ICS 203B: Ubiquitous Computing and Interaction

Spring 2006

Tu Th, 3:30-5:00, ICS 243

Class blog


Ubiquitous computing will change the world, or has changed the world, or might change the world, depending on who you listen to and how much you believe them. One thing that certainly seems true is that the emergence of ubiquitous computing has changed (or should have changed) the ways in which computer scientists think about the world, as a site for technologically-constituted action.

The topic of this class is not how to design user interfaces using RFID tags and sensor networks. Instead, we'll be concerned with how ubiquitous computing might cause us to rethink the relationship between people, activities, and the world in which they arise (and, along the way, perhaps how we might rethink the role of RFID tags and sensor networks. Who knows.)

So, I'm going to read the word "interaction" in the title of the class very broadly. A primary focus will be on the ways in which we engage with a ubicomp-augmented world, but also how ubicomp fits into a broader set of social, cultural, and economic processes by which our everyday life is organized and understood. So webThe topic of this class is not how to design user interfaces using RFID tags and sensor networks. Instead, webs by which our everyday life is organized and understood. So webll be interested in how we interact with ubiquitous computing in the broadest sense -- not just how we interact with it physically, but how it fits into systems of practice.

More details on the full syllabus.

Format and Grading

The format of the class will be split between lectures and student-led discussions. For student discussions, I'll assign two people as discussion leaders, to collectively lead discussion on a number of readings. However, everyone is required to read the papers, and to bring discussion issues to class (I'll set up blog/wiki space to coordinate this.)

The primary evaluation for this class will be a term paper of 3000-4000 words, due at the end of the quarter. I'll distribute some sample paper topics early in the quarter, but you can also suggest topics of your own. We'll agree about actual paper topics around week five.


The full set of citations for the papers and books we'll be reading is here.


Tuesday 4/4

No class

Thursday 4/6

Overview and Introductions

Tuesday 4/11

Lecture: Interaction with and interaction through

Readings: Dourish chs 2, 4

Thursday 4/13

Discussion: Tangible Interaction

Readings: Hornecker and Buur; Ishii and Ullmer; Benford et al; Williams et al. Discussants: Shadi and Sara.

Tuesday 4/18

Discussion: Collaboration and Interaction

Readings: Barkhuus et al; Heath.pdf; McCarthy et al.; Munn. Discussants: Greg and Frank.

Thursday 4/20

Discussion: Urban Ubicomp

Readings: Paulos and Jennings; Mainwaring et al.; Barkhuus and Dourish; Duruz; Brown and Chalmers. Readings: Discussants: Johanna and Hironmay.

Tuesday 4/25

No class (CHI).


Thursday 4/27

No class (CHI).

Tuesday 5/2

Lecture: Social Interaction

Readings: Dourish chs 3, 5.

Thursday 5/4

Discussion: Producing Social Meaning

Readings: Mainwaring et al.; Ito and Okade; Tomlie et al.. Discussants: Doug and Ishani.

Tuesday 5/9

No class.

Thursday 5/11

Discussion: Context

Readings: Agre; Chalmers; Dourish. Discussants: Yogesh and Zubin.

Tuesday 5/16

Discussion: Critical Technical Practice

Readings: Agre; Sengers, Kaye, et al; Sengers, Boehner, et al; Bell et al. Discussants: Eric B., Greg.

Thursday 5/18

No class.

Tuesday 5/23

Discussion: Critical views

Readings: Lillie; Spigel. Extra credit: Althusser. Discussants: Sara, Frank.

Thursday 5/25

History and Ideology in the Smart Home

Readings: Horrigan; Mackay and Gillespie. Discussants: Ishani, Shadi.

Tuesday 5/30

Discussion: Shaping Things #1

Readings: Sterling, ch 1-9. Discussants: Cina, Johanna.

Thursday 6/1

Discussion: Shaping Things #2

Readings: Sterling, ch 10-18. Discussants: Eric K., Zubin.

Tuesday 6/6

Paper topics discussion

Thursday 6/9

Paper topics discussion