Computing and information technology are dramatically changing peoples' lives, and more change is to come. The promise of ubiquitous computing is that people will be assisted by computers in many new ways, and will interact with them naturally, on the human's rather than the machine's terms. Computing research today is about new ways of connecting people to computers, people to knowledge, people to the physical world, and people to people. Computers must function in human contexts, rather than requiring people to learn and follow the machine's rules. That requires a thorough understanding of those contexts. HCC is an interdisciplinary program involving sociology, psychology, and education theory as well as computer science and engineering. Its goal is to study social contexts and human behavior, to design and evaluate computer applications in those contexts. HCC can be viewed as an evolution of HCI (Human-Computer Interaction), but represents a shift in perspective. HCC is not an area within computer science, but represents a theme that impacts all areas of CS. It coincides with the transition of computing from tools built for and by professionals to tools for everyday tasks for "every citizen". Understanding the complexity and diversity of human behavior will be an important first step in building the future "killer applications" of computing.
The course includes talks by leading researchers from on and off campus on HCC-related topics. The talks are about current research, but are colloquium-style and accessible to a broad audience. The goal is to allow graduate students from one of the participating areas to undertake research that cuts across the HCC areas, or to partner with students from other HCC fields.