CS W4170 will provide a general introduction to the theory and practice of computer user interface design. The fundamental question that we will try to answer is, ``How can we create high-quality user interfaces?'' In our quest, we will take a hard look at what is behind some often glib buzzwords: user-friendly, ergonomic, WYSIWYG, direct manipulation, constraint-based, window systems, toolkits, menus, icons, UIMS, end user programming, programming by example, visual programming, hypertext, navigation aids, groupware, virtual worlds.
Our emphasis will be on the software design of 2D graphical user interfaces for current workstations and personal computers. We will survey the basic interaction devices available and the techniques that have been developed for (or have given rise to) them, and will study several important paradigms for how these techniques can be woven into a coherent dialogue. This will provide a framework within which we can analyze existing user interfaces and design new ones.
Grading will be based on written assignments (30%), midterm and final exams (25% each), and a final project (20%). Although this is not primarily a ``programming class,'' programming will be required, with an accent on design and analysis.
The course prerequisite is CS W3156 (Software Engineering) and knowledge of the Java programming language. No previous experience with either user interface design or graphics is assumed. However, students are expected to be very comfortable with computers and programming at the level of the undergraduate software engineering course, CS W3156 or equivalent. Note that CS W3156 itself has prerequisites of introductory courses in programming, and data structures and algorithms.
Gábor Blaskó (email@example.com) is a first-year PhD student who has joined the Computer Graphics and User Interfaces Lab with a M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering. His past and current research interests include: user interfaces, input devices, and computer vision and tracking technologies for augmented reality systems. When he is not coding, he plays basketball and runs in marathons. His office hours (until further notice) will be Friday 10:00am-noon in Schapiro CEPSR 603 (212-939-7077).
Kathy Walrath and Mary Campione. The JFC Swing Tutorial: A Guide to Constructing GUIs. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1999, ISBN: 0-201-43321-4. (Required. Online at http://java.sun.com/docs/books/tutorial/uiswing or optionally available at the CU bookstore as a physical book and CD.)
Additional reading material will be announced in class.
Other useful links:
The Forte 3.0 CE interactive development environment will be available on the Sun workstations in 251 Engineering Terrace in /opt/forte3 (to run, type "forte"). You can also download Forte 3.0 CE for your Windows machine from http://www.sun.com/forte/ffj/.
The main site for Java documentation is http://java.sun.com/docs.
Course material will be found on the web at http://www.cs.columbia.edu/graphics/courses/csw4170/ and http://www.columbia.edu/~cs4170/.
Messages will be posted to the course news group on AcIS machines (TO BE ANNOUNCED).
Anything turned in past the start of class until midnight the next day is one day late. Every day thereafter that an assignment is late, including weekends and holidays, counts as an additional late day.
Absolutely no late work will be accepted beyond that accounted for by your late days. If you're not done on time you must turn in what you have to receive partial credit. Now, go back and read this section over again!