Interactive Computing

graphic visualizationInteracting with computers is an important part of modern life, from driving a car safely to using all the features your phone can deliver, to being able to work productively and creatively. Interactive computing studies how computers and people can cooperate effectively on any number of tasks.

Our work targets problems in social computing, design and creativity, decision making, intelligent systems, and cognitive modeling. For example, we study the transparency of algorithms controlling social media feeds, the use of robotics in domestic environments to support aging in place, and the application of crowdsourcing for creative work. Working at times with companies like Adobe, Facebook, Google, Intel, Microsoft, NVidia, and Tableau, our research synthesizes knowledge from machine learning, psychology, design, and the learning sciences to study and address important problems in society. We also work on the presentation of and interaction with information, ranging from dashboards of visualizations to VR displays of photorealistic video games.

CS Faculty, Affiliate Faculty, and Their Research Interests

Brian P. Bailey   Human-Computer Interfaces, Design Thinking, Creativity, Crowdsourcing, Teamwork
Donna Cox, National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the School of Art & Design Scientific Visualization, Computer Graphics, Information Design
David A. Forsyth Graphics, Projection Mapping 
John Hart Data Visualization, Computer Graphics, Virtual Reality
Yun Huang, School of Information Sciences Social Computing, Mobile Computing, Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Croudsourcing, Human-AI Interaction
Karrie Karahalios Social Computing, Human Computer Interaction, Social Visualization, Assistive Technologies, Fairness and Bias in Computing
Alex Kirlik Human-Computer Interaction, Human Factors, Cognitive Science and Engineering, Modeling and Supporting Human Judgment and Decision Making, Human-Automation Interaction
Ranjitha Kumar Data-Driven Design, Design Mining, User-Centered Machine Learning, UI/UX, Mobile/Web Applications, Social Networks, Fashion, Emoji
Steven M. LaValle Virtual Reality, Human Perception
Klara Nahrstedt Quality of Experience, Tele-Immersion, Multi-View Visualization, Embedded Sensors, Distributed and Parallel Systems
Hari Sundaram Voting, Improving Individual and Collective Decision Making, Information Asymmetry, MOOCs
Michael Twidale, School of Information Sciences Computer Supported Collaboration 
Yang Wang, School of Information Sciences Usable Privacy and Security, Social Computing, Accessibility, Explainable AI

Interactive Computing Research Efforts and Groups


  • The Graphics seminar meets weekly to present and discuss recent research papers in computer graphics. Course credit of one hour is available, but requires attendance at the seminars and presentation of one paper. Announcements of upcoming presentations are made to, and you can subscribe to that mailing list.
  • The HCI seminar brings in emerging and established intellectual leaders in the field of human-computer interaction to present their latest research findings and visions. It also provides a lively forum for our students to practice conference, defense, and job talks and for colleagues to seek collaborators. Subscribe to the mailing list for the seminar.
  • Illinois Computer Science Speaker Series

Interactive Computing Research News

Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider

These Data Science Wizards Tell Us What's Really Happening With Coronavirus

April 28, 2020  

Popular Mechanics -- Four projects that “reveal the patterns and insights that can help you make sense of the latest COVID-19 statistics” include Associate Teaching Professor Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider's interactive 91-DIVOC visualizations.

Teaching Associate Professor Wade Fagen-Ulmscheider

A Desire for Data Accessibility Sparked the Creation of a Viral Visualization

April 10, 2020   Teaching Associate Professor Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider found himself with some unexpected free time and questions about COVID-19.
Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider

The Best Graphs and Data for Tracking the Coronavirus Pandemic

April 2, 2020   The Verge -- This list of six of the best sites illustrating coronavirus data includes Teaching Associate Professor Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider's interactive visualizations.
Ranjitha Kumar

A Boba Emoji is Coming. Meet the Woman Who Designed It

March 6, 2020  

The Los Angles Times -- “On the app, we noticed that whenever there wasn’t an emoji readily available, people would be very creative about sequencing existing emojis,” Assistant Professor Ranjitha Kumar said. “Boba tea, it’s popular around campus, and people started using a tea emoji and milk emoji along with a black dot or circle.”

Coohom—3D software from Hang Chen, Victor Huang and Hao Zhu—lets users easily design their own “cool homes”.

The Home Team

February 18, 2020   Coohom—3D software from Hang Chen, Victor Huang and Hao Zhu—lets users easily design their own “cool homes”.