Mensch-Computer-Systeme B.Sc.
Human-Computer Interaction M.Sc.

Incoming International Students

Information for International Exchange Students

A typical semester for an international student that stays for one semester is structured as follows:

Master Thesis (30 ECTS)
Or Master Project (10 ECTS)
And/or two modules among : Realtime Interactive System, 3D User Interfaces, Machine Learning, Multimodal Interface or Research Seminar (5 ECTS each)
German as Foreign Language (2 ECTS)

Detailed information about the available courses for international students can be found in the list below.

Information for International Fulltime Students

The International Office of the University of Würzburg provides information and advice for international students who want to apply for, or are already enrolled in one of our courses.

Information about the application for international students can found on the pages of the International Office. Please contact the international office for advice.

Modules for Incoming Exchange Students

The modules listed on this page are offered for international exchange students and can be held in english.

Modules Offered Every Summer and Every Winter Semester

The following modules are offered every summer and every winter semester.


HCI Master Seminar (5 ECTS)

Description

Sound research requires an in-depth reflection of prior approaches and the related work typically published in the scientific media (conference proceedings, journals, books, etc.). This course is an advanced course about typical scientific research work with a specific focus on topics from the field of human-computer interaction (HCI).

During the course, students will have to work on one specific topic as a preparation for their master thesis. They will have to find relevant publications, read the publications and analyze them given some defined research questions and/or categories of the current state-of-the-art. They have to summarize and present their findings to a larger audience.

Competencies/Qualification

After the course, the participants will have a solid understanding of an important aspect of typical research work. They will have learned how to read scientific publications, how to extract relevant information, and how to summarize their findings.

Level
  • Master HCI or Computer Science

HCI Master Thesis (30 ECTS)

Competencies/Qualification Description

The students have to individually work on an assigned problem in the field of Human-Computer Interaction and document their results using good scientific standards.

Competencies/Qualification Competencies/Qualification

Participants will learn how to apply scientific methods from the HCI field. They will learn a structured approach starting from a definition and motivation of research questions and the discussion and summery of related work from scientific publications and prior approaches. Following this they will learn how to develop own concepts and methods to tackle the questions and how to implement them and potentially to evaluate the results.

Level
  • Master HCI or Computer Science (< 3 semester)

HCI Project Interdisciplinary

Description

Practical experience is a necessary skill for application-oriented aspects of various sciences. This is specifically true for Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) which incorporates engineering as well as empirical work skills. This course assigns a well-defined project or task to (teams of) students which they have to solve largely on their own. The topic will be in the area of Human-Computer Interaction with an individually assigned focus between the engineering, aka computer science, an the empirical or psychological part of HCI.

Competencies/Qualification

After the course, the participants will have a solid understanding of how to solve a coherent problem using typical HCI-skills. They will have learned how to define and execute individual work packages.

Level
  • Master HCI or Computer Science.
Required Prerequisites
  • Programming (> 10 ECTS)
  • Statistics (> 4 ECTS)
  • Research Methods (> 4 ECTS)

HCI Project Exhibition (5 ECTS)

Description

Presentation and communication are important skills for application-oriented and practical aspects of various sciences. This is specifically true for Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). This course requires the participants to present the results of an associated project to a larger audience in a and exhibition-like setup.

Competencies/Qualification

The participants will learn how to present their own work to a larger audience, how to plan, design and set-up the different parts of an own exhibition booth, and how to react individually to questions from the audience.

Level
  • Master HCI or Computer Science.
Required Prerequisites
  • Project (> 9 ECTS)

Game Lab (10 ECTS)

Description

Computer or video games have become a major aspect of modern culture and a large economical factor in recent years. This course is an introduction into the conceptual and technical approaches necessary to build computer games.

The course will cover topics about the principles of game design, necessary tools for the design and development chain of computer games, the interactive game loop, necessary conceptual and functional aspects of game engines (I/O, graphics, physics, or artificial intelligence), as well as an introduction into modern game architectures.

Competencies/Qualification

After the course, the students will have a broad understanding of the necessary aspects to take into account during the design and development of computer games. They will learn about the principle layout and architecture of modern games as well as about tools to solve the various tasks necessary to build computer games. They will be able to implement their own games and to choose the right software tools for this task.

Level
  • Bachelor HCI or Computer Science > 4 semesters.
Required Prerequisites
  • Programming (> 10 ECTS)
Recommended Prerequisites
  • Computer Graphics (> 4 ECTS)
  • Artificial Intelligence (> 4 ECTS)

Modules Offered Every Summer Semester

The following modules are offered every summer semester and not during winter semesters.


