PhD Human-Centered Computing

The application deadline for the Ph.D. Program in Human-Centered Computing is December 15th.

The Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing (HCC) at the College of Computing is the first of its kind, bringing together studies in human-computer interaction (HCI), learning sciences and technology (LST), cognitive science, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, software engineering and information security.

The HCC program draws on Georgia Tech's strengths in digital media, engineering psychology, assistive technologies, architecture, industrial and systems engineering, industrial design, music, and public policy. HCC students may have backgrounds in any of the above areas, as well as other related disciplines, such as anthropology, information science and sociology.

HCC graduates are exceptionally well prepared for careers in both academia and industry. The cutting-edge Ph.D. program in Human-Centered Computing (HCC) at the College of Computing meets industrial and societal needs for education and research in humanizing computer technology, while attracting the best and brightest from around the world.

The Human-Centered Computing Ph.D. program focus is not on computer technology, but rather how computers affect lives in terms of advanced product development and human capabilities for many areas of research. The degree leverages Georgia Tech's strongest programs and concentrations, including multimedia and digital media studies, human factors, ergonomics, assistive technologies, industrial design, cognitive science, sociology, and public policy.

This interdisciplinary approach to computing that supports human needs allows possibilities for new discoveries in underlying issues of science, engineering, art and design.

Examples of HCC Research

Information Visualization and Visual Analytics

Computing professor John Stasko and the Information Interfaces Group to help people make sense of their data through interactive visualizations. The group develops new visualization techniques and evaluates existing systems to help people analyze and explore data from a variety of domains.

Computer Science Education

Mark Guzdial and researchers in HCC are studying how people come to understand computer science, including non-computing professionals who adopt programming to improve their practice. How do they learn about computing, what understanding do they come to, how do we influence that learning, even outside of traditional formal learning situations?

Game AI

Game AI is the study of how intelligent systems can enhance user's experiences in virtual worlds and computer games. CoC assistant professor Mark Riedl of the Entertainment Intelligence Lab and LMC assistant professor Brian Magerko of the Adaptive Media Lab are exploring the bounds of adaptive computer games, virtual synthetic characters, and interactive storytelling.

Technology and International Development

Working in Africa, Asia and beyond to design and study information and communication technologies that connect, empower, and enrich, is Mike Best, Assistant Professor in Interactive Computing and the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, working along with his students.

Interaction and Infrastructure

Keith Edwards, along with other HCC faculty members, are focusing on exploring the boundaries between interaction and infrastructure. Our current projects are examining human-centered approaches to networking, usable security, and ubicomp middleware.

The Aware Home

A model home for research and experimentation where CoC associate professor Beth Mynatt, director of the GVU Center, along with students created the "Digital Family Portrait," which enables adult children to be more aware of the health of their elderly parent living far away.

Computational Perception

Automatic ASL Interpreter - Computing assistant professor Thad Starner and students are creating an automatic sign language interpreter that helps the hearing impaired communicate, and also allows hearing impaired children to practice their ASL by playing computer games in sign language.

Social Computing

The Electronic Learning Communities (ELC) Lab, directed by Amy Bruckman, studies social computing and designs new systems to support people working on collaborative, creative projects online and learning through that process.

Technology and Learning

Working with community groups, Betsy DiSalvo designs new learning technologies and methods for teaching technology that take cultural values and access into account.  The participatory design process that went into developing the Glitch Game Testers resulted in remarkable rates of interest in computer science among young lower-income African American males. 

Noteworthy Papers by Georgia Tech HCC PhD Students and Alumni

Includes papers on the Kermit tool, which makes home network speeds more visible to end-users; ARFacade papers; a study of a complex system / 3D graphics concept; a paper on perceptions of technology among the homeless; and more.

If this kind of work interests you and fits with your career aspirations, why not go ahead and apply?