Are you interested in doing an internship with us, or apply for a PhD position? We are constantly looking out for bright students. Reach out and tell us what you’re interested in. We can share some bits of our current work and see how you’d fit in. We strive to do world-class research and publish at premier venues in Human-Computer Interaction (e.g., CHI, Ubicomp), so you might learn a thing or two and you’ll have fun!
Human-Computer Interaction lies at the intersection of computer science, the social sciences and design. We want to develop technologies that have a positive impact on people’s lives. To do so, we need all three disciplines. Let me give you an example. Say you want to develop a physical activity tracker (see the popular Fitbit as an example). You need to understand how people make decisions in everyday life and what will motivate them to take the extra steps. You need to turn this knowledge into innovative ideas. And you need to develop a fully working system, leveraging, for instance, state-of-the-art sensing technologies.
I am not suggesting you need three degrees. But you should be able to understand – and emph(have the will to understand) – the language of all three. The ideal path to a PhD in HCI is doing a masters in HCI. You’ll get to learn the basics, learn to collaborate with students from other disciplines and understand what side of HCI fits you better.
We are typically looking for three types of students:
- Social science students with an interest in interactive technologies. You have a solid background in qualitative and/or quantitative methods for the Social Sciences. You may take one of our prototypes and conduct a field study to evaluate its impact on people’s lives. See one example using mostly quantitative methods and one using mostly qualitative methods.
- Computer science students interested in building interactive technologies that impact people’s lives. You have strong programming skills and like to see your prototypes being used by many. Or, you may also be interested in working together with social science researchers, building the tools that enable studies at large or analyzing and predicting human behavior (see the aware framework and the crowdsignals campaign). We typically develop applications for smartphones and smart watches (most commonly on Android /Android Wear) or ambient installations using physical computing infrastructure.
- Design students with strong prototyping skills and ability to understand and translate social science literature into novel concepts of interactive technology. You may have a background in industrial design and affinity in prototyping physical computing systems (e.g., using platforms such as Arduino). Or you may have a background in graphic design and interest in creating new ways to present information in smartphones and smartwatches.
Consider these categories only as indicative. Reach out to us and tell us what drives you.