3D User Interfaces (5 ECTS)

Description

This module will give students the opportunity to learn about the specificities of 3D User Interfaces (3DUI) development using Virtual, Augmented or Mixed Reality technologies.

The module content will be mainly dedicated to learn and practice the skills essential to the design and implementation of high-quality 3D interaction techniques. Design guidelines as well as classical and innovative 3D Interaction techniques will be studied.

In addition, the course will address novel research themes such as 3D interaction for large displays and games; and integrating 3DUIs with mobile devices, robotics, and the environment.

Students will be assessed through a group practical project (team work), which will consist of 3D Interaction Techniques (ITs) development for a particular a task

Previous years, the assignment replicated the IEEE 3DUI Contest 2011, where teams of students competed between each other to find the best solution (see results video1 and video 2)

Competencies/Qualification

After the course, the students will gain a solid background on the theory and the methods to create your own 3D spatial interfaces. They will have a broad understanding of the particular difficulties of designing and developing spatial interfaces, as well as evaluating then. Students will also learn about traditional and novel 3D input/output devices (e.g, motion tracking system and Head-mounted Display).

Level
  • Master HCI or Computer Science
  • Bachelor HCI or Computer Science > 4 semesters.
Required Prerequisites
  • Programming (> 10 ECTS)
  • Real-Time Interactive Systems (> 4 ECTS)
  • Computer Graphics (> 4 ECTS)

Multimodal Interfaces (5 ECTS)

Description

The multimodal interaction paradigm simultaneously uses various modalities like speech, gesture, touch, or gaze, to communicate with computers and machines. Basically, multimodal interaction includes the analysis as well as the synthesis of multimodal utterances. This course concentrates on the analysis, i.e., the input processing. Input processing has the goal to derive meaning from signal to provide a computerized description and understanding of the input and to execute the desired interaction. In multimodal systems, this process is interleaved between various modalities and multiple interdependencies exist between simultaneous utterances necessary to take into account for a successful machine interpretation.

In this course, students will learn about the necessary steps involved in processing unimodal as well as multimodal input. The course will highlight typical stages in multimodal processing. Using speech processing as a primary example, they learn about:

  1. A/D conversion
  2. Segmentation
  3. Syntactical analysis
  4. Semantic analysis
  5. Pragmatic analysis
  6. Discourse analysis

A specific emphasize will be on stages like morphology and semantic analysis. Typical aspects of multimodal interdependencies, i.e., temporal and semantic interrelations are highlighted and consequences for an algorithmic processing are derived. Prominent multimodal integration (aka multimodal fusion) approaches are described, including transducers, state machines, and unification.

Competencies/Qualification

After the course, the students will be able to build their own multimodal interfaces. They will have a broad understanding of all the necessary steps involved and will know prominent algorithmic solutions for each of them. Student will learn about available tools for reoccurring tasks and their pros and cons.

Level
  • Master HCI or Computer Science
  • Bachelor HCI or Computer Science > 4 semesters.
Required Prerequisites
  • Programming (> 10 ECTS)
  • Machine Learning (> 4 ECTS)
Recommended Prerequisites
  • Real-Time Interactive Systems (> 4 ECTS)
  • 3D User Interfaces (> 4 ECTS)

Interactive Computer Graphics (5 ECTS)

Description

Computer graphics studies methods for digitally synthesizing and manipulating visual content. This course specifically concentrates on interactive graphics with an additional focus on 3D graphics as a requirement for many contemporary as well as for novel human-computer interfaces and computer games.

The course will cover topics about light and images, lighting models, data representations, mathematical formulations of movements, projection as well as texturing methods. Theoretical aspects of the steps involved in ray-tracing and the raster pipeline will be complemented by algorithmical approaches for interactive image syntheses using computer systems. Accompanying software solutions will utilize modern graphics packages and languages like OpenGL, GLSL and/or DirectX.

Competencies/Qualification

After the course, the students will have a broad understanding of the underlying theoretical models of computer graphics. They will be able to implement a prominent variety of these models, to build their own interactive graphics applications, and to choose the right software tool for this task.

Level
  • Bachelor HCI or Computer Science > 3 semesters.
Required Prerequisites
  • Programming (> 10 ECTS)
Recommended Prerequisites
  • Linear Algebra I

Interactive Artificial Intelligence (5 ECTS)

Description

Artificial Intelligence (AI) studies the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, that is, methods which let machines or software exhibit intelligent behavior. This course specifically concentrates on interactive methods applicable to novel human-computer interfaces and computer games.

The course will cover topics about problem solving in general, search methods, semantic representation, logic and deduction methods, constraint satisfaction methods, as well as algorithmical approaches to apply these methods to interactive systems. The latter includes the identification of necessary software modules and requirements for AI-enabled systems as well as APIs for building so-called world interfaces.

