COGS 121

Cognitive Science 121 is the second course in the HCI sequence and naturally follows COGS 120 (CSE 170). It focuses on interaction architectures, programming techniques, and cognitive and computational principles for designing effective systems. 

We begin by covering the fundamentals of user interface design for web-based systems and quickly move to larger scale design and implementation activities.

A major component of the class is completion of a substantial programming project in which students work together in small teams.

Phase 1

The first part of the class (weeks 1-5) will have a dual focus:
  • On Tuesdays' Design Lectures we will learn fundamental concepts, theories and principles for designing effective user interfaces
  • On Thursdays Tech Lectures we will create the basis for being able to implement some of these concepts as part of real web-based applications. In particular we will work with the MEAN stack (MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS and NodeJS) and relational databases (MySQL/PostgreSQL) and we will apply concepts from data mining, social computing (exploiting the Facebook/Twitter Social APIs and SDKs), and interactive visualization (using the D3 Javascript visualization library). We will also learn how to use high-fidelity and low-fidelity wire framing tools (e.g. Axure and Balsamiq or others) to rapidly prototype interactive applications.
Phase 2

The second part of the class (weeks 6-10) will focus on a group project (4-5 students per group) that will leverage the technology learned in the first part. 
We will partner with the DELPHI project at UCSD and exploit the population health data, environmental data, and other data they are collecting to drive the implementation of web-based interactive data visualization applications. Although the implementation and programming part of the projects will start in Week 5, we will start forming teams and select the specific problem to address and DELPHI datasets to use already in Week 2.
During this second phase, the lectures will focus on a variety of topics that will support you in the development of your projects. This will include:
  • Multidisciplinary Collaboration
  • Agile Software Development
  • Extreme Design
  • ...
Additionally, the second part of the course will be heavily focused on Design Critiques, in which each team will solicit specific feedback from the class on their projects, and all students in class will be engaged with real-time peer feedback.

The class will be based on continous interaction between students and instructor, therefore students are required to have a laptop, tablet, smart phone, etc. for both lectures (Tuesdays and Thursdays) and the Discussion section (Friday). 


Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00 - 3:20pm
HSS (Humanities and Social Sciences) 1330

Discussion Studios
Fri 1:00-1:50pm, TA Brian, CSE 2154, Teams: L, M, O, W
Fri 1:00-1:50pm, TA Andrew, HSS 1346, Teams: J, K, IN, P
Fri 2:00-2:50pm, TA Jesse,CSE 2154, Teams: A, B, C, D
Fri 2:00-2:50pm, TA Jasmine, HSS 1346, Teams: E, F, G, H



Prof. Nadir Weibel
Office: CSE 3224
Office Hours: By Appointment

Amy Fox (Head TA)
Office Hours: Thursday 1-2pm
Mandeville Coffee Cart 

Jesse Qin (Tech TA)
Email: Ping me on Piazza 
Office Hours: Wednesday 3-4pm
Atkinson 2006

Jasmine Roberts (Tech TA)
(Please put COGS121 in the header)

Office Hours:

Tuesday 11am-1pm

Women's Center
(above Hi-Thai and across from the Main Gym) 

Brian Soe (Tech Tutor)
Email: Piazza please
Office Hours: Wednesday 1-2 pm
The Loft

Andrew Du (Tech Tutor):
Email: Piazza
Office Hours: Tuesday 11:30am-12:30pm
The Loft

COGS 121 IAs:
Jacob Browne  Email:

Jingchun Zhou




Teaching team:
TopHat (Lecture):