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  • Locations: Crete, Greece
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:
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UVA in Greece: Creative Interaction Design


UVA in Greece: Creative Interaction Design will focus on the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI). This program will be an immersive hands-on experience related to the CS3205 HCI in Software Development course, with the added challenge of exposing students to similar practices outside the US.
The program will allow students to practice all concepts and techniques that they learned in CS3205 HCI in Software Development, including contextual inquiry and analysis, work domain and user modeling (flow models, hierarchical task inventory, personas, etc.), requirements extraction, ideation, conceptual design (storyboards, scenarios), design production (wireframes, physical mockups), prototyping, and evaluation. The program will also provide the opportunity to students to apply skills acquired in other courses, such as CS4640 Web Development and CS4720 Mobile App Development, if they choose to