Research in the HCI Lab

There are several research and funding opportunities to get involved in the HCI Lab during the academic year including the Clare Boothe Luce Scholars Program the Sophomore Early Research Program and the McNair Scholars Program.

There are also opportunites for conducting independent study or thesis work in the HCI Lab.

One of the most exciting oppourtunities in the HCI Lab is to join the Science Center Summer Research Program. 

For more information email Prof. Shaer. 

Research Exchange in Germany

The “US-German Research on Human-Automation Interaction for the Future of Work” is an NSF-funded IRES program, which is collaboratively managed by Andrew Kun of the University of New Hampshire, and Orit Shaer of Wellesley College. The program funds students to perform summer research at one of two research labs in Germany. One lab is the Human-Centered Ubiquitous Media Lab of Professor Albrecht Schmidt of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. The other is the Media Informatics and Multimedia Systems Group of Professor Susanne Boll at the University of Oldenburg in Germany.


Several courses are taught in the HCI Lab including:

CS 366: Advanced Projects in Interactive Media In this course, students with deep interest in interactive media drive cutting-edge research that shapes and examines novel user experiences with technology. Students work in small groups to identify a direction of research, explore and iterate over designs, prototype at varying fidelities, build working systems, consider ethical implications, conduct evaluative studies, and report findings. This course is designed for students who have experience in designing and implementing interactive media through either curricular activities or by working on projects of their own. Students will be expected to have moderate levels of experience with front-end web development. This course may be used to fulfill the capstone requirement for the MAS major.

CS 320: Tangible User Interfaces (TUIs) emerged as a novel HCI style that interlinked the physical and digital worlds. Extending beyond the limitations of the computer mouse, keyboard and monitor, TUIs allow users to interact with digital information through natural movements and gestures, and offer an intuitive and collaborative interface to support activities such as learning, problem solving, design, and entertainment. Successful design depends on many factors including physical form, social settings, and aesthetics in addition to well-designed software and electronics. In the first part of the course, students will be introduced to conceptual frameworks of tangible interaction, the latest research, and a variety of techniques for designing and building TUIs. The second part of the course will be dedicated to a group project, in which students will work in teams to design and build a novel tangible user interface. 

CS 220: Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is a rapidly expanding research and development area that has transformed the way we use computers in the last thirty years. The course introduces fundamental methods and design and programming principles and tools for interactive systems, covering topics such as usability and affordances, user-centered design, human cognitive and physical ergonomics, information and interactivity structures, etc. This course also studies recent developments in HCI including emerging interaction styles (e.g. mobile interaction, augmented-reality, tangible user interfaces, and ubiquitous computing) and a variety of interaction techniques (e.g. use of voice, gesture, and eye movements).