Human Computer Interaction and Design (HCID)

Why study the EIT Digital Human Computer Interaction and Design programme?

The EIT Digital HCID programme offers:

  • Front line technical content within the field
  • Studies at two of Europe´s foremost technical universities leading to a double degree.
  • A good integration with tailored Business courses in Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • A thesis work well grounded in industrial problems
  • Access to the competence of eight EIT Digital innovation action lines at least through a summer school between the two years.
  • Access to the co-location centers and innovation ecosystems of the nine EIT Digital nodes.

What is the programme all about?

The programme in Human Computer Interaction and Design focuses on study, design, development and evaluation of novel user interfaces and interactive systems taking into account human aspects, at the cognitive and sensory-motor levels, technological aspects, as well as business aspects.

The HCID programme is an interdisciplinary programme that offers courses on design and evaluation of interactive systems with a strong emphasis on user-centered design techniques: understanding the human capacities and consequences of using information technology as a tool for solving work related tasks, and developing and evaluating the systems by putting the user at the center of the design process. In addition, the program will create a business thinking in terms of user profiles, user segments, house style, branding, and market development and product introductions.

What are the carrier opportunities for graduates from the programme?

Graduates from the HCID master’s programme will qualify for jobs in international and local organizations in both technical and business roles. Typical titles are:

  • interaction designer or user experience designer,
  • interactive systems engineer,
  • human factors expert,
  • usability engineer,
  • business developer,
  • product manager, or consultant.

Through their multidisciplinary attitude graduates are valuable in open innovation settings where different aspects (market, users, social aspects, media technologies) come together. They will easily find jobs within companies that provide value-added products and services, such as telecom companies, game companies, e-learning, web developers, and entertainment. An alternative path would be to start your own company to provide product or technology development, media content, business development or consultancy services.

How is the programme structured?

The programme is a double degree programme with studies at a university in one country the first year (entry) and studies at a university in another country the second year (exit). The program has an integrated technical content (Technical major) and business content (Innovation & Entrepreneurship – I&E minor). The I&E minor is shared between all programs (link). An integral part of the second year is a Masters thesis (30 ECTS).

The structure and content of the technical major is given below.

Where can I study If I choose HCID?

Entry - 1st year

  • KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
  • UPS, Université Paris Saclay, France
  • Aalto University, Finland
  • University of Twente, The Netherlands
  • UPM, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

Exit - 2nd year, specialisation

  • Mobile and ubiquitous interaction (KTH - Stockholm)
  • User modeling (Aalto - Helsinki)
  • Situated interaction (UPS - Paris)
  • Multimodal interaction (TU Berlin)
  • Intelligent systems (Univ. of Twente)
  • Cognitive interaction (UniTN - Trento)
  • Accessible and Adaptive Interaction (UPM - Madrid)

First year

The first year of the programme will be offered by KTH (Stockholm), UPS (Paris), Aalto (Helsinki), UT (Twente) and UPM (Madrid), and comprises the following core courses, complemented with the courses of the entrepreneurial minor:

  • Introduction Human-Computer Interaction
    This course presents methods to elicit user requirements and structure the design process to be user centered. Above all, the course will emphasize the importance of paying attention to user needs and cognitive functioning in order to design usable systems.
  • User-Centred Design Methods
    This course provides practical knowledge of how to use well-known and established HCI design methods as well as theoretical knowledge of how to think and reasoning on them during the design process.
  • Programming of Interactive systems
    This course provides the fundamentals of programming techniques for interactive systems and generative computer graphics. In particular, we will address programming of interaction for graphical interfaces for mobile and web-based systems.
  • Evaluation techniques
    This course teaches empirical methods to perform user studies and to statistically analyse them. Different evaluation methods will be introduced for different tasks, user groups, and performed in a lab environment as well as in field.
  • HCID-driven Design Project
    This course is a multi-disciplinary project course with user cooperation in all phases of the project, from a general described theme to a specific and finished result. The project will be reported in different media. The project will be integrated with the Business Development Lab course (part of the I&E minor).

