COOL CLASSES: “Human Computer Interaction”

The course, which covers the design, evaluation, and implementation of interactive computing systems, explores how design decisions can impact access to computing and technology. 

Class name: “Human Computer Interaction”

Taught by: Associate Professor of Computer Science John Dougherty


Here’s what Dougherty had to say about his class:

The course involves a study of how design decisions can impact access to computing and technology. “Human Computer Interaction” is taught from the Computer Science Department, but involves concepts from psychology, anthropology, engineering, and art. I emphasize Universal Design throughout the course, which I consider a manifestation of social justice in computing. I would like students to appreciate the tension between computational complexity (i.e., how efficient the process for the computer) and “technical complexity” (i.e., how complicated the process to be used effectively by people).  I would also like students to understand models of each and how they interact, and to encourage a vision where technology is leveraged to help everyone possible.

This course merges concepts from across the academy to design and implement creative solutions to real-world problems between people and technology.  It serves as an ideal elective for computing in the liberal arts.

Moreover, I recently have been exploring accessible computing given my experience with education and people in my life who have disabilities. I have been impressed at the creativity of the teachers and therapists who work in this field. I am challenging myself to take my personal experiences with disability and my professional experience in computing to discover new ways to empower an important and underrepresented group of people.


See what other courses the Department of Computer Science is offering this semester.

Photos by Holden Blanco ’17.

Cool Classes is a series that highlights interesting, unusual, and unique courses that enrich the Haverford experience.