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How to Collaborate with the MHCI+D Program

We welcome your collaboration and participation with MHCI+D students. Here are the current ways you can propose a collaboration. Whether you are from big tech, non-profit, education, design studio or somewhere else, we would love to hear from you!

  1. Advise an MHCI+D Capstone Project team
  2. Sponsor a core class
  3. Participate in the MHCI+D Career Conference
  4. Other ways to collaborate

Experiences of Capstone Collaborators

Two recent capstone project advisers share their experience advising capstone teams and describe the value they gained from being involved with MHCI+D in this way.

1. Advise an MHCI+D Capstone Project team

Overview

The MHCI+D Capstone Project is a structured, team-based project that allows students to apply and practice the methods they are learning with guidance from faculty and industry professionals. The goal is to deliver a comprehensive project that demonstrates an end-to-end design process, incorporates exposure to real world business considerations, and provides practice across a range of presentation and communication formats. See past projects on our Capstone project page.

Students begin their project exploration with secondary research on thematic problem spaces and techniques for framing effective projects in Winter Quarter (January - March). In Spring Quarter (April - June), project teams plan and practice a range of user research techniques to inform design concepts and prototypes. In Summer Quarter (June - August), students work as full time project teams with guidance from instructors and industry advisers to complete their proposed solutions, including concept development, prototyping, and refinement.

What is involved with advising a Capstone Project Team?

Typically, student teams come up with their own project ideas and the advisers help them by providing real-world input and feedback. The adviser’s time commitment involves attending a couple of scheduled activities and presentations on campus as well as spending on average an hour a week meeting with student teams to provide feedback on project deliverables and progress from early April through the end of August. Meetings can take place at your place of business, on campus, or by conference call as your time allows.

Capstone Project team advisers have included volunteers from these companies:

If you have a project of your own in mind, we would like to talk with you about sponsoring, as well as advising, a Capstone Project team. In this option, your organization would define the problem space, give students access to necessary data or research subjects, and in return receive the results of their work for your future use.

Please contact the Director of Program Operations, Mary Larson, if you’d like to discuss advising a Capstone Project Team or sponsoring a defined Capstone Project.

2. Sponsor a Core Course Project or an Elective Course

For our core studio courses, we organize the learning objectives around a project sponsored by industry. For example, the Fall Quarter Ideation Studio (September - December) teaches a range of techniques for exploring possible responses to a design challenge focused on changing human behavior; the Winter Quarter Prototyping Studio (January - March) teaches the how and why of prototyping of various types and degrees of fidelity focused on embodied interactions.

We would expect you to define the problem space and provide access to sufficient information for students to work with. You can expect the MHCI+D students to provide earnest efforts to respond to the challenge and share their work with you and your team.

Typically, the course sponsors arrange for the students to present their work to internal stakeholders and occasionally, follow up development has occurred based on the students’ work. The students benefit from the real-life setting you provide and your organization benefits from the fresh ideas and perspectives the students provide.

Elective courses are under development and could benefit from early involvement from an industry sponsor.

Please contact the Interim Program Director, Axel Roesler, to discuss your ideas for sponsoring a core course project or an elective course.

3. Participate in the MHCI+D Career Conference

Each year in the early summer we hold our annual career conference, where industry and students interact one-on-one and get to know each other. Far from a traditional career fair with employers at tables and students in long lines, the MHCI+D Career Conference is not about who has jobs, but rather asks: what type of relationship do you want to build with our graduates and they with you?

We ask that you participate by providing feedback to students in mock activities, such as initial interviews, whiteboard exercises and portfolio presentations. What makes it work is that there is no pressure on either side; this is not about you having an actual job opening (of course, it’s great if the timing is right for your job openings too!). It is a great way to get to know the upcoming graduates and identify some individuals to follow up with or whose skill sets that you may be seeking.

How Can I Participate in the Next MHCI+D Career Conference?

Please check back here for the opening of registration for the next MHCI+D Career Conference. We do not charge a fee but we do ask you to register and we welcome donations. See this page for the list of previous participating companies.

Please email mhcid@uw.edu or call 206-543-1962 if you have any questions.

4. Other Ways to Engage

We are always looking for industry practitioners to engage with our students in core classes and elective courses, such as through critiquing student work, speaking on a panel, or guest lecturing. This type of collaboration can be as brief as one afternoon in our studio offering critique on ongoing student work or as involved as teaching or co-teaching a quarter-long course.

If you want to sponsor one of our happy hours, such as when admitted students visit campus, or share your offices and studio with students one afternoon or evening, we would be happy to discuss how to make that happen. Other ideas are also welcome!

Please contact the Interim Program Director, Axel Roesler, to discuss what activities and timing would work for you.

Is there a cost to sponsor a Capstone Project Team or a course project?

We would appreciate a donation by sponsors of Capstone Project Teams and course projects, to help cover expenses unique to the project and in recognition of the potential value to your organization. Such donations can be made to the MHCI+D Program Support Fund. This fund supports student project resources such as research gratuities, equipment and facility rental, or travel to sponsor or research locations off-campus. Alternatively, donations can be made to the MHCI+D Student Support Fund, which is used to fund student tuition and course fees.