Boris Smus

interaction engineering

Carnegie Mellon University!?

In late March, I was completely thrilled to hear that the Carnegie Mellon University Human Computer Interaction Institute accepted me into their Master's program! In addition to admission, they offered a very juicy scholarship to spend part of the time on the beautiful island of Madeira. CMU was my most far fetched reach school, so I attribute this wonderful fortune to a clerical error made by the admission committee.

In addition to studying at one of the best universities in the world, traveling to Europe, and relaxing on the beach, here are a couple of reasons why my inner geek can't contain his excitement, try as he might. These incredible courses are offered at CMU in September 2009:

Making Things Interactive:

In this hands-on design-build class you will learn the skills to embed sensors and actuators (light, sound, touch, motion, etc.) into everyday things (and places etc.) and to program their interactive behavior using a microcontroller. Through weekly exercises and a term project the class will introduce basic analog electronics and microcontroller programming, as well as exploration into using kinetics and materials to make the things you design perform. Emphasis will be on creating innovative experiences using simple robotic technologies. The graduate edition of this course will require additional work including a paper that can be submitted to a peer-reviewed interaction design conference such as CHI, UIST, or TEI.Students from all disciplines are welcome: but please note that the class demands that you master technical material. Experience in at least one of: programming, electronics, or physical fabrication is strongly recommended.

Principles of Human-Robot Interaction:

This course focuses on the emerging field of human-robot interaction, bringing together research and application of methodology from robotics, human factors, human-computer interaction, interaction design, cognitive psychology, education and other fields to enable robots to have more natural and more rewarding interactions with humans throughout their spheres of functioning. This course is a combination of state-of-art reading and discussions, focused team exercises and problem-solving sessions in human-robot interaction, and a special team project resulting in the implementation of a human-robot interaction system.