People-Oriented Computing

Technology is moving away from the paradigm of computational systems employed by human users and towards a more integrated model in which people and technology contribute in tandem to real world and societal solutions. People-Oriented Computing enables symbioses between human and computational actors. Concretely, we develop human-centric approaches to how technologies are designed and engineered. We strive for creating systems to address human and business needs and societal challenges, such as emergency rescue and environmental sustainability.

Research projects

Exemplary project: Developing Intuitive Smart Home Interfaces

Smart home technologies in everyday households are on the horizon and an increasing number of homes have integrated automated features, such as smart window shades, sensor lights, or intelligent climate control. Current solutions require home owners to have extensive technical knowledge or training to configure, operate, or modify them, and often do not fit with people’s existing practices in the home, leading to frustration and the need to adapt home activities to the technology. We are studying people’s home automation needs to design technologies that are intuitive to use and allow people to adapt their smart home technology to their needs and lives. Through the development of novel interfaces that can be used by people of all skill levels, we are working to make future smart homes not only technically advanced, but also accessible and usable for real people.

Selected research projects

Connections to courses

People-Oriented Computing addresses students who want to learn about the influences that humans and computing technology can have on each other at a variety of levels – individual, group, organization, and society. Students can take courses that focus on technology and their impacts on people in areas such as sustainable information and communications technology, multimedia computing, software engineering, business informatics, robotics, and human-computer interaction.

A focus on People-Oriented Computing prepares students for careers that require both technical knowledge as well as an understanding of the greater context in which technology resides. They will gain an interdisciplinary set of skills that will make them desirable candidates for positions in both the public and private sector. The following list provides examples of courses particularly related to our topic. 

List of courses

More detailed information on each module can be found by copying the 8-digit code into the search field of the University’s course catalogue.

Course catalogue

Bachelor's level

Informatics, Ethics, and Society BINF4214
Human-Computer Interaction BINFS137
Computer-Supported Cooperative Work MINF4522
Multimedia Systems BINF31bb
IT Project Management BINF4206
Business Informatics BINF3100
Social and Economic Foundations of Information Systems MINF4208
Requirements Engineering I MINF4204
Software Engineering BINF2110

Master's level

Informatics and Sustainable Development MINF4519 
Human-Computer Interaction MINF4210
Human Aspects of Software Engineering MINF4532
Business Network Analysis & Applications MINF4533
Collective Intelligence, Human Computation, and Crowdsourcing MINFS542
Autonomous Mobile Robots MINF4535
Sustainable HCI MINF4536
Requirements Engineering II MINF4502
Design-Thinking and Business Innovation external

Faculty members involved

The following Faculty members research and/or teach in People-Oriented Computing.