CS 4501/6501: Engineering Interactive Technologies

Spring 2024

Teaser image  

Computers are no longer just sitting on our desks. They are in our pockets, on our wrists, and sometimes on our eyeglasses. Computer interfaces have also evolved to support interaction with these computers, using various sensing, actuation, and processing technologies. This course will explore technologies and methods that enable efficient and effective interactions on computers in various forms, such as wearable computers and virtual/augmented reality headsets. You will learn the fundamentals and applications of interactive technologies, including sensing, signal processing, and actuation methods. You will also learn to build interactive systems using fabrication, electronics, and software development.



Schedule (Tentative)

Cell background indicate the type of class, as follows:
Fundamentals Applications Labs Project
Week Tue Thu HW/Quiz Project
Designing User Interfaces Touch Interfaces 1 HW #1: Good UI & Bad UI
(Due 1/30)
Touch Interfaces 2 & Arduino Arduino Lab
Sensors 1 Sensors 2 Quiz 1
Sensors Lab Signal Processing 1
Signal Processing 2 Signal Processing Lab HW #2
Actuators 1 Actuators 2 Quiz 2
No Class (Spring Break) No Class (Spring Break)
Project Team Forming Actuators Lab Team Forming
Communication Communication Lab HW #3
Rapid Prototyping VR/AR 1 Project Proposal
VR/AR 2 Haptic Interfaces 1 Quiz 3
Haptic Interfaces 2 Project Consulting Progress Report
Evaluating User Interfaces Wearable Interfaces 1
Wearable Interfaces 2 Advanced Prototyping Quiz 4
Final Presentation Final Report

Time and Location

Topics Covered




Grading Policy

For CS6501 students:

Late Submission Policy

Students with disabilities or learning needs

It is my goal to create a learning experience that is as accessible as possible. If you anticipate any issues related to the format, materials, or requirements of this course, please meet with me outside of class so we can explore potential options. Students with disabilities may also wish to work with the Student Disability Access Center to discuss a range of options to removing barriers in this course, including official accommodations. Please visit their website for information on this process and to apply for services online: sdac.studenthealth.virginia.edu. If you have already been approved for accommodations through SDAC, please send me your accommodation letter and meet with me so we can develop an implementation plan together.

Discrimination and power-based violence

The University of Virginia is dedicated to providing a safe and equitable learning environment for all students. To that end, it is vital that you know two values that I and the University hold as critically important:

  1. Power-based personal violence will not be tolerated.
  2. Everyone has a responsibility to do their part to maintain a safe community on Grounds.

If you or someone you know has been affected by power-based personal violence, more information can be found on the UVA Sexual Violence website that describes reporting options and resources available - www.virginia.edu/sexualviolence.

As your professor and as a person, know that I care about you and your well-being and stand ready to provide support and resources as I can. As a faculty member, I am a responsible employee, which means that I am required by University policy and federal law to report what you tell me to the University's Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator's job is to ensure that the reporting student receives the resources and support that they need, while also reviewing the information presented to determine whether further action is necessary to ensure survivor safety and the safety of the University community. If you wish to report something that you have seen, you can do so at the Just Report It portal (http://justreportit.virginia.edu/). The worst possible situation would be for you or your friend to remain silent when there are so many here willing and able to help.

Religious accommodations

It is the University's long-standing policy and practice to reasonably accommodate students so that they do not experience an adverse academic consequence when sincerely held religious beliefs or observances conflict with academic requirements.

Students who wish to request academic accommodation for a religious observance should submit their request in writing directly to me as far in advance as possible. Students who have questions or concerns about academic accommodations for religious observance or religious beliefs may contact the University’s Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights (EOCR) at UVAEOCR@virginia.edu or 434-924-3200.


I trust every student in this course to fully comply with all of the provisions of the University’s Honor Code. By enrolling in this course, you have agreed to abide by and uphold the Honor System of the University of Virginia, as well as the following policies specific to this course.

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the course Honor policy. If you believe you may have committed an Honor Offense, you may wish to file a Conscientious Retraction by calling the Honor Offices at (434) 924-7602. For your retraction to be considered valid, it must, among other things, be filed with the Honor Committee before you are aware that the act in question has come under suspicion by anyone. More information can be found at http://honor.virginia.edu. Your Honor representatives can be found at: http://honor.virginia.edu/representatives.