User Interface Engineering - SS '15

An in-depth introduction to the core concepts of post-desktop user interface engineering. Current topics in UI research, in particular non-desktop based interaction, mobile device interaction, augmented and mixed reality, and advanced sensor and output technologies.


eDoz Course Nr.
O. Hilliges
Jie Song and Fabrizio Pece
Wed 13:15 - 15:00, ML F 40
Wed 15:15 - 16:00, ML F 38
Office hours
coordinate via e-mail:
ECTS credits
ECTS credits: 4 credits


Final projects reviewers assignment now online. See projects section.
Info on midterm review and final project presentations now online. See exams and projects section.
Midterm grades are now online. See exams section.
Room change: the location for the midterm is HG D5.2.
Reminder: the project phase now begins. Don't forget the one-minute madness will happen during the exercise session on 15.4.2015.
Solution for Homework 1 is now online.
We had accidentally removed links to lecture slides. They are now back online again (up to Lec 6).
Homework assignement Nr. 2 is now online.
Solution for Homework 0 is now online.

Learning Objectives

Students will learn about fundamental aspects pertaining to the design and implementation of modern (non-desktop) user interfaces. Students will understand the basics of human cognition and capabilities as well as gain an overview of technologies for input and output of data. The core competency acquired through this course is a solid foundation in data-driven algorithms to process and interpret human input into computing systems.

At the end of the course students should be able to understand and apply advanced hardware and software technologies to sense and interpret user input. Students will be able to develop systems that incorporate non-standard sensor and display technologies and will be able to apply data-driven algorithms in order to extract semantic meaning from raw sensor data.


Wk.Date ContentSlides
1 18.02.

Course contents & Basics of perception

slides slides(annotated)
2 25.02.
Human Capabilities

Human Vision & Motor System

slides slides(annotated)
3 04.03.
Post-Desktop UIs

Touch Sensing Technologies & Touch UIs

4 11.03.
Optimizing Text Input & 2D stroke recognition

Algorithms for layout optimization and recognize 2D stroke input.

slides slides (final)
5 18.03.
ML for HCI Pt. I

Classification / regression. SVMs

slides slides (annotated)
6 25.03.
ML for HCI Pt. II

Non-linear SVMs & Case studies

slides slides (annotated)
7 01.04.
ML for HCI Pt. III

Introduction to Random Forests

slides slides (annotated) pptx (wth videos)
8 15.04.
No slides
9 22.04.
!No-Class (ACM CHI)!
10 29.04.
ML for HCI Pt. IV

RF based gesture recognition & hand pose estimation

slides (wth video-links) videos (pptx)
11 06.05.
Camera based input

Techniques & algorithms for the analysis of motion and shape

slides slides (split) videos (pptx)
12 13.05.
Augmented Reality I

Systems, Tracking and Display technologies.

13 20.05.
Augmented Reality II

Camera tracking, scene reconstruction.

14 27.05.
Project Presentations & Demos
No slides


There will be 2 programming assignments. The exercises will not constitute any part of the final grade, but you will still receive feedbacks on them. Assignments have to be completed individually. It is ok to discuss with your team members but you have to write your own code. Submissions via SVN (please refer to the Exercise0 slides for instructions on how to setup the SVN).

Exercise sheets and solutions will only be accessible from within the ETH network.

Exercise Assignment Solution Due date
Exercise 0 Homework0 Solution code NA
Exercise 1 Homework1 Solution code 25.03.2015
Exercise 2 Homework2 Solution code 22.04.2015


Midterm Exam

The midterm pen-and-paper exam which makes up 20% of your final grade will take place on Wednesday 15.4.2015 (during lecture hours).

The midterm will take place in HG D5.2

Midterm Grades

New: The midterm grades are available here.

New: Grade distribution is here.

New: Grading scheme is here here.

Midterm Review

You can review the midterm exam starting this week (May 12th) every Tuesday and Wednesday from 2pm to 4pm until the end of the semester.


Final project presentations are due in the last week of the term Wednesday 27.5.2015

You can find the projects reviewers assignment here. For the final presentation, each group is assigned 2 other "reviewing" groups which will be responsible for asking questions.