Second year

The Programme offers seven specialisations that all reflect the fact that Human-Computer Interaction has moved away from traditional desktop-based interfaces towards implicit and ubiquitous multimodal interaction paradigms.

The specialisations are:

  • Mobile and ubiquitous interaction (KTH - Stockholm)
    KTH offers a specialisation in mobile and ubiquitous interaction with courses in design, development and implementation of mobile and physical interaction.
  • User modeling (Aalto - Helsinki)
    Aalto offers a specialisation in advanced machine learning techniques for modelling users and their interactions with computers.
  • Situated interaction (UPS - Paris)
    UPS offers a specialisation in Interaction techniques using mixed reality, tangible interfaces and immersive virtual environments.
  • Multimodal interaction (TU Berlin)
    TU Berlin offers a specialisation in speech recognition, emotion and situation recognition, image analysis, vision-based interaction.
  • Intelligent systems (Univ. of Twente)
    University of Twente will offer a specialisation in intelligent agent-based systems that perform automated reasoning.
  • Cognitive interaction (UniTN - Trento)
    The University of Trento (UniTn) offers a specialisation in cognitive interaction which studies the mental and cognitive processes that are underlaying language, vision and interaction.
  • Accessible and Adaptive Interaction (UPM - Madrid)
    Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) offers a specialization in accessibility through design for all and, and adaptive interaction with assistive products.

Mobile and Ubiquitous Interaction at KTH

KTH offers a specialisation in mobile and ubiquitous interaction with courses in design, development and implementation of mobile and physical interaction. The two schools involved, ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and CSC (Computer Science and Communication) complement each other in mobile technology, user-centred design and design for physical interaction. KTH is well fitted for this specialisation with a strong research background in areas like CSCW, mobile computing and User Centred Design of communication media. Furthermore KTH offers a unique and integrated education and research environment with world-leading telcom industries located in Stockholm / Kista. Other facilities accessible to the master students include a mobile services lab, a haptics lab, a usability lab, a physical computing lab and a new center for information visualization ( featuring ultra-high-resolution displays, holographic displays, eye tracking devices and multitouch surfaces.

Konrad Tollmar is an Associate Professor at The Royal Institute of Technology. His main research interest is in Human-Computer Interaction, perceptual interfaces, and mobile media. Currently he leads the Mobile Service Lab at KTH / ICT / CoS within the area of mobile infrastructure and mobile services. Prior to this, he worked at MIT and The Interactive Institute. His most recent research has also expanded into market research and analysis as a research director at the Institute for Economic Research at Lund University.
Cristian Bogdan is Associate Professor at KTH- Royal Institute of Technology. His main research interests are in Human-Computer Interaction, developing novel methods for interaction design, design for user understanding of novel technologies such as electric vehicles and smart grids, as well as new methodologies and technologies for interactive systems development. Cristian worked previously at the Vienna University of Technology with interface modelling and at the Interactive Institute with physical interaction.

 Specialisation Courses (15 ECTS):

  • Developing mobile applications (7.5 ECTS)
  • Physical interaction design and realization (7.5 ECTS) 

Elective Courses:

  • Ubiquitous Computing (7.5 ECTS)
  • Multimodal Interaction and Interfaces (7.5 ECTS) 
  • Sensor Based Systems (7.5 ECTS)
  • Haptics (6 ECTS)
  • Wireless and Mobile Network Architecture (7.5 ECTS)
  • Theory and methodology of science in HCI (7.5 ECTS)

Thematically this specialisation is related to the following EIT Digital thematic areas: Smart Spaces, Health & Well-being and Smart Energy Systems.

Possible Projects Include 

  • Mobile navigation and interaction in Smart Spaces
  • Experience and living Labs for communication in Health Care
  • Smart Mobile Networks for Vehicle Drivers and Transportation
  • Smart Energy systems in the home and communities

More information is available at the Communication Systems department (CoS) in the KTH ICT school and at the Media and Interaction Design department in the KTH CSC school.

