HMI 658 - History of Human-Computer Interaction,


Yngve Sundblad (
Anders Hedman (

Semester Spring 2004
Prerequisites Graduate student status. It is recommended that the student has taken an introductory course on human-computer interaction in order to get the most out of class discussions.
Goals To provide an historical overview of developments in human-computer interaction. If you ever wanted to know more about where our modern ways of interacting with computers come from then
this course will provide some answers.

This graduate seminar series serves as an introduction course to the history of human-computer interaction. We will be reading selected original papers that have come to shape our understanding of human-computer interaction. These readings start with Vannevar Bush (1945) and continue on to modern times.

  • The following is a rough sketch of the topics to be covered:
    Vannevar Bush, John Licklider – Philosophical beginnings
  • Douglas Engelbart – The roots of HCI in modern computing environments
  • Ivan Sutherland, Alan Kay – The roots of HCI in modern computing environments
  • Gary Kildal & Dan Bricklin – Innovation through application design
  • Allen Newell – The cognitive paradigm and the computer metaphor
  • Hubert Dreyfus – The limits of the cognitive paradigm & the computer metaphor
  • Donald Norman & Ben Shneiderman – Towards insightful design of interfaces
  • Yngve Sundblad on the Scandinavian school of design

We will also be watching videos and listen to recordings that help to illustrate important concepts and human-computer interaction techniques as these techniques were developed historically.

Literature Selected readings. Examples are given below and more will probably be added.
Examination Class work includes reading papers each week and writing a one page reflection paper. Each student must also submit a five page final paper and participate in class discussions.