Course Information

The goal of this course is to show you how modern HCI (human-computer interaction) research papers are written, reviewed, and published, which can help you determine whether you want to pursue this career path. Here are some logistics that will help us achieve this goal.


  • 60% – Piazza written responses for each day's paper, due at noon on the day of each class period. This will comprise the bulk of your grade. For each Piazza response, you will get:
    • full credit for making at least a reasonable effort
    • half credit if it's obvious that you didn't put in an honest effort (e.g., if you showed this to your classmates, they would agree that it wasn't a real honest effort)
    • zero points if late or not turned in. We cannot accept late submissions since we will discuss them during each class period, so there's no point in turning it in late.
  • 20% – oral presentations. You will make 2 oral presentations in class on assigned papers. Again, full credit for making a reasonable effort, half credit if it's obvious that you didn't put in an honest effort (or didn't show up and had to reschedule), zero credit for not doing it.
  • 20% – attendance. All class sessions have mandatory attendance with sign-ins at the start of the hour. Here is our policy on excused absences.

At the end of the quarter, raw point scores are translated into letter grades using the standard letter grade scale.

Our one change to the standard scale is that A+ grades will be given only to exceptionally-performing students, not simply to those who fulfilled all the points, since it's relatively easy to get all of the points if you simply do all of the work to a reasonable standard. A+ will be reserved for exceptional cases.

In this class, as with any, the grade you earn reflects your performance. There is no curve, so you are not competing with your classmates for a limited number of letter grades.

Mandatory Attendance

Class attendance is mandatory. You are allowed two absences for the quarter without penalty; after that you will receive zero credit for each missed class. There's no need to notify the staff beforehand if you will be absent. However, if you commit to an oral presentation on a certain day and then are absent that day, then that will count against your grade because you will need to be rescheduled for later, which will disrupt other students' plans.

In-class Oral Presentations

You will need to make two short oral presentations in front of the class throughout the quarter. You don't need to use slides, but if you want to, please put them as public links in Google Slides and post it to Piazza; that way, I can open your slides on my laptop so you don't have to plug your laptop in. (Note: Due to the small classroom layout this quarter, it may be better if we don't use slides. You can also just present from your seat; no need to stand up in front of the class.)

During each class session I will ask for volunteers to give their presentation during the next session. If not enough students volunteer, then I will pick at random from the remaining students who haven't talked yet and post the list of speakers on Piazza.

This should be a low-stress assignment since you're already writing up Piazza responses and discussing them in class. This is an opportunity for you to dive into the prompt in a bit more detail since you'll have to present your ideas in front of the entire class.

In your presentation, you can choose to discuss any of the papers we've covered so far in class; please let me know if you'd like to discuss other relevant papers instead. The most important requirement is that it should not be a summary of the paper. The best way to make your presentation great is to draw on your own unique personal and work experiences so you can tell your classmates something new that they probably don't yet know. If you're really out of ideas for what to talk about, then you can simply expand on your Piazza response in more detail, and I may ask you more questions about it. You can use some notes, but don't read off your talk word-for-word from a script.

For our current class size, plan for 10 to 15 minutes for your presentation.

Academic Integrity

The staff works hard to help you learn course concepts and gain the skills necessary to be an ethical member of society. We expect your help in achieving these goals. If you cheat, you not only fail yourself (in that you won't have gained critical skills), but you fail UCSD (by lowering the expected quality of our degrees). Thus, we have a personal responsibility to both you and to your fellow UCSD students – and we take it seriously. So don't cheat. We will submit an allegation report on anyone we believe to be not upholding our academic integrity contract. This is processed through UCSD's Academic Integrity Office.

Aside from being bad for you, cheating is also highly inconsiderate to your classmates, since all the time and energy that the course staff spends dealing with the paperwork of cheating cases means less time to devote to the vast majority of students in class who are doing good honest work.

As a reminder, the following is an excerpt from the UCSD General Catalog section on Academic Dishonesty:

No student shall engage in any activity that involves attempting effort, for example:

  1. No student shall knowingly procure, provide, or accept any materials that contain questions or answers to any examination or assignment to be given at a subsequent time.
  2. No student shall complete, in part or in total, any examination or assignment (including clicker participation) for another person.
  3. No student shall knowingly allow any examination or assignment to be completed, in part or in total, for himself or herself by another person.
  4. No student shall plagiarize or copy the work of another person and submit it as his or her own work.
  5. No student shall employ unauthorized aids in undertaking course work.
  6. No student shall, without proper authorization, alter graded class assignments or examinations and then resubmit them for regrading.