Interactive doormat made by students of the Physical Interaction Design course

Multitouch surface game at VIC
Interaction design for exploration of an electric vehicle range on a mobile device



User Modeling for Advanced Human-Computer interaction at Aalto University

Aalto University offers a specialisation in User modeling for advanced human-computer interaction based on machine learning. Elective topics include neural networks, speech recognition and algorithmic data mining and model-based user interface design. The students learn how to apply advanced machine learning techniques for modeling users and their interactions with computers with the possibility to apply the gained knowledge in their own research project.

This specialisation is offered by the Aalto University School of Science Department of Computer Science, a pioneering institution of research in statistical pattern recognition, neural networks and machine learning.

More details on the specialisation and included courses can be found from here.


Samuel KaskiSamuel Kaski is a professor of Computer Science at Aalto University School of Science, Academy of Finland research professor (2016-2020), and the director of The Finnish Centre of Excellence in Computational Inference Research (COIN). His research field is machine learning, and he develops with his research group methods for information visualization, proactive interfaces, multimodal information retrieval, computational biology, and user modeling.

Marko NieminenMarko Nieminen is a professor of Usability and User Interfaces at Aalto University School of Science, and the director of Usability School (USchool) a joint study programme between Aalto University and University of Helsinki. His research interests include HCI, Strategic Usability, Collaborative ICT and User-Centred design of Finance and Healthcare systems. His research group STRATUS is focused on research and teaching in strategic User-Centred Design.

David McGookinDavid McGookin is an assistant professor of interaction technology at Aalto University School of Science. He researches the use of different sensory modalities, speech, non-speech audio and haptics, to communicate information to users in a human- computer interface. McGookin has also developed and studied the world's first olfactory photo browser.

Mika P. NieminenMika P. Nieminen, is a senior lecturer and a post-doctoral researcher at Aalto University School of Science. He coordinates the HCID programme at Aalto, while also teaching several of the first year courses. His research interests include UCD at large, and user involvement and user-centered design competencies in particular.

Application Areas

  • Proactive interfaces and recommender systems
  • Context-sensitive information Retrieval
  • Intent modeling

Curricula (2016-2017)

Specialisation Mandatory Courses (8 ECTS):

  • Compulsory Language Course(s) (3 ECTS)
  • Machine Learning: Basic Principles (5 ECTS)

Specialisation Electives (minimum of 16 ECTS):

  • Machine Learning and Neural Networks (5 ECTS)
  • Speech Recognition (5 ECTS)
  • Algorithmic methods of data mining (5 ECTS)
  • User Interfaces (5 ECTS)
  • Research Project in Computer and Information Science (5-10 ECTS)
  • Special course in Computer and Information Science (3-10 ECTS)
  • Individual studies in software and service engineering (1-10 ECTS)

Situated Interaction at UPS

Michel Beaudouin-Lafon
Michel Beaudouin-Lafon
Anastasia Bezerianos
Anastasia Bezerianos


Michel Beaudouin-Lafon is professor in Computer Science at Université Paris Saclay and Institut Universitaire de France. He has worked in Human-Computer Interaction for over 25 years and specializes in novel interaction paradigms, collaborative interaction and engineering of interactive systems. He manages the Digiscope project that will create a network of high-end interactive rooms with applications in scientific discovery, product lifetime management, decision support and education.

Anastasia Bezerianos is an assistant professor at Univ Paris-Sud, France, and a member of the Human-Centered Computing (LRI) and ILDA (INRIA) teams. She received her PhD from U. of Toronto, Canada. Before that she was an assistant professor on the SAP Business Objects Chair at École Centrale de Paris, and a research scientist in National ICT Australia. Her interests include interaction and visualization designs for large displays, visual perception, user evaluation, and collaborative work. She has served in the program committees of IEEE VIS, IEEE PACIFICVIS, ACM CHI, ACM UIST.

