Computational Techniques for HCDE

HCDE 530 Syllabus (Winter 2018)

Instructor   TA
David McDonald
Office: Sieg 428
  Office Hours: by appointment
  Nan-Chen Chen
Office: Sieg 424
  Office Hours: Thursdays 4:45pm-5:45pm, Sieg 422 (Student Lounge, before class)
    by appointment

Course Meetings

Thursday, 6:00pm-10:00pm in Denny Hall 112 (DEN 112)


Introduces basic computational concepts and programming skills needed to work with interactive systems in HCDE. Draws on topics such as log analysis, visualization, prototyping, and data mining. Students analyze data to inform user research and design.

Social media data collection and analysis will be taken as the motivating example through which HCDE computational concepts are taught. Social Media is an important and growing phenomena on the Internet. These systems enable hundreds of thousands of people to contribute their own content and meta-data to web enabled systems. Since these systems grow and change as a function of the individuals who participate, understanding the individuals, the forms of participation, the types and styles of contributions are important to designing and refining social media systems.

Evaluation Components

The course is composed of assignments, quizzes, reading and a project.

  Assignments 45% (7 assignments, almost weekly)  
  Quizzes 10% (5 during the quarter)  
  Team Project      
  Team Formation 2%    
  Project Proposal 9%    
  Project Presentation 9%    
  Project Write-Up 25%    

All assignments, quizzes, project proposal and project write up are due by 5:00pm on the specified date. All assignments, project proposal and project write-up will be submitted to the course Canvas site. Late turn-in will be penalized 5% of the total possible grade per hour (or fraction of an hour) that it is late.

  Grade (not
less than)
  3.8 95%
  3.6 90%
  3.3 85%
  3.0 80%
  2.5 75%
  2.0 70%


Supplemental Office Hours

During the quarter the Instructor and TA may provide some supplemental office hours. Below are dates, times and locations for the supplemental office hours.

  • Sunday January 28, 2018 2:00pm-4:00pm in Sieg 420
  • Sunday February 4, 2018 3:30pm-5:30pm in Sieg 420
  • Sunday February 11, 2018 3:30pm-5:30pm in Sieg 420

Course Book

The course has one highly recommended text. Suggested readings from the book are listed on the reading schedule. The book has a very practical tone. The best way to understand this book is to skim through the chapter, then sit down at a computer with the book and work through the examples in the assigned chapter or section. The optional books are only if you want more help learning Python.

Recommended Text
  Russell, Matthew (2014) Mining the Social Web. (Second Edition) O'Reilly Media Inc.
  ISBN: 978-1449367619
Optional Texts
  Berry, Paul (2010) Head First Python O'Reilly Media Inc.
  ISBN: 978-1449382674
  Ascher, David and Lutz, Mark (2013) Learning Python book (5th edition) O'Reilly Media Inc.
  ISBN: 978-1449355739


© 2018 David W. McDonald