CPSC 701.81: Ubiquitous Computing

Earlier variants of this course focused on domestic computing (2008) and more generally on ubiquitous computing (2006).

Note: The information on this site is tentative and subject to change.

Instructor: Saul Greenberg
Semester: Fall, 2010
Time: Monday / Wednesday 10:00 am - 11:15 pm. If all students permit, we will occasionally conduct the class on a single day as a 3 hour block on Monday or Wednesday.


This year, this advanced course in Human Computer Interaction will focus on Ubiquitous computing, with a special emphasis on Proxemic Interactions. Its contents is structured around:

  • introductory readings related to conceptual and technical concepts in ubiquitous computing;
  • specialized readings on social, conceptual and technical concepts in proxemic interaction;
  • a major independent project that you define that develops a proposal, design, implementation and critique of a system for proxemic interactions.
  • learning software systems and other methods for various ubicomp-related technologies, including learning by doing through simple exercises.
  • student-led seminars and discussions about papers and topics of interest.

This will be a demanding, time-intensive course. Students are expected to take the lead in pursuing projects and course sub-topics. They will gather and distill academic materials, and define and implement major projects. I strongly encourage projects that are tightly related to one's thesis research, and that can generate research results such as publications and/or thesis chapters.


Required: Computer Science 481 or equivalent
Highly recommended: CPSC 681 or another grad-level HCI course or equivalent
Or Permission of the instructor: Contact saul.greenberg@ucalgary.ca

Typical Students

Typical students attending this course will be those pursuing Human Computer Interaction as part of their thesis research, where their research will include aspects of ubiquitous computing and proxemic interaction.

Students with no background in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) sometimes ask me about this course. I caution that this is not an introductory HCI course. Rather, it is an advanced course on a highly specialized topic in HCI. While people without any HCI background may be able to get through the material, they will have to work much harder and will likely not get as much out of it due to its specialized nature. If you are looking for a basic introduction to HCI, or interface design, or basic HCI methods, I suggest you take or sit in on CPSC 481.

Come speak with me if you are unsure.

Deliverables and Grading

  • Written / oral presentations: 20%
  • Assignments: 20%
  • Term Project: 60%
  • See details ...

Details and Schedule



The Blog

Student Sandbox (highly tentative)

Students: The sandbox is a place for you to put your own materials for this course.

Saul Greenberg