Competencies/Qualification

After the course, the students will have a broad understanding of the underlying theoretical models and methods used in interactive Artificial Intelligence. They will be able to implement a prominent variety of these methods, to build their own intelligent interactive applications, and to choose the right software tool for this task.

Level
  • Bachelor HCI or Computer Science > 4 semesters.
Required Prerequisites
  • Programming (> 10 ECTS)

Multiplayer Online Games - Theory (5 ECTS)

Description

This module will give the students the opportunity to learn about the specificities of multiplayer networked games.

The first part will be mainly dedicated to learn and practice the skills essential to the development of networked and multithreaded applications, as well as reviewing basic game programming techniques and architectures.

During the second part, domain specific techniques, including latency-hiding strategies, persistence and synchronisation in virtual worlds, group communication models, cheating and security issues and how to evaluate multiplayer games playability will be described.

Classical and innovative game genres architectures and deployment will be studied. Students will be given the opportunity to experiment and practice with the issues studied through the use of suitable libraries and middleware (e.g, game engine).

Students will be assessed through a written exam.

Note: It is strongly recommended to also follow the module: Multiplayer Online Game - Practice (MOG-P) after participating to this course.

Competencies/Qualification

After the course, the students will gain a solid background on the theory and the methods to analyse the impact on games development of network hardware, protocols, architectures and topologies.

They will have a broad understanding of the particular difficulties of designing and developing online multiplayer games, as well as evaluating then. Students will also learn about traditional and novel 3D online game architectures and gain practical skills to implement them.

Level
  • Master HCI or Computer Science
  • Bachelor HCI or Computer Science > 4 semesters.
Required Prerequisites
  • Algorithmen und Datenstrukturen (> 10 ECTS)
  • SoftwareTechnik (> 10 ECTS)
  • Programmierpraktikum (> 10 ECTS)
  • Software Quality (> 10 ECTS)
Recommended Prerequisites
  • Real-Time Interactive Systems (> 4 ECTS)
  • Computer Graphics (> 4 ECTS)
  • Developing Games (> 6 ECTS)

Modules Offered Every Winter Semester

The following modules are offered every summer semester and not during summer semesters.


Real-Time Interactive Systems (5 ECTS)

Description

This course provides an introduction into the requirements, concepts, and engineering art of highly interactive human-computer systems. Such systems are typically found in perceptual computing, Virtual, Augmented, Mixed Reality, computer games, and cyber-physical systems. Lately, these systems are often termed Real-Time Interactive Systems (RIS) due to their common aspects.

The course covers theoretical models derived from the requirements of the application area as well as common hands-on and novel solutions necessary to tackle and fulfill these requirements. The first part of the course will concentrate on the conceptual principles characterizing real-time interactive systems. Questions answered are: What are the main requirements? How do we handle multiple modalities? How do we define the timeliness of RIS? Why is it important? What do we have to do to assure timeliness? The second part will introduce a conceptual model of the mission-critical aspects of time, latencies, processes, and events necessary to describe a system’s behavior. The third part introduces the application state, it’s requirements of distribution and coherence, and the consequences these requirements have on decoupling and software quality aspects in general. The last part introduces some potential solutions to data redundancy, distribution, synchronization, and interoperability.

Along the way, typical and prominent state-of-the-art approaches to reoccurring engineering tasks are discussed. This includes pipeline systems, scene graphs, application graphs (aka field routing), event systems, entity and component models, and others. Novel concepts like actor models and ontologies will be covered as alternative solutions. The theoretical and conceptual discussions will be put into a practical context of today’s commercial and research systems, e.g., X3D, instant reality, Unity3d, Unreal Engine 4, and Simulator X.

Competencies/Qualification

After the course, the students will have a solid understanding of the boundary conditions defined by both, the physiological and psychological characteristics of the human users as well as by the architectures and technological characteristics of today’s computer systems. Participants will gain a solid understanding about what they can expect from today’s technological solutions. They will be able to choose the appropriate approach and tools to solve a given engineering task in this application area and they will have a well-founded basis enabling them to develop alternative approaches for future real-time interactive systems.

Level
  • Master HCI or Computer Science
  • Bachelor HCI or Computer Science > 4 semesters.
Required Prerequisites
  • Software engineering, software quality (> 10 ECTS)
  • Programming (> 10 ECTS)
  • Computer graphics (> 4 ECTS)
Recommended Prerequisites
  • Perception and physiology (> 5 ETCS)

Machine Learning (5 ECTS)

Description

Machine learning is the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed. In the past decade, machine learning has given us practical speech recognition, effective web search, self-driving cars, and a vastly improved understanding of the human genome. Machine learning is so pervasive today that you probably use it dozens of times a day without knowing it. It is one of today's prominent paradigms in HCI applicable in all areas where the understanding of user input of high variability, specifically for natural interactions using, e.g., gesture, speech, or eye-gaze, is paramount. Many researchers also think it is the best way to make progress towards human-level AI.

