Interactive Technologies

Professor in charge: Antti Oulasvirta
Other professors: David McGookin, Marko Nieminen, Tapio Takala
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, interactive machine learning, and context awareness, but also many failures. The goal the IxT track is to educate future leaders in interactive technologies and computation. 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 or internship on a state-of-the-art user interface with a company or a research group.

Learning Outcomes

The curriculum focuses on the computational, statistical, 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.

Studies on Interactive Technologies provides a basis for careers in the ICT industry, public sector, and research. At the end of the track, students can go on to careers where they lead design, research, or management, also as part of a data science team. 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

The major consists of core courses, track compulsory courses, and optional computer-science courses. The purpose of the core courses is to ensure that all students in the major have a solid basic knowledge of computer science and software technology topics. The track courses provide deeper understanding of a specific topic and sufficient background knowledge for the Master's thesis in the track's area. After the core and track compulsory courses, most students will be left with quite a few credits for other computer-science courses.

Students have to select at least five courses from the major core course list, including the compulsory core course(s) defined by the track (bolded). The core courses can also be done as part of the Bachelor studies, which reduces the number of core course required at the Master level. Students who have completed equivalent courses at another university can be excused from taking the core courses with agreement of the professor in charge of the study track.

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

The track optional courses listed below are recommended but not required. The rest of the credits for the major can consist of any Master-level computer science 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

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-E3220

Declarative Programming

5

V/1st year

CS-E3210

Machine Learning: Basic Principles

5

I-II/1st year

Track compulsory courses: Choose minimum 15 credits

Students who have no previous introductory-level course in HCI must take C3120 Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction (5 cr).

CODE NAME CREDITS PERIOD/YEAR

CS-E4200

Emergent User Interfaces

5

III-IV/1

CS-E5220

User Interface Construction

5

II

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) NOT LECTURED 2017-2018.

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

CSM13402

Designing Interactive Systems (University of Helsinki, Computer Science)*

5

15.01.2018 -27.02.2018

DOM-E5088 Game Design Basics Workshop 3

 V

CS-E4003 Special Assignment in Computer Science 1-10

Agreed with the teacher

CS-E4004 Individual Studies in Computer Science 1-10

Agreed with the teacher

* 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 I-II
MS-E2416 Integer Programming 5 IV

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