SARAH is an assistant professor at LRI-Université Paris Saclay 11, part of the LRI HCC (ex InSitu) research team in interaction design, human computer Interaction and interactive arts. She is a media artist, a choreographer, a dancer and a Laban Movement Analyst. Before her current position, she was a researcher at the School of Interactive Arts+Technology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, within the MovingStories project. She holds a PhD in Art and Science from Université Paris Saclay 11 and the IRCAM-Centre Pompidou and LIMSI-CNRS research institutes. She has an MSc from University Joseph Fourier and an Engineering Degree from ENSIMAG in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science and over 20 years of training in ballet and contemporary dance. She recently completed a certification as a Laban Movement Analyst at the Laban/Bartienieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York, USA.

Université Paris Saclay

Université Paris Saclay offers a specialisation in situated interaction: students will learn how to design, develop and evaluate interactive applications and interfaces tailored to the user needs and adapted to their contexts of use. They will be trained to the state-of-the-art in novel interaction techniques, including mixed reality, tangible interfaces, immersive environments, interactive visualization and collaborative interaction.

This specialisation is particularly relevant to the thematic areas that feature specific contexts of use, including Digital Cities, Smart Spaces, and, to a lesser extent, Health and Wellbeing. For Digital Cities, which is led by Paris-Sud, projects and master theses will focus on mobile interaction, augmented/mixed reality and the use of information visualization for supervision, monitoring and decision-making. For Smart Spaces, projects and master theses will focus on ubiquitous/tangible interaction, immersive interfaces and collaborative systems.

Specialisation Mandatory Courses (12.5 ECTS):

  • Fundamentals of Situated Interaction (2,5 ECTS)
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality (5 ECTS)
  • Advanced Programming of Interactive Systems (5 ECTS)

Specialisation Electives (each 2,5 ECTS):

  • Advanced Design of Interactive Systems
  • Advanced Evaluation of Interactive Systems
  • Interactive Information Visualization
  • Scientific Visualization
  • Interactive Computer Graphics
  • Gestural and Mobile Interaction
  • Internet of Things and Human-Machine Interaction
  • Mixed Reality and Tangible Interaction
  • Intelligent Multimodal Interaction
  • Virtual Humans
  • Groupware and Collaborative Work
  • Creative Design
  • Digital Fabrication
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality

Possible projects include:

Augmented reality on mobile devices for visiting Digital Cities Remote collaboration using tangible interaction in interconnected Smart Spaces Collecting and visualizing personal data (Quantified Self) to improve Health and Wellbeing.


The students have access to unique research platforms: EVE, a large-scale, multi-user, multi-sensorimotor immersive Evolutive Virtual Environment; iRoom, an interactive room for research in ambient intelligence; and WILD, a high-end room for interactive visualization featuring a large, ultra-high resolution wall display (131 million pixels), a multitouch table and a motion tracking system. Both platforms are part of the DIGISCOPE network of high-end visualisation rooms for collaborative interaction that just got funded by the French government (

The EVE immersive platform and the WILD room: two unique platforms for studying situated interaction and designing, prototyping and evaluating novel interfaces.

Multimodal Interaction at TU Berlin

Sebastian Möller
Sebastian Möller
Maija Poikela
Maija Poikela
Saman Zadtootaghaj
Saman Zadtootaghaj
Marc Alexa
Marc Alexa
Olaf Hellwich
Olaf Hellwich
Manfred Opper
Manfred Opper

Sebastian Möller is full professor at TU Berlin and at the same time leads the Strategic Research Lab on Quality and Usability at TU Berlin. His research interests include speech processing, speech-based and multimodal interaction, quality perception and prediction of audio-visual services, user behavior modeling, and usable security and privacy.

Maija Poikela received her M.Sc. degree in Signal Processing and Communications Engineering from Tampere University of Technology, Finland, in 2010, focusing on subjective quality and the human perception of stereoscopic videos. She joined the Quality and Usability Lab in 2013 and is currently working towards her PhD in the field of Usable Privacy.

