

    A new technique can be used to predict the actions of human or AI agents who behave suboptimally while working toward unknown goals.

    The Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) is proud to announce multiple promotions.

    Master’s students Irene Terpstra ’23 and Rujul Gandhi ’22 use language to design new integrated circuits and make it understandable to robots.

    The series aims to help policymakers create better oversight of AI in society.

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