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2000-01 session

CS1311 Applications and User Interfaces

Level: 1
Credit rating: 10
Degree(s): CS SE CE CS4 CIS AI CM
Pre-requisites: none
Co-requisites: none
Pre-requisite for: CS2312
Duration: 12 weeks in first semester
Lectures: 22 in total, 2 per week
Tutorials : included in the lab time
Laboratories: 24 hours in total, 12 2-hour sessions
Assessment: 1 hour exam (40%) plus laboratory (60%)
Lecturer: Dr A J West

 The course acts as an introduction to the topic of human-computer interaction (HCI), and relates this to the requirements of applications. It also serves as an introduction to other elements of the computer science curriculum, using applications as a theme to illustrate how different areas of the subject can be used to support applications. The laboratory exercises complement the course material by ensuring that students can use industry standard tools such as Microsoft Office, and are able to design and implement web pages.

After this course, students should be able to: understand human factors and other user-interface issues important for designing applications, appreciate different styles of interface and which ones are appropriate for different tasks and applications, be able to critically assess interfaces to common applications and understand how they might be improved, be able to use standard tools such as spreadsheets, simple databases, and to author web pages in HTML.
Reading List

Designing the User Interface (3rd edition), Ben Shneiderman, Addison-Wesley, 1998.

Introduction [1]. Aims and overview of the course, motivations, importance of HCI, building better systems. Laboratory details.
Designing a system: where do we start [2]? Modelling: what is a model? The software development life cycle, waterfall model. Parts of the process: requirements capture, design, implementation, testing, maintenance. Practitioners in HCI: computer science, psychology, human factors, end users. Data-centred view versus user-centred view. Reconciling conflicting requirements, the role of prototyping.
Styles of interface and the technology [2]. Text (grammar) based, window systems, direct manipulation, speech recognition. Examples, strengths and limitations of each style. LaTeX versus Word versus Pagemaker. Virtual environments, augmented reality, ubiquitous computing.
The human in HCI [5]. What is HCI and why is it important? Characteristics of humans: learning, memory. Models of humans: the Model Human Processor; short and long-term memory, perceptual, cognitive and motor processing. The human visual system, perception of colour and shape, colour models, colour usage rules. Memory organisation: episodic and semantic organisation.
Evaluating interfaces [2]. Predicting performance -- GOMS, keystroke model, Fitt's Law. Measuring performance, observation (ethnographic study), questionnaires. Software tools for building interfaces, Visual Basic, Delphi.
Managing data, introduction to databases [4]. The role of a database. Views. Data modelling: ER diagrams. Relational databases, relations (tables), keys, integrity. Relational algebra, select, project. Constructing queries. SQL. Implementation in MS Access. Large versus small databases. Transactions, error handling, concurrency.
Intelligent systems [2]. Artificial intelligence, uses. Knowledge-based and expert systems. Knowledge representation, semantic networks, production rules, forward and backward chaining.
Systems which learn [2]. Simple probabilistic (Bayesian) classifiers, Ledeen character recogniser. Neural networks, fully-connected ANN, perceptron, weights, training. Examples of ANNs: robotics, virtual treadmill, avatar's arms.
Hypertext, multimedia and the web [2]. Origins of hypertext. Building documents with links. The world-wide web, URLs. Hypertext mark-up language. Web authoring tools. Scripting, Java applets.
Creating structured reports, managing data with a spreadsheet, designing and implementing a database, authoring web pages in HTML.

A timetable and/or additional information might be available for this course.
Contents page List of course units offered

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