Saman Zadtootaghaj is a researcher at the Telekom Innovation Laboratories of Deutsche Telekom AG. He obtained his Bachelor's degree in Information Technology at IASBS, and his Master's at the University of Tehran in 2015. The topic of his Master's thesis was "A Learning Based Algorithm to Detect Region of Interest in Cloud Gaming". Since January 2016, Saman is working as a research scientist at the Quality and usability Lab of Deutsche Telekom Laboratories, TU-Berlin and working on Quality of Experience linked to mobile gaming.

Marc Alexa is a professor of Computer Graphics in the Department of Computer Engineering and Microelectronics of TU Berlin. His research includes a wide range of topics under the umbrella of computer graphics and graphically interactive systems.

Olaf Hellwich is since 2004 the professor of Computer Vision at TU Berlin. His main fields of activities are in the field of digital image analysis, remote sensing, radar with synthetic aperture, multi-sensor fusion, and augmented reality. The Computer Vision and Remote Sensing laboratory of Technical University Berlin deals with automatic image analysis including sensor orientation, and with visualization of spatial information. It leads the students to the areas image analysis, computer vision, remote sensing, geoinformatics and visualization.

Manfred Opper is a full professor and the head of the research group of Methods of Artificial Intelligence. His research fields include approximate probabilistic inference (applied mainly to Gaussian process models and stochastic dynamical systems), statistical learning theory (using approaches from mathematical statistics, statistical physics, information theory), and statistical physics of complex systems. These can be applied to systems biology and environmental models.


TU Berlin offers a specialisation in multimodal interaction with courses in speech signal processing and speech technology, speech recognition, emotion and situation recognition, image analysis, vision-based interaction, and biometrics. The focus will be on innovative interaction paradigms, both from the technical as well as from the user side. In order to follow these topics, a good set of mathematical (signal processing) and computer-science competences will be necessary. TUB is particularly suited for educating this topic, as it has a multidisciplinary group of professors and researchers with a background ranging from electrical engineering and computer science to psychology. Study and Master thesis projects can be performed on campus in conjunction with Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs) as an EIT partner, as well as with numerous scientific institutions intensively collaborating with TUB in the near surroundings (DFKI, Fraunhofer institutes, HPI, etc.).

Specialisation Mandatory Courses (6 ECTS)

  • Speech Communication (6 ECTS)

Specialisation Electives (12 ECTS)

  • Biometric Identification and verification (3 ECTS)
  • Communication Acoustics (6 ECTS)
  • Computer Graphics Seminar A (3 ECTS)
  • Computer-supported Interaction (3 ECTS)
  • Digital Image Processing, 6 ECTS
  • Affective Computing (3 ECTS)
  • Neuro-Usability (3 ECTS)
  • Photogrammetric Computer Vision (9 ECTS)
  • Projects in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, Project (9 ECTS)
  • Study Project Quality and Usability, 6 ECTS
  • Study Project Quality and Usability, 9 ECTS
  • Usable Privacy, 3 ECTS

Free Choice (6 ECTS)

Application areas

Multimodal interaction will be particularly important for smart spaces and digital cities, but of course future media and content delivery will also be a target of this specialization. Topics for master theses and projects will span from the user-centric development of new multimodal interaction paradigms on mobile devices, and from the analysis of quality of experience and user experience, towards the automatic classification of context on the basis of multimodal sensory input in order to provide adaptive and personalizable services.


Multimodal interaction requires both an understanding of the technical systems as well as of the human perception, judgment and action processes. To investigate multimodal interaction dedicated quality and usability lab spaces are available at TU Berlin, both for the courses as well as for master thesis projects.

At TU Berlin, teaching and research in Multimodal Interaction is organized by the Quality and Usability Lab, the Distributed Agent Infrastructures Lab, and the Computer Graphics and the Computer Vision and Remote Sensing Labs. Close collaboration with other research institutes such as the Hasso-Plattner Institute (HPI), the Design Research Lab (at the University of Arts, UdK) or Fraunhofer Institute, and industry partners including Telekom Innovation Laboratories, gives students and interns the opportunity to be directly involved in projects of practical impact and potential spin-offs. The Quality and Usability Lab has special competencies in multimodal human-machine interaction, as well as – in a broader sense - all systems enabling a multimodal interaction between humans, machines, and the environment (virtual environments, augmented environments, context-sensitive systems, etc.). In particular, there is a Wave-Field-Synthesis lab, which students can use for experiments.

