Alena Denisova

MSc in Human-Centred Interactive Technologies

Why did you choose to study the MSc in Human-Centred Interactive Technologies at York?

I have been studying in the department at the University of York for over 3 years now - graduating last summer with a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science. Originally I chose to study here because I wanted to use my analytical and numerical abilities to solve applied problems. My undergraduate degree at York provided me with comprehensive insight into the area, giving a broad but strong background in Computer Science - from the theoretical to the practical.

In my third year of my undergraduate program I decided that I wanted to do an MSc in Human-Centred Interactive Technologies – a choice that was largely influenced by the second year module ‘Design of Interactive Systems’ on my undergraduate course.  This module gave me an overview of how of technologies are designed and evaluated to best suit user capabilities and requirements, and drove me to want to explore the area in more depth.

The great experience I had academically at York during my undergraduate years made it my number one choice when considering further studies. The beautiful historic city of York played a major part in this too – it’s an ancient British city that has everything within walking distance and provides a scenic backdrop to studying at the University

What do you think of the Department?

The Department of Computer Science moved into a brand new building only 3 years ago. The facilities it offers to its students are world class, whether it is the hardware lab equipment, or the software available on each of the PCs in the software labs. As an HCIT student I am fortunate enough to be allowed into the ‘Home lab’ that is specially equipped with all the necessary gadgets for the students to run their experiments. Rumour has it that there is a specially designed iron for men that looks like a sports car in the lab.

The staff at the department are incredibly friendly and helpful. Whether it is some general advice, or particular studies related questions – all queries are addressed in an informal and caring manner. Even though the lecturers in the department are some of the most respected in their field, they remain passionate, humble, and are always willing to spare some time to discuss topics in depth.

What has your experience of student life been at York?

The university has a wide range of various societies, activities and events that can suit pretty much any individual. If not, students are always encouraged to create something new that may interest other people. Personally, I was a part of the York Student Television for more than a year during my undergraduate degree, and found this incredibly rewarding. I had a chance to try myself in different roles, from the basic activities like operating a camera or visual mixing, to something more involved like being a Deputy Technical Director of the station. Recently I have joined Archery soc, but I have always wanted to try myself at the Art society too.

How will the programme help with your career?

Usability is important not only for people who design and/or test the interactive systems, but also for those people who build them. Regardless of what path I choose for my career, it always will be important to understand users’ needs, and create technologies they want and understand.

Picture of Alena Denisova, MSc in HCIT

Find out more about HCI at York