Course Outline (W2019)

BME802: Human-Computer Interaction

Instructor(s)Kristiina Mai [Coordinator]
Office: ENG318
Phone: (416) 979-5000 x 6085
Email: kvmai@ryerson.ca
Office Hours: Wednesdays 1:00-2:00
Calendar DescriptionPrinciples underlying the design, evaluation and implementation of interactive computing systems as well as the major research topics associated with such systems. Technical breakdown of interfaces that are multi-media based front-ends to complex networks. Graphical user interfaces will be introduced along with the related physiological and human factors issues. Design of interfaces using virtual reality, the Internet, and other advanced development tools. Commonly integrated media such as video, graphics, and audio capabilities will be examined. User-centered technology will be a primary theme using the design of web pages and medical device design as hands-on applications.
PrerequisitesBME 506, BME 639, BME 674 and EES 612




Compulsory Text(s):
  1. Engineering Psychology and Human Performance, Wickens, C., Hollands, J., Banbury, S., and Parasuraman, R. Pearson, 2013

Reference Text(s):
  1. Textbook of Medical Physiology, Guyton, A.C. and Hall, J.E., Elsevier Inc. current editionInformation, Sensation and Perception, Norwich, K.H., 2003 www.biopsychology.org/norwich/isp/isp.htm

Learning Objectives (Indicators)  

At the end of this course, the successful student will be able to:

  1. Predicts unstated customer and user needs. Defines design parameter uncertainties and their impacts (4a – Problem Definition). (4a)
  2. Evaluates and selects appropriate models, and tools tools for measuring variables in question (5a – Use scientific techniques and engineering tools). (5b)
  3. Make Concise Technical Presentation to a Peer Group (7b – Oral). (7b)
  4. Application of Public Interest in Decision Making (8b – Public Interest). (8b)
  5. Evaluation of project scope, critical assumptions and deliverables with stakeholders (11b - Project Management). (11b)
  6. Gains a working knowledge of the literature of the field (12b – Professional Development). (12b)

NOTE:Numbers in parentheses refer to the graduate attributes required by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB).

Course Organization

3.0 hours of lecture per week for 13 weeks
2.0 hours of lab/tutorial per week for 12 weeks

Teaching AssistantsTBD
Course Evaluation
Miderm Exam 20 %
Final Exam 40 %
Labs 20 %
Design Project 10 %
Research Project 10 %
TOTAL:100 %

Note: In order for a student to pass a course with "Theory and Laboratory" components, in addition to earning a minimum overall course mark of 50%, the student must pass the Laboratory and Theory portions separately by achieving a minimum of 50% in the combined Laboratory components and 50% in the combined Theory components. Please refer to the "Course Evaluation" section for details on the Theory and Laboratory components.

ExaminationsMidterm exam to be held during class time
 Final exam to be held during the final exam period
Other Evaluation InformationExams will be closed book and cumulative
Other InformationN/A

Course Content



Chapters /

Topic, description



Slides posted on D2L

Introduction to Course and Outline
 Human-in-the-loop Systems
 Definitions, Technology history and evolution
 Introduction to Psychophysics
 Signal Detection Theory
 Stimulus-Response Matrix
 Experimental paradigms
 Criteria, Bias, Decision Strategy
 Information Theory
 Human Perception: Entropy Theory
 Channel Capacity
 Vision and Extraocular Muscles
 EMG, Sleep Signals
 Myo interface
 Hearing and Sound Cues
 Website Design Considerations
 Design Project Assignment
 Eye Movements
 Attention, Display Design
 Focused, Divided, Selective Attention
 Target Search, Vigilance
 Colour, Dimensions
 Central Visual Processing
 Binocular Disparity
 User Interface Design
 Depth Perception
 2D vs. 3D Displays
 Virtual and Augmented Reality
 Cost Benefit Analysis
 Vestibular System
 Vestibulo-ocular Reflex
 Orientation and Motion
 Advanced Displays and Navigation
 Written and Spoken Language
 Icons, Codes
 Processing strategies
 Sound Spectrogram
 Articulation Index
 Processing: Memory
 Working vs. Long Term Memory
 Encoding, Storage, Retrieval
 Verbal vs. Spatial Mapping
 Learning and Training
 Processing: Decision Making
 Design Guidelines and Aids
 Choice of Action: Uncertainty
 Reaction Times; Speed vs. Accuracy

Laboratory/Tutorials/Activity Schedule






Multimedia Instructions
 Myo Interface
 User Interface Development
 Website Evaluation

Policies & Important Information:

  1. Students are required to obtain and maintain a Ryerson e-mail account for timely communications between the instructor and the students;
  2. Any changes in the course outline, test dates, marking or evaluation will be discussed in class prior to being implemented;
  3. Assignments, projects, reports and other deadline-bound course assessment components handed in past the due date will receive a mark of ZERO, unless otherwise stated. Marking information will be made available at the time when such course assessment components are announced.
  4. Refer to our Departmental FAQ page for information on common questions and issues at the following link: https://www.ee.ryerson.ca/guides/Student.Academic.FAQ.html.