Intelligent Systems at University of Twente

Dirk Heylen
Dirk Heylen
Alma Schaafstal
Alma Schaafstal
Mariët Theune
Mariët Theune


Dirk Heylen is full professor Social Intelligent Computing at the University of Twente, working in the Human Media Interaction group. His research interests cover both the machine analysis of human (conversational) behaviour and the generation of human-like (conversational) behaviour by virtual agents. He is especially interested in the nonverbal and paraverbal aspects in conversation and what these signals reveal about the mental state (cognitive, affective, social).

Alma Schaafstal is programme director of the master Human Media Interaction at the University Twente. She .. Before this, she has been a lecturer in serious gaming, manager at the TNO Center for Advanced Gaming and Simulation, and managing director of the Dutch national research project GATE - Gaming for Training and Entertainment. She is also a board member of the Dutch Society for Simulation in Healthcare.

Mariët Theune is assistant professor at the University of Twente, working in the Human Media Interaction group. She has a background in computational linguistics and her research interests include automatic language generation, interactive storytelling, serious games and interaction with embodied conversational agents.

University of Twente

Virtual agents and humanoid robots that perform automated reasoning and learn to interact automatically from the user and the environment. We look at tools and methods that can deal with incomplete, uncertain and ambiguous real-life data, obtained from the user, at cognitive architectures and mental models that define the internal reasoning of the agents, You will learn to apply strategic interaction styles and to use existing platforms to design and develop interaction with computers that act as with social intelligence skills.


Mandatory courses

  • Research proposal for the graduation project (4 ECTS)
  • I&E minor thesis (6 ECTS)

Elective courses:

  • Human Media Interaction Project (10 ECTS)
  • Natural Language Processing (5 ECTS)
  • Speech Processing (5 ECTS)
  • Introduction to Machine Learning (5ECTS)
  • Advanced Machine Learning (5ECTS)
  • Multi-Agent Systems (5 ECTS)
  • Information Retrieval (5 ECTS)
  • Advanced Research Project in Information Retrieval (5 ECTS)
  • Embodied Interaction (5 ECTS)


The University of Twente characterizes itself as an entrepreneurial university. It is the only true campus university in the Netherlands with all buildings situated on a leafy estate on the border of the city of Enschede. Situated in the east of the country, it is a dynamic, international institution where more than 3000 scientists and business professionals join forces in outstanding, cutting-edge research and development. The University of Twente caters for over 60 different nationalities on its campus. There are high-tech industries nearby (Thales, Nedap, Philips, ASML). The region hosts numerous SME’s. With these companies there are close ties. Many of the SME’s originated at the university through a special programme to help MSc’s and PhD’s set up their own company. In addition, some 90 student-run businesses have their home at the campus.

Research in human-computer interaction and design (HCID) is inherently a multi-disciplinary activity. Creative application and development of technology is one essential ingredient which however requires in-depth access to the relevant technologies that goes beyond a mere literature study or an occasional cooperation. HCID research often leads to prototypes that however cannot be evaluated without medium to large scale trials in a realistic setting. The University of Twente has established a living environment as an open resource and show-case facility for ubiquitous technology in realistic settings: the DesignLab. DesignLab is a creative and cross-disciplinary ecosystem, connecting science and society through design. Faculty and students from all fields work together with companies and governments on societal design challenges of our times, inspired by novel scientific insights. Top talents from engineering, natural science, social science and the humanities join forces to take on the wicked problems of tomorrow’s world, using their creativity to bring science to design for society. DesignLab’s aim is not only to develop ground-breaking products and applications. It also trains a new generation of designers, who combine profound scientific knowledge with creative design skills, an entrepreneurial attitude and the ability to anticipate the social dimensions of new technologies.

