Human-centered computing (HCC) focuses on developing tools that improve the relationship between people and technology so that people can concentrate on the problem rather than the technology. The ultimate goal of HCC is to make the computer invisible.

Human-centered computing involves designing, developing, and deploying human-centric computer systems. In this concentration students will learn techniques for human-computer interaction using gestures, mobile devices, large surfaces, and virtual environments. Students will also learn how to design and conduct human-subject experiments and understand the role of HCC in developing human-centric artificial intelligence systems. The concentration provides rich interdisciplinary training in computer vision, machine learning, design and psychology.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will be able to:

  • Design interactive systems using state-of-the-art HCC techniques.
  • Design and conduct human-subject experiments.
  • Build complex 3D worlds for user interaction (e.g., virtual and augmented reality).
  • Confidently pursue graduate studies or professional employment in HCC and computer science.

Potential Occupations

In addition to the career opportunities open to all computer science graduates, the HCC concentration opens career paths that include:

User experience designer, virtual and augmented reality developer, and human-centric developer for intelligent systems.

Effective Fall 2020

A minimum grade of C (2.000) is required in CO 150 and in all CS, DSCI, MATH, STAT and Human-Centered Computing Elective courses which are required for graduation.

CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)1A3
CS 165CS2--Data Structures 4
MATH 160Calculus for Physical Scientists I (GT-MA1)1B4
PSY 100General Psychology (GT-SS3)3C3
Select one course from the following: 4
CS1---No Prior Programming Experience  
CS1--Prior Programming Experience  
Select at least two courses totaling a minimum of 7 credits from the following (one course must be or include the sequenced laboratory):3A7
Introduction to Astronomy (GT-SC2)3A 
Human Origins and Variation (GT-SC2)3A 
Principles of Animal Biology (GT-SC2)3A 
Principles of Plant Biology (GT-SC1)3A 
Fundamentals of Chemistry (GT-SC2)3A 
General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)3A 
Exploring Earth - Physical Geology (GT-SC2)3A 
The Blue Planet - Geology of Our Environment (GT-SC2)3A 
Geology of Natural Resources (GT-SC2)3A 
Physical Geology for Scientists and Engineers3A 
Honors Seminar: Knowing in the Sciences3A 
Attributes of Living Systems (GT-SC1)3A 
Biology of Organisms-Animals and Plants (GT-SC1)3A 
Introductory Genetics: Applied/Population/Conservation/Ecological (GT-SC2)3A 
Introductory Genetics: Molecular/Immunological/Developmental (GT-SC2)3A 
Fundamentals of Ecology (GT-SC2)3A 
Oceanography (GT-SC2)3A 
General Physics I (GT-SC1)3A 
General Physics II (GT-SC1)3A 
Physics for Scientists and Engineers I (GT-SC1)3A 
Physics for Scientists and Engineers II (GT-SC1)3A 
Arts and Humanities3B3
Electives 2
 Total Credits 30
CS 201/PHIL 201Ethical Computing Systems (GT-AH3)3B3
CS 220Discrete Structures and their Applications 4
CS 253Software Development with C++ 4
CS 270Computer Organization 4
STAT 158Introduction to R Programming 1
Select one course from the following: 3-4
Linear Algebra for Data Science  
Linear Algebra I  
Select one course from the following: 3
Introduction to Applied Statistical Methods  
Introduction to Biostatistics  
Intro to Theory and Practice of Statistics  
Diversity and Global Awareness3E3
Historical Perspectives3D3
 Total Credits 28-29
CS 314Software Engineering4A,4B3
CS 320Algorithms--Theory and Practice 3
CS 345Machine Learning Foundations and Practice 3
CS 370Operating Systems 3
STAT 341Statistical Data Analysis I 3
Select one course from the following:  3-4
Design Thinking Toolbox: Mixed Reality Design  
Web Development  
Human-Centered Computing Electives - see list below 9
Advanced Writing23
 Total Credits 30-31
CS 464Principles of Human-Computer Interaction4C4
Select two courses from the following: 8
Introduction to Computer Graphics  
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence  
Introduction to Machine Learning  
CS course numbered 300- or above, excluding 380-399 and 480-499 3-4
Electives1 14-17
 Total Credits 30-32
 Program Total Credits: 120

Human-Centered Computing Electives 

Select one of the groups below; courses may not be taken elsewhere in the program. 

