CSD Home | SCS Home



Research Areas - Human-Computer Interaction Research in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon


CSD faculty: Emma Brunskill, Mike Christel (ETC), Roger Dannenberg, Takeo Kanade, Roy Maxion, Jim Morris, Dan Siewiorek


We view human-computer interaction as a broad, dynamic discipline that values comfort, usability, effectiveness, enjoyment, and community, and considers personal, professional and social interests.


The Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Institute at Carnegie Mellon University was formed in 1994 to foster multidisciplinary research and education in the area of human-computer interaction.

The HCI Institute combines scientific and engineering knowledge from computing with that of human and social sciences, and adds the qualitative and integrative methods of the field of design to form a truly unique environment.

Computing technologies have become integrated into the everyday lives of people in the developed world and affect people all over the world. We care deeply about how this is happening and focus on research that will have substantial influence in the HCI community.

Most of our research projects involve faculty, students, and staff with training in several disciplines, including computer science, interaction design, and psychology.

Learning Technologies

Working systems that meet a societal need and at the same time advance basic science.

Cognitive Tutor Algebra project

  • test bed for studying cognitive theory
  • Algebra Cognitive Tutor—most widely used intelligent tutoring system in the world

Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center’s LearnLab

  • educational research from the lab to the classroom to build a knowledge base of effective educational practices that produce robust student learning

Tools and Technology

Tools as enablers potentially

  • enhance the work of many researchers and other individuals
  • extend into solutions for many problems within a domain

Software tools and toolkits for

  • interactive software development
  • authoring intelligent tutoring systems
  • producing a psychologically valid computational model of users’ behavior
  • evaluating software architectures
  • creating information visualizations

Human Assistance

Technology-based assistive technologies

  • designed for a social world
  • support social as well as physical and
  • intellectual tasks
  • create a comfortable experience for people
  • gain their cooperation
  • encourage healthy rather than overly dependent behavior
  • provide appropriate feedback to remote operators and others involved in the system

People and Robots

  • ethical questions
  • secondary social effects and people’s experiences with technology that can work in
  • real environments

Arts and Entertainment

We explore art, music, computer science, and ambient design to integrate creativity and research in human-computer interaction. We are currently developing “best practices” in research in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC).

ETC projects include

  • interactive theatrical piece
  • robot that can sustain conversation
  • large-scale educational video game

Collaborative Environments

We use social science techniques to understand how the existence, adoption, and use of computing and telecommunications technology influences individuals, small groups, organizations and society as a whole.

  • HomeNet project documented the ways that the Internet is influencing Americans’ social relationships and psychological well-being.

We also explore collaborative environments

  • Managing Human Attention is building communication tools to promote person-to-person communication while reducing the interruption that this communication entails.




      CSD Home   Webteam  ^ Top   SCS Home