Cognitive Interaction at UniTN

Antonella de Angeli
Antonella de Angeli
Nicu Sebe
Nicu Sebe
Remo Job
Remo Job


Antonella de Angeli is Associate Professor of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) at the Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science of the University of Trento in Italy. Her research addresses cognitive, social and cultural aspects of information technologies with an emphasis on the application of this knowledge to interaction design. She was post-doc at the Applied Cognitive Psychology Department of Psychology, University of Trieste, and HCI Researcher at the University of Dundee (till 2004) and senior lecturer in HCI at University of Manchester (till 2009).

Nicu Sebe is an associate professor in Computer Science and he is leading the research in the areas of multimedia and human computer interaction in computer vision applications. He has a PhD from University of Leiden and was a professor at the University of Amsterdam. He has been involved in the organization of the major conferences and workshops addressing the computer vision and human-centered aspects of multimedia information retrieval. He was a program chair of ACM Multimedia 2011 and a general chair of ACM Multimedia 2013. He was a guest editor for several special issues in international journals and is the co-chair of the IEEE Computer Society Task Force on Human-centered Computing. He participated in several EC projects.

Remo Job is a professor of cognitive psychology and he is leading the research on psycholinguistics being interested especially on lexical access; lexical semantics, sentence parsing, acquisition of reading and writing, neuropsychology of language, processing and memory of visual stimuli. He was the dean of Faculty of Cognitive Science, the chair of the PhD Program in Cognitive Science and Education, University of Trento and a Vice-Rector for Life Long Learning, University of Padova. He was a visiting professor in the Department of General Linguistics, University of Umea, Sweden, and in the School of Behavioural Sciences, Macquire University, Australia. He participated in several EC projects.

The University of Trento

The University of Trento (UniTn) offers a specialisation in cognitive interaction which studies the mental and cognitive processes that are underlaying language, vision, and interaction. This specialisation provides the student with the interdisciplinary training in language science, neuroscience, psychology, computational methods for the statistical analysis of large amounts of language and perceptual data, and in interface design. Theoretical knowledge will be supplemented by experience acquired in substantial practical projects carried out in research and industry labs.

Available courses:

  • Design experience: Mod.1 User-centred design; Mod. 2 Participatory design
  • User experience / HCI
  • Social interaction
  • Affective computing
  • Mind-Brain interaction and cognitive constraints
  • Design for Social
  • Research methodology
  • Prototyping interactive systems


At Trento the education in the area of HCI and design is jointly covered by the Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science (DISI), the Faculty of Cognitive Sciences and the Interdepartmental Centre for Mind/Brain Sciences (CIMeC) which is an interdisciplinary centre for teaching and research in cognitive neuroscience, dedicated to understanding the functioning of the human brain and focused on cognitive interaction, psychology, neuroscience and science of behavior and education areas. The proposed interdisciplinary curriculum is centered along two interrelated areas: Cognitive interaction and Language and Multimodal Interfaces focusing on human-computer interaction, neurophysiological aspects of cognitive processes, and the study of human behavior.

The teaching staff is active in research in these areas and has showed in the past years strong competences as demonstrated by the high quality track record of publications as well as substantial funding resources obtained at both national and European level.

In addition to this specific scientific focus, University of Trento provides its students with access to the local and national network of companies, SMEs, and research institutions, in order to strengthen their entrepreneurial profile by establishing collaborations for the master thesis, as well as the opportunity of carrying out internships. To this purpose, it is worth mentioning that ICTLabs@Italy has a strong focus on design and interaction as witnessed by the co-location of large enterprises (e.g., (e.g., Centro Ricerche FIAT, Engineering SpA, Telecom Italia) with specific emphasis on these technologies.

