Computer-Human Interaction,
with a Focus on
Cognitively-Motivated Computers

Spring 2007 (689-610)

TR 2:20-3:35PM, 113 Bright



Design, implementation, and analysis of computer systems modeled on human perception in an effort to help create better user interfaces. Students will read literature in cognitive behavior, psychology, and anthropology and discuss its relevance in developing computer science applications. Students will design, perform, and analyze a user study. Students will implement a user interface modeled on human perception.

Instructor and Office Hours

Instructor: Tracy Hammond
Email: hammond at
Office: HRBB 414C
Phone: 979 862 4284
Class Office Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, 4-5 pm
Office hours are subject to change from week to week depending on they type of assignment. (I will try to arrange office hours in the lab for lab assignments.)
Office hours can also be made by appointment.


No specific prerequisites are required for this class. That said, students will be expected to think critically. Students should be proficient at object oriented programming in either Java or C++. Students should have taken some higher level computer science courses. Possible courses include artificial intelligence, user interfaces, or software engineering.

If a student is taking this from a department other than computer science, and does not know (nor wish to) how to program, please come see me and we can arrange for alternative projects.

Learning Goals

This class has two overall learning goals:

Note on Course Load: I will do my best to include only assignments that have a direct positive impact on your learning.  That said, I expect you to put a lot of effort in this class. While I will try to keep the work load down, you should not be taking more than 2 classes at this time so you can effectively think about the subject matter in your free time. If this presents a problem due to registration requirements, please come and talk to me as you can register for my 691 research course. Also, if you are currently doing research in an area and are worried about the time commitment for this class interfering with your research, please come talk to me, and we can try to find a project which will also help further your outside research. As I said earlier, the goal of this class it to increase your knowledge and research skills, and I will work with you to make sure that happens in an effective way.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

Learning Needs and Activities

Course Topics:

Technologies: Measuring Technologies:


Class Participation: 10%
Quizzes and Quiz Questions: 10%
Paper Summaries: 20%
Paper Critiques: 20%
Mini-projects: 40%
Project: 20%

This assessment is only a guideline, students need to perform well in each section in order to do well in the class.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Policy Statement

The following ADA Policy Statement (part of the Policy on Individual Disabling Conditions) was submitted to the University Curriculum Committee by the Department of Student Life. The policy statement was forwarded to the Faculty Senate for information.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, the legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Department of Student Life, Services for Students with Disabilities, in Cain Hall or call 845-1637.


The handouts used in this course are copyrighted. By “Handouts” we mean all materials generated for this class, which include but are not limited to syllabi, lab problems, in-class materials, review sheets, and additional problem sets. Because these materials are copyrighted, you do not have the right to copy such handouts, unless the author expressly grants permission.

Scholastic Dishonesty

As commonly defined, plagiarism consists of passing off as one’s own the ideas, work, writings, etc., that belong to another. In accordance with this definition, you are committing plagiarism if you copy the work of another person and turn it in as your own, even if you have the permission of the person. Plagiarism is one of the worst academic sins, for the plagiarist destroys the trust among colleagues without which research cannot be safely communicated. If you have questions regarding plagiarism, please consult the latest issue of the Texas A&M University Student Rules [], under the section “Scholastic Dishonesty”.

Academic Integrity Statement

"An Aggie does not lie, cheat, or steal or tolerate those who do."

Upon accepting admission to Texas A&M University, a student immediately assumes a commitment to uphold the Honor Code, to accept responsibility for learning and to follow the philosophy and rules of the Honor System. Students will be required to state their commitment on examinations, research papers, and other academic work. Ignorance of the rules does not exclude any member of the Texas A&M University community from the requirements or the processes of the Honor System. For additional information please visit:

University Regulations, Section 42, define scholastic dishonesty to include acquiring answers from any unauthorized source, working with another person when not specifically permitted, observing the work of other students during any exam, providing answers when not specifically authorized to do so, informing any person of the contents of an exam prior to the exam, and failing to credit sources used. Disciplinary actions range from grade penalty to expulsion.

This course has a zero-tolerance policy. Academic misconduct on any assignment will result in failing the entire course! All such cases will be referred to the Aggie Honor Council for additional disciplinary action by the University. Finally, misconduct will also result in an "Unsatisfactory" rating on the annual departmental review of Ph.D. students. Please refer to for more information about the scope and meaning of academic misconduct.

On all course work, assignments, and examinations at Texas A&M University, the following Honor Pledge shall be preprinted and signed by the student: "On my honor, as an Aggie, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this academic work."