Committee Formed to Explore Ph.D. Program in HCC

January 31, 2003

The College of Computing at Georgia Tech has announced plans to form a committee with the task of developing a new Ph.D. program in Human-Centric Computing (HCC). The committee will be chaired by Jim Foley, professor and Stephen Fleming Chair in Telecommunications, and Nancy Nersessian, professor in the College of Computing and the School of Public Policy.

“The committee is the direct outgrowth of work by College of Computing professors Beth Mynatt and Amy Bruckman over the past few months to determine the feasibility of a new degree program in this area,” said Dr. Richard DeMillo, Imlay Dean of Computing.

Using "Human-Centered Computing" as a working title, the committee is charged with developing a Ph.D. program proposal that meets the following goals:

Further establish Georgia Tech and the College of Computing as a leader in research and education at the intersection between computing and the myriad ways in which humans use and are affected by computers

Create a cutting-edge program that will differentiate us from other schools with similar programs

Clearly and definitively signal to ourselves, Georgia Tech and the world the breadth and diversity of the College of Computing

Leverage Georgia Tech's strengths in computing, HCI, psychology, cognitive science, multimedia and media studies, human factors, ergonomics, assistive technologies and industrial design

Create stronger synergies between CoC faculty in HCI, AI, Intelligent Systems, Cognitive Science and Learning Science, and create a Ph.D. program that is highly relevant to faculty working in many of these areas

Attract the very best students and faculty whose interests are research and education at the intersection between computing and humans

The committee will initially focus on developing a CoC Ph.D. degree with a strong interdisciplinary orientation, with subsequent plans to work with interested schools to develop a multiple-entry degree similar to degrees in bioinformatics, HCI, and algorithms, combinatorics and optimization (ACO).

“The Ph.D. in HCC is yet another step toward broadening the College’s intellectual base,” said Foley. Nersessian agrees. “We see this as a step in fulfilling and further articulating our vision to extend the boundaries of computing,” she said.