Overall, the University of Trento was ranked first in Italy in 2010 in terms of performance. The Faculty of Cognitive Science is the only one of its kind in Italy. Most of its members are affiliated with the Interdepartmental Centre for Mind/Brain Sciences (CIMeC), which is a constellation of laboratories whose common objective is to understand the functioning of the human brain. CIMeC has already reached sufficient strength in several areas as to be recognized internationally as one of the premier centres for Mind/Brain Sciences. CIMeC’s research laboratories are equipped with one of the most powerful systems in Europe (MedSpec 4T Bruker MRI), with evoked potentials (ERPs), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and optical imaging. The integration of efforts in the neuroimaging domain with those in clinical research, computational modelling, and behavioural research, make CIMeC almost unique in the breadth of scope of the project and will certainly make it internationally competitive.

Accessible and Adaptive Interaction at UPM

Angélica de Antonio
Angélica de Antonio
Loïc Martínez Normand
Loïc Martínez Normand
Xavier Ferre
Xavier Ferre


Angélica de Antonio is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at UPM. She coordinates the HCID programme at UPM. She is Associate Dean for Quality and Academic Innovation, and Director of the Research Group on Human Computer Interaction and Advanced Interactive Systems. His research interests include User Modelling, Adaptive Systems, Intelligent Virtual Environments, and their Educational applications.

Loïc Martínez Normand is Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at UPM, where he teaches courses on software development, human-computer interaction and ICT accessibility. He is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. His main research interest is ICT accessibility for persons with disabilities, He actively participates in national and international standardisation activities defining accessibility requirements for ICT products and services, such as EN 301 549, the European Standard for the public procurement of accessible ICT.

Xavier Ferre is an Associate Professor at the Computer Science School - UPM. Associate Dean for Internationalization in the same school, and High-End Foreigh Expert at the University of Tongji (China). His primary research interests are interaction design in mobile applications and the selection of UCD methods for application in software development projects.

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Universal Design implies taking into account the diversity of sensory, physical and cognitive abilities of the users of the system. Some users will have limitations in their abilities, which may be permanent, temporary, situational or contextual. The usability-based concept of accessibility implies that designers should work for reaching adequate levels of effectiveness, efficiency and user satisfaction across the diversity of users.

To reach good accessibility a combination of two approaches is required: design for all and assistive products. Design for all, also known as inclusive design, is the design of products to be accessible and usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for specialized adaptation.

But design for all is not always enough, as some persons with disabilities require specific adaptations to be able to use ICT. These adaptations are called assistive products, which are any product (including devices, equipment, instruments and software), especially produced or generally available, used by or for persons with disability for participation; to protect, support, train, measure or substitute for body functions, structures and activities; or to prevent impairments, activity limitations or participation restrictions.

The whole spectrum of adaptation possibilities, from adaptable to adaptive systems will be considered in this specialization.

Mandatory Courses (15 ECTS)

  • Accessible design of Interactive Systems 4,5 ECTS
  • Adaptive systems 4,5 ECTS
  • Computer Science Seminars 6 ECTS

Elective Courses (to choose 15 ECTS)

  • Assistive Products 3 ECTS
  • Ambient Intelligence for Assisted Living 3 ECTS
  • Speech and Voice Interaction 3 ECTS
  • Personalization and Adaptivity in E-Learning Systems 3 ECTS
  • E-health: Promoting healthy aging 3 ECTS
  • Programming of Virtual Environments and 3D Interaction Techniques 3 ECTS


UPM is the largest Spanish technological university as well as a renowned European institution. With two recognitions as Campus of International Excellence, it is outstanding in its research activity together with its training of highly qualified professionals, competitive at an international level. UPM is an institution committed to the transfer of knowledge generated through its research structures to society, and its transformation into advances and technological developments applied to the productive sector. It annually signs around 600 contracts with private companies, and it is leader in business creation, with about 140 enterprises promoted.

UPM has a leading role in Human Computer Interaction in Spain, with research groups that are internationally recognized in the fields of Accessibility and Inclusive design, Integration of Usability Techniques into the Software Development Process, Intelligent educational software and Student modeling, Virtual and augmented reality.

UPM is also active in the development of international and European standards on HCI and accessibility, such as ISO 9241-171 (software accessibility), ISO/IEC 29136 (PC hardware accessibility), ISO 9241-129 (individualization) and EN 301 549 (accessibility of ICT for the context of public procurement).

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