CMSC434 | Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction

University of Maryland | Department of Computer Science | Spring 2018

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: tba
Office Hours: By appointment

Teaching Assistant
Office Hours: Thu 3.30-4.30PM


Class Lectures: Tuesday and Thursday, 11:00 - 12:15 am (75 minutes)
Class Location: Computer Science Instructional Center (CSIC) 2107
Credit Hours: 3
Class website:
Course syllabus:
Midterm: TBA, during class time (75 minutes) in CSIC 2107

Final Exam: Saturday, May 12, 8:00 - 10:00 am

We will be using ELMS (Canvas) for discussions and assignment submissions. I will also post things here. You can find links to the assignments in the menu on the right and on Canvas.


See the Syllabus for a list of assignments and their relative value. I plan 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. In particular, the book Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction is my go-to reference and recently revised.

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 ones I have taught in the past, which can give you an idea of what we will be doing in this class:

Fall 2015
Spring 2014