Missed Classes and/or Evaluations

When possible, students are required to inform their instructors of any situation which arises during the semester which may have an adverse effect upon their academic performance, and must request any consideration and accommodation according to the relevant policies as far in advance as possible. Failure to do so may jeopardize any academic appeals.

  1. Health certificates - If a student misses the deadline for submitting an assignment, or the date of an exam or other evaluation component for health reasons, they should notify their instructor as soon as possible, and submit a Ryerson Student Health Certificate AND an Academic Consideration Request form within 3 working days of the missed date. Both documents are available at https://www.ryerson.ca/senate/forms/medical.pdf.. If you are a full-time or part-time degree student, then you submit your forms to your own program department or school;
  2. Religious, Aboriginal and Spiritual observance - If a student needs accommodation because of religious, Aboriginal or spiritual observance, they must submit a Request for Accommodation of Student Religious, Aboriginal and Spiritual Observance AND an Academic Consideration Request form within the first 2 weeks of the class or, for a final examination, within 2 weeks of the posting of the examination schedule. If the requested absence occurs within the first 2 weeks of classes, or the dates are not known well in advance as they are linked to other conditions, these forms should be submitted with as much lead time as possible in advance of the absence. Both documents are available at www.ryerson.ca/senate/forms/relobservforminstr.pdf. If you are a full-time or part-time degree student, then you submit the forms to your own program department or school;
  3. Academic Accommodation Support - Before the first graded work is due, students registered with the Academic Accommodation Support office (AAS - www.ryerson.ca/studentlearningsupport/academic-accommodation-support) should provide their instructors with an Academic Accommodation letter that describes their academic accommodation plan.

Academic Integrity

Ryerson's Policy 60 (the Academic Integrity policy) applies to all students at the University. Forms of academic misconduct include plagiarism, cheating, supplying false information to the University, and other acts. The most common form of academic misconduct is plagiarism - a serious academic offence, with potentially severe penalties and other consequences. It is expected, therefore, that all examinations and work submitted for evaluation and course credit will be the product of each student's individual effort (or an authorized group of students). Submitting the same work for credit to more than one course, without instructor approval, can also be considered a form of plagiarism.

Suspicions of academic misconduct may be referred to the Academic Integrity Office (AIO). Students who are found to have committed academic misconduct will have a Disciplinary Notation (DN) placed on their academic record (not on their transcript) and will normally be assigned one or more of the following penalties:

  1. A grade reduction for the work, ranging up to an including a zero on the work (minimum penalty for graduate work is a zero on the work);
  2. A grade reduction in the course greater than a zero on the work. (Note that this penalty can only be applied to course components worth 10% or less, and any additional penalty cannot exceed 10% of the final course grade. Students must be given prior notice that such a penalty will be assigned (e.g. in the course outline or on the assignment handout);
  3. An F in the course;
  4. More serious penalties up to and including expulsion from the University.

The unauthorized use of intellectual property of others, including your professor, for distribution, sale, or profit is expressly prohibited, in accordance with Policy 60 (Sections 2.8 and 2.10). Intellectual property includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Slides
  2. Lecture notes
  3. Presentation materials used in and outside of class
  4. Lab manuals
  5. Course packs
  6. Exams

For more detailed information on these issues, please refer to the Academic Integrity policy(https://www.ryerson.ca/senate/policies/pol60.pdf) and to the Academic Integrity Office website (https://www.ryerson.ca/academicintegrity/).

Important Resources Available at Ryerson

  1. The Library (https://library.ryerson.ca/) provides research workshops and individual assistance. Inquire at the Reference Desk on the second floor of the library, or go to library.ryerson.ca/guides/workshops
  2. Student Learning Support(https://www.ryerson.ca/studentlearningsupport) offers group-based and individual help with writing, math, study skills and transition support, and other issues.