In this course, students will learn about the most effective machine learning techniques, and gain practice implementing them and getting them to work. Students not only learn the theoretical underpinnings of learning, but also gain the practical know-how needed to quickly and powerfully apply these techniques to new problems. Finally, they learn about some of Silicon Valley's best practices in innovation as it pertains to machine learning and AI.

This course provides a broad introduction to machine learning, data-mining, and statistical pattern recognition. Topics include: (i) Supervised learning (parametric/non-parametric algorithms, support vector machines, kernels, neural networks). (ii) Unsupervised learning (clustering, dimensionality reduction, recommender systems, deep learning). (iii) Best practices in machine learning (bias/variance theory; innovation process in machine learning and AI). The course will also draw from numerous case studies and applications, so that you'll also learn how to apply learning algorithms to building gesture-based and multimodal interfaces, text and speech understanding (web search, anti-spam), smart robots (perception, control), computer vision, medical informatics, audio, database mining, and other areas.

Competencies/Qualification

After the course, the students will be able to solve machine learning tasks on their own using assistive technologies, e.g., like Octave. In addition, they will be able to derive main principles and apply these in own programs. Students will be able to choose the appropriate approach and tools to solve a given machine learning task in various application area, specifically in HCI.

Level
  • Master HCI or Computer Science
  • Bachelor HCI or Computer Science > 4 semesters.
Required Prerequisites
  • Programming (> 10 ECTS)
Recommended Prerequisites
  • Statistics (> 5 ETCS)
  • Real-Time Interactive Systems (> 4 ECTS)

Software Quality (5 ECTS)

Description

How to develop high quality software? How to write good code? This module will give students teach how to recognize and write high quality software code.

The module content will be mainly dedicated to learn skills to meet critical software quality requirements such as reliability, testability, accuracy, security, portability and maintainability as well as efficiency in time and space. Programming guidelines as well as code examples will illustrate concepts, techniques and tools that lead to professional code quality, and ensure high software quality production.

Different programming languages will be used to highlight typical examples and key concepts.

Competencies/Qualification

After the course, the students will gain a solid background on the theory and the methods to produce high quality code. They will also have a broad understanding of testing techniques and software requirements specifications.

Level
  • Master HCI or Computer Science
  • Bachelor HCI or Computer Science > 2 semesters.
Required Prerequisites
  • Algorithmen und Datenstrukturen (> 10 ECTS)
  • SoftwareTechnik (> 10 ECTS)
  • Programmierpraktikum (> 10 ECTS)

Multiplayer Online Games - Practice (5 ECTS)

Description

This module will give the students the opportunity to program multiplayer online games through the use of suitable libraries and middleware (e.g, game engine). Students will be assessed through a team project, which will consist of developing and presenting multiplayer online games. This module will run as a Game Lab for multiplayer online games. The first part will be mainly dedicated to learn different game technologies as well as reviewing basic game programming techniques and traditional online game architectures. During the second part, teams will work on their project while being supervised by lecturers and tutors. Each week teams will briefly present their progress and discuss future work, issues as well as potential solutions.

Note: It is strongly recommended to also follow the module: Multiplayer Online Game - Theory (MOG-T) in parallel or before participating to this practical course.

Competencies/Qualification

After the course, the students will have gain a practical skills to implement multiplayer online games, using industry standard libraries and game engines.

Level
  • Master HCI or Computer Science
  • Bachelor HCI or Computer Science > 4 semesters.
Recommended Prerequisites
  • Algorithmen und Datenstrukturen
  • SoftwareTechnik
  • Programmierpraktikum
  • Software Quality
  • Real-Time Interactive Systems
  • Computer Graphics
  • Developing Games
  • Multiplayer Online Game Theory
Note

Depending on your course of study, the credits gained with this module can be assigned to: For MCS Bachelor Students: Either 06-MCS-V1 or 06-MCS-V2. For HCI Master Students: Either 06-HCI-ID1 or 06-HCI-ID2. For other modules of study: You will be attributed a certificate of achievement (Leistungsnachweis) when completing the module. You also need to send as soon as possible an email confirming your intention to take part in the assignment. Important: In case of doubt, please consult the "Prüfungsamt" or "Fachstudienberater" (student advisory services) prior engaging to this module.