This is a 4-unit course. For undergraduates or masters students in CS or SymSys, earning an A- or better in CS147 or CS247 is a prerequisite. All graduate and PhD students from other departments are welcome. Graduate students with a unit cap may enroll for 3 units; the workload is the same. Due to the team project, students registered for the class will receive a letter grade — the "credit/no credit" option is not available.


We expect attendance and active participation in class. Lectures are important, because they contextualize the readings in broader HCI theories and concepts. Discussion is important, because it is how we probe and deepen our understandings of this material. Attendance and participation factor into the participation grade.


25% Paper commentaries

Students should submit short commentary of each reading using the online submission system. Commentaries are due by 5:00 pm the evening before class; late commentaries will not be accepted.

Commentaries will be graded on a check-minus/check/check-plus scale by the discussant leaders. These scores correspond to 3, 4, and 5 points.

We will ignore the two lowest-scoring commentary grades. This implies that each student may opt to pass on four commentaries (two days x two papers per day). You may pass for any reason (e.g., personal or family matters, conflicting deadlines). There are no exemptions beyond this. These exempted commentaries should be specifically noted as being passed on.

5% In-class contributions

In-class participation grades are based on whether you productively contribute to the classroom discussions. These discussions occur in the second part of each class day.

5% Team participation

Team participation grades are based on how well you actively contribute to the success of your project alongside your teammates.

5% Co-leading one class discussion

You and several others will lead discussion for one class day. For details on the assignment, go here. On their discussion day, students should submit their materials instead of their commentary using the online submission system.

60% Research project

Students will complete a quarter-long mini-research project in groups of three. We encourge students to choose projects that are related to their own research or another research project on campus. Leveraging ongoing research increases your speed and ability to find define a good project, and enables you to leverage existing software and hardware infrastructure.

The grade for this portion will be broken up as follows:

In general, both members of the team will receive the same grade. However, if there is a significant contribution disparity, that will be reflected in the grade.

Late Policy

Late commentaries will not be accepted, as you can already pass on two grades.

For all other assignments, there will be a 10% penalty of the total grade for each day you are late.


It is very important to us that all assignments are properly graded. The teaching staff works extremely hard to grade fairly and to turn around assignments quickly. We know what you work hard, and we respect that. Occasionally, mistakes happen, and it's important to us to correct them. If you believe there is an error in your assignment grading, please submit an explanation in writing to the staff within seven days of receiving the grade. We will regrade the entire assignment to ensure quality. No regrade requests will be accepted orally, and no regrade requests will be accepted more than seven days after receipt of the assignment. Regrade requests must be respectful; we will not consider any regrade requests containing disrespectful language.

The Stanford University Honor Code

The Honor Code ( is a part of this course. The Honor Code is the university's statement on academic integrity written by students in 1921. It articulates university expectations of students and faculty in establishing and maintaining the highest standards in academic work. The Honor Code is an undertaking of the students, individually and collectively: that they will not give or receive aid in examinations; that they will not give or receive unpermitted aid in class work, in the preparation of reports, or in any other work that is to be used by the instructor as the basis of grading; that they will do their share and take an active part in seeing to it that others as well as themselves uphold the spirit and letter of the Honor Code. The faculty on its part manifests its confidence in the honor of its students by refraining from proctoring examinations and from taking unusual and unreasonable precautions to prevent the forms of dishonesty mentioned above. The faculty will also avoid, as far as practicable, academic procedures that create temptations to violate the Honor Code. While the faculty alone has the right and obligation to set academic requirements, the students and faculty will work together to establish optimal conditions for honorable academic work.

Students with Documented Disabilities

Students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the Office of Accessible Education (OAE). Professional staff will evaluate the request with required documentation, recommend reasonable accommodations, and prepare an Accommodation Letter for faculty dated in the current quarter in which the request is being made. Students should contact the OAE as soon as possible since timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations. The OAE is located at 563 Salvatierra Walk (phone: 723-1066, URL:

Names and Pronouns

Use the names and pronouns (e.g., they/them, she/her, he/him, just a name, or something else) indicated by your classmates for themselves. If you don’t want to share a set of pronouns for yourself, that is perfectly acceptable, too. If your name or pronouns change during the course, we invite you to share this with us and/or other students, so we may talk with you and refer to your ideas in discussion as you would wish.


It's possible for even well-intended students to accidentally alienate your peers. Comments can make unwelcome assumptions that don't fit some lives, and it's also possible for critiques and conversations to constitute what's called harassment. Harassment means unwelcome or even hostile behavior, including speech, that intimidates, creates discomfort, or interferes with a person's participation or opportunity for participation. That behavior will shut the person down in class, and that is simply not fair and not something we want. Harassment can involve nationality, age, color, creed, disability, gender, sexual orientation or any other protected status. It also extends to unwelcome sexual advances. A response that the participant was “just joking,” or “teasing,” or being “playful,” is not acceptable. If you have witnessed or experienced any harassment that you wish to report, please let an instructor know privately and promptly.

University employees – including professors and TAs – are obligated by Stanford to report what they know about incidents of sexual or relationship violence, stalking and sexual harassment to the Sexual Harassment Policy Office. If you would like to talk with a confidential resource you can contact the Confidential Support Team at their 24/7 hotline: 650-725-9955. You can read more at If you have any questions about responsible employee requirements or campus resources on sexual violence, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.