Interactive Technologies

Professor in charge: Antti Oulasvirta
Extent: Long (55-65 credots) or compact (40-45 credits) major as CS track. Students taking a compact major take also a minor (20-25 credits). Students taking a long major may include an optional minor in their elective studies.
Abbreviation: IxT

Objectives

There are great expectations toward emerging interactive technologies such as wearable computing, augmented reality, and context awareness, but also many failures. The goal the IxT track is to educate future leaders in interactive technologies. The track introduces the interdisciplinary study of human–computer interaction (HCI) from computer science and engineering perspectives. The curriculum is unique in Finland and in Europe in its focus on computational and technical aspects of user interfaces and deep integration with state-of-the-art research.

Some highlights of the track include:

  • Interdisciplinary orientation with focus on computational and engineering aspects of user interfaces
  • Prototyping techniques for creative design of technically advanced user interfaces
  • Exploiting computer science (e.g. machine learning and optimisation) to analyze user data and solve problems in design
  • Interacting with diverse faculty across departments at Aalto as well as University of Helsinki
  • An end-to-end project on a state-of-the-art user interface with a company or a research group.

Learning Outcomes

The curriculum focuses on the software and hardware aspects of interactive technologies, covering input devices, interactive media, interaction techniques, interface technologies, interactive applications, social media, and multimodal interactive systems. In the first courses, students learn the scientific basis in modeling, theories, and methods. As the curriculum progresses, they learn to apply them to increasingly more realistic design problems. They are introduced to basic aspects of human factors and social sciences relevant in human-computer interaction.

Specialization in Interactive Technologies provides a basis for careers in the ICT industry, public sector, and research. At the end of the specialization, students can go on to careers where they lead design, research, or management. They are well-equipped to approach modern, hard design problems including challenges in interface technologies, algorithms, data, modeling, and communications and networking. However, they are also knowledgeable about the human and social factors affecting the success of interactive systems. They know how to address them in practical interdisciplinary development processes. They have the meta-cognitive skills to drive visions of interactive technology, critically evaluate different approaches to interaction, and to develop competences further by following advanced research literature.

Content and structure

Students have to select at least five courses from the major core course list, including the track compulsory core course. The core courses can also be done as part of Bachelor studies. If any of these courses have been taken as part of the Bachelor studies, they can be substituted with any optional courses of the track.

In addition to major core courses, the students have to take the track compulsory courses. They can also include courses from the optional courses list of the track and a list of technical background courses.

Some of the courses are organized in collaboration with research groups at the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT and the University of Helsinki (Computer Science, Social Sciences).

Major core courses, compulsory major core course bolded (min 25 credits)

In addition to Computational User Interface Design, we recommend Computer Graphics, Machine Learning: Basic Principles, Principles of Algorithmic Techniques, and Web Software Development.

CODE NAME CREDITS PERIOD/YEAR
ELEC-E7851 Computational User Interface Design
5 II/1st year

CS-C3170

Web Software Development

5

II-III/1st year

CS-C3130

Information Security

5

I/1st year

CS-C3140

Operating Systems

5

I/1st year

CS-C3100

Computer Graphics

5

I-II/1st year

CS-E3190

Principles of Algorithmic Techniques

5

I-II/1st year

CS-E3200

Discrete Models and Search

5

III-IV/1st year

CS-E3210

Machine Learning: Basic Principles

5

I/1st year

 Track compulsory courses: Choose minimum 15 credits

CODE NAME CREDITS PERIOD/YEAR

CS-E4200

Emergent User Interfaces

5

III-IV/1

ELEC-E7861

Research Project in Human-Computer Interaction

5-10

IV-V/1-2

ELEC-E7870

Advanced Topics in User Interfaces PV

3-5

V/1-2

ELEC-E7890

User Research 5 I/1-2

CS-E4840

Information Visualization 5

III/1

ELEC-E7880 Quality of Experience 3

I-V/2

 Track optional courses

CODE NAME CREDITS PERIOD/YEAR

MUO-E3005

User Inspired Design - Theory

5

I/1-2

CS-E5210

Usability Evaluation

5

IV/1

CS-E5610

Social Media

4

I-II

SP034i/029

Social Psychology of Information and Communication Technologies (University of Helsinki)*

TBT

TBD

CS-C2000

Ihminen havaitsijana

5

III-IV

CS-E4400

Design of WWW Services

5

I-II

CS-E4450

Explorative Information Visualization

5

I-II

582666

Interactive Systems (University of Helsinki, Computer Science)*

6

 

DOM-E5088 Game Design Basics Workshop 3

 V

* Students apply for this course through Flexible Study Right Agreement JOO. 

Optional technical courses

CODE NAME CREDITS PERIOD/YEAR
ELEC-E7260 Machine Learning for Mobile and Pervasive Systems 5 II-III/2
CS-E4850 Computer Vision 5 III-IV
MS-E2416 Integer Programming 5 IV

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