HCI Bursary

HCI Bursary is now available for students to apply. Please see the help section on this page to retrieve a lost password. Although we strive to provide bursaries to as many as we can, not all will qualify. Please make sure you meet the minimum requirements that we have.If you have applied last year, you need to use the same email and password to apply for 2014.

HCI Bursary Requirements

A South African citizen or a refugee (with the right to live, study/work in South Africa):
Age 35 years or under as of 30 September 2013.
Studying for a first tertiary qualification or
Continuing students who enrol for Honours.
Enrolled or intending to enrol in a full-time course of study.
Above 50% average for Matric or end of year results ( Life Orientation is not considered).
Studying at a University or University of technology registered with the Department of Education, or intending to make an application to study.
With a gross family income of less than R20 000 per month.

How To Apply for HCI Bursary

Apply for the HCI Foundation Bursary Programme 2015. Note HCI Bursaries are now closed. More online bursaries available

About HCI

Humans interact with computers in many ways; the interface between humans and computers is crucial to facilitating this interaction. Desktop applications, internet browsers, handheld computers, and computer kiosks make use of the prevalent graphical user interfaces (GUI) of today. Voice user interfaces (VUI) are used for speech recognition and synthesising systems, and the emerging multi-modal and Graphical user interfaces (GUI) allow humans to engage with embodied character agents in a way that cannot be achieved with other interface paradigms. The growth in human–computer interaction field has been in quality of interaction, and in different branching in its history. Instead of designing regular interfaces, the different research branches have had a different focus on the concepts of multimodality rather than unimodality, intelligent adaptive interfaces rather than command/action based ones, and finally active rather than passive interfaces.[citation needed] For instance, sensors like video cameras and eye trackers can be used to feed physiological information of humans back to computer systems. Such information can be used by computers to dynamically adapt content of interfaces. Thus, computers could develop responsiveness to cognitive load and human emotion.

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) defines human–computer interaction as “a discipline concerned with the design, evaluation and implementation of interactive computing systems for human use and with the study of major phenomena surrounding them”. An important facet of HCI is user satisfaction (or simply End User Computing Satisfaction). “Because human–computer interaction studies a human and a machine in communication, it draws from supporting knowledge on both the machine and the human side. On the machine side, techniques in computer graphics, operating systems, programming languages, and development environments are relevant. On the human side, communication theory, graphic and industrial design disciplines, linguistics, social sciences, cognitive psychology, social psychology, and human factors such as computer user satisfaction are relevant. And, of course, engineering and design methods are relevant.”Due to the multidisciplinary nature of HCI, people with different backgrounds contribute to its success. HCI is also sometimes termed human–machine interaction (HMI), man-machine interaction (MMI) or computer-human interaction (CHI).

Poorly designed human-machine interfaces can lead to many unexpected problems. A classic example is the Three Mile Island accident, a nuclear meltdown accident, where investigations concluded that the design of the human-machine interface was at least partly responsible for the disaster. Similarly, accidents in aviation have resulted from manufacturers’ decisions to use non-standard flight instrument or throttle quadrant layouts: even though the new designs were proposed to be superior in basic human-machine interaction, pilots had already ingrained the “standard” layout and thus the conceptually good idea actually had undesirable results.