Computer Laboratory

Course pages 2012–13

Innovative User Interfaces


The module consists of eight two-hour meetings of a reading group.

  • Each participant will be expected to read the set papers each week, investigate further relevant publications relating to the topic, and write an essay on it to be submitted before the meeting. Expect this to involve at least five hours work each week.
  • Each participant will also be expected to give presentations about two of the weekly topics to the other members of the class. Expect this to involve a further four hours work each time.
  • Everyone should also think of a couple of questions that could be asked about each paper that is presented. These should arise during your study of the papers and associated publications.


The report should demonstrate that you have read and understood the papers for the week. This should:

  • Explain the context of the three papers. What was the state of the art at the time they were written?
  • Summarise their contributions in 200-300 words each. What was the problem being tackled, what approach was taken, and how was the work evaluated?
  • Compare the three papers, exploring their strengths and weaknesses. In the case of older papers, it would be worth explaining their influence by identifying their impact on subsequent work and identifying any omissions that inspired subsequent work.
  • Cite references to support the analysis. This will involve identifying the relevant journals and conferences, and reading about related work.

The report should be written as a single essay, not three separate ones, so that you can draw out common themes running through the week's papers.

This will involve reading much more than the set papers each week. You will need to draw on the preparatory reading suggested before starting the course, and also on literature searches to find significant subsequent work that illuminates the papers for the week.


Present the paper as if it were your own work that you were presenting at a conference, explaining what was significant at the time the paper was published. However, you should also add a coda explaining the influence that the paper had on subsequent research.

Presentations may use any standard audio-visual aids. SS03 has a video projector which can be driven from a workstation in the room, your own lap-top computer, or a visualiser for printed material; there is also an amplifier and loudspeakers. It may be convenient to prepare material with PowerPoint, LaTeX, Prezi or some such for presentations. These can be delivered using either the workstation in SS03 or from your own lap-top computer.

  • If you want to use the workstation in SS03, please put your presentation on your CL or PWF Web pages, and send me the URL by noon on the day before it will be needed. I will then check that it works and confirm later that day. Of course, you can continue to change the content until the actual seminar.
    Use a secure file transfer program such as WinSCP to transfer your presentation to the public_html directory in your home directory on (for the CL) or (for the PWF).
  • If you want to user your own lap-top computer, please check that you know how to connect it before the meeting.