Group A - Psychology (9 credits)
PSY 252Mind, Brain, and Behavior3
PSY 452Cognitive Psychology3
PSY 456Sensation and Perception3
Group B - Design Thinking (Select a minimum of 9 credits)
IDEA 210Introduction to Design Thinking (GT-AH1)3
IDEA 310ADesign Thinking Toolbox: Paper Products1
IDEA 310BDesign Thinking Toolbox: 3D Modeling2
IDEA 310DDesign Thinking Toolbox: Digital Imaging1
IDEA 310EDesign Thinking Toolbox: Foundations of Woodworking1
IDEA 310FDesign Thinking Toolbox: Foundations of Textile Design1
IDEA 310H/CS 310HDesign Thinking Toolbox: Mixed Reality Design3
IDEA 310IDesign Thinking Toolbox: Foundations of Metal Fabrication1
IDEA 310JDesign Thinking Toolbox: Graphic Noveling1
IDEA 310KDesign Thinking Toolbox: Technical Sketching and Illustration1
IDEA 310LDesign Thinking Toolbox : Creating Things That Think2
IDEA 310MDesign Thinking Toolbox: Co-designing with Communities1
IDEA 310NDesign Thinking Toolbox: Post-Digital Imaging/Printmaking1
IDEA 450Design Thinking Collaborative3

Distinctive Requirements for Degree Program:
To prepare for first semester:
 The curriculum for the Computer Science major assumes students enter college prepared to take calculus. Entering students who are not prepared to take calculus will need to fulfill pre-calculus requirements in the first semester. Those pre-calculus requirements are listed as benchmark courses in Freshman Semester 1 below. All students must maintain a C (2.000) or better in CO 150 and in all CS, DSCI, MATH, and STAT and Human-Centered Computing Elective courses which are required for graduation.

Semester 1CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)  1A3
PSY 100General Psychology (GT-SS3)  3C3
Select one course from the following:   4
CS1---No Prior Programming Experience X  
CS1--Prior Programming Experience X  
Department Approved Science (See list on Concentration Requirements Tab)  3A3
Electives   2
MATH 117, MATH 118, and MATH 124 must be completed by the end of Semester 1, if necessary.X   
 Total Credits   15
Semester 2CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CS 165CS2--Data Structures X 4
MATH 160Calculus for Physical Scientists I (GT-MA1) X1B4
Department Approved Science w/lab (See list on Concentration Requirements Tab)  3A4
Arts and Humanities  3B3
CO 150 and CS 163 or CS 164 must be completed by the end of Semester 2.X   
MATH 125 and MATH 126 must be completed by the end of Semester 2, if necessary.X   
 Total Credits   15
Semester 3CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CS 220Discrete Structures and their Applications X 4
CS 270Computer Organization X 4
Select one course from the following:   3
Introduction to Applied Statistical Methods X  
Introduction to Biostatistics    
Intro to Theory and Practice of Statistics X  
Historical Perspectives  3D3
CS 165 and MATH 160 must be completed by the end of Semester 3.X   
 Total Credits   14
Semester 4CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CS 201/PHIL 201Ethical Computing Systems (GT-AH3) X3B3
CS 253Software Development with C++ X 4
STAT 158Introduction to R ProgrammingX  1
Select one course from the following:   3-4
Linear Algebra for Data ScienceXX  
Linear Algebra IX   
Diversity and Global Awareness  3E3
CS 220, CS 270, and STAT 301 or STAT 315 must be completed by the end of Semester 4.X   
 Total Credits   14-15
Semester 5CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CS 320Algorithms--Theory and Practice X 3
CS 370Operating Systems X 3
STAT 341Statistical Data Analysis I X 3
HCC Emphasis Course (See List on Concentration Requirements tab) X 3
Advanced Writing  23
CS 253 must be completed by the end of Semester 5.X   
 Total Credits   15
Semester 6CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CS 314Software Engineering X4A,4B3
CS 345Machine Learning Foundations and Practice   3
User Interface Design Course (See List on Concentration Requirements tab.)   3-4
HCC Emphasis Courses (See List on Concentration Requirements tab.)   6
CS 320 and CS 370 must be completed by the end of Semester 6. X   
 Total Credits   15-16
Semester 7CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Pick Two CS Depth Courses (See List on Concentration Requirements tab.)   8
Electives   7
 Total Credits   15
Semester 8CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CS 464Principles of Human-Computer InteractionX 4C4
CS*** Course numbered 300- or aboveX  3-4
ElectivesX  7-10
The benchmark courses for the 8th semester are the remaining courses in the entire program of study.X   
 Total Credits   15-17
 Program Total Credits:   120