Dr. Daniel Ashbrook

Course Format

This is a seminar-style class. Students are expected to complete all background reading before class, to make presentations, ask questions, and offer their thoughts on topics being discussed. Students will complete individual assignments and one group project.

Course Objectives

Students will…

  • understand where and how mobile, wearable, and ubiquitous HCI differs from HCI;
  • gain a foundation of contemporary and classic mobile, wearable, and ubiquitous HCI research;
  • identify and understand current challenges in mobile, wearable, and ubiquitous HCI;
  • learn to think beyond “brick” devices (e.g., phones, tables) to new interaction modalities;
  • understand challenges in evaluating mobile, wearable, and ubiquitous interfaces.

Course Materials

The books for the course are There’s Not an App For That by Simon Robinson, Matt Jones, and Gary Marsden; and Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design by Mike Kuniavsky. They are available via the campus bookstore as well as in digital form from online retailers such as Amazon.

We will read many papers in the course as well; most may be found on the ACM Digital Library, IEEExplore, or via Google Scholar.

Course Policies

Late Assignments

Assignments turned in within 24 hours of the due date and time will lose 25% credit. For each additional 24 hours of lateness, an additional 10% will be taken off.


Students are expected to attend each class session, and to arrive on time. Students who miss class for any reason are responsible for gathering information about what was missed, and alerting the professor to how they will make up the in-class activities. No email, web surfing, texting, or phone use during class.

Academic Integrity

Students should be sure to review RIT’s official policies concerning academic integrity. Violations of academic integrity (cheating, double submission, or plagiarism) will result in a failing grade for the entire class!

Assignments and Grading

There are a number of assignments in this class. Each contributes a percentage to your final grade:

Item Percentage
Class setup 2%
Reading summaries 10%
Paper or technology presentation 10%
Individual assignments 21%
Class participation 10%
Project individual effort 12%
Project group effort 20%
Project group participation 15%
Extra credit 5%
Total 105%

Details of how each of these items are graded may be found in the individual items below; however, note that distributed amongst all of the items, writing quality counts for almost 10% of your grade!

Class setup (2%)

This portion of your grade includes getting set up on Slack and following the other instructions for getting set up for the class. See this page for Slack instructions, and the main page list of assignments for other information.

Reading summaries (10%)

We will read approximately three research papers each week. The papers will be assigned the Tuesday of the preceding week. Students are expected to read each paper each week and to post a brief summary (100–300 words) to the course discussion forum; these summaries are due by the start of the class in which the paper will be discussed. Guidelines for the reading summaries can be found here.

Paper or technology presentation (10%)

Each student will present a group of papers and lead discussion, or will do a technology tutorial. More information is given on this page.

Individual assignments (21%)

There will be various individual assignments throughout the course of the class. Peer evaluations from your team members will also be included in this grade.

Class participation (10%)

Much of the class will be discussion-based. There will also be in-class activities. This grade reflects the amount of participation during the class. Starting in the second week, class participation will be assessed each class period using the following rubric (adapted from Stephen Voida’s guidelines:

  • 100%: Serving as a discussion leader or actively participating in the discussion; contributing multiple times to the discussion with thoughtful, relevant comments or questions.
  • 75%: Moderate participation in the class discussion; contributing with relevant comments or questions.
  • 50%: Little participation in the class discussion; perhaps talked once.
  • 25%: Physically present but not engaged in the in-class discussion; not paying attention, buried in a laptop, etc.
  • 0%: Not physically present in class.

Project (47%)

Projects will be evaluated on several factors: the proposal, the post-feedback updated proposal, the mid-project check-ins, and the final presentation, paper, and deliverable (if applicable).

There are multiple parts to the project grade:

  • 12%: Individual part
  • 20%: Group part
  • 15%: Group participation

Extra credit (5%)

There may be extra credit, worth up to 5%.


Note that while I will do my best to get your grades back in a timely manner (usually within two weeks) but may not be able to.

RIT Gender-based Discrimination Policy

The following is RIT’s official gender-based discrimination policy. Please read it, but the summary is: don’t be a jerk. Treat everyone like they’re reasonable, intelligent, hardworking human beings just like you. I take this super-seriously.

RIT is committed to providing a safe learning environment, free of harassment and discrimination as articulated in our university policies located on our governance website.  RIT’s policies require faculty to share information about incidents of gender based discrimination and harassment with RIT’s Title IX coordinator or deputy coordinators, regardless whether the incidents are stated to them in person or shared by students as part of their coursework. 

If you have a concern related to gender-based discrimination and/or harassment and prefer to have a confidential discussion, assistance is available from one of RIT’s confidential resources on campus (listed below). 

  • The Center for Women & Gender: Campus Center Room 1760; 585-475-7464; CARES (available 24 hours/7 days a week) Call or text 585-295-3533.
  • RIT Student Health Center – August Health Center/1st floor; 585-475-2255.   
  • RIT Counseling Center - August Health Center /2nd floor - 2100; 585-475-2261.       
  • The Ombuds Office – Student Auxiliary Union/Room 1114; 585-475-7200 or 585-475-2876.
  • The Center for Religious Life – Schmitt Interfaith Center/Rm1400; 585-475-2137.
  • NTID Counseling & Academic Advising Services – 2nd Floor Lynden B. Johnson; 585-475-6468 (v), 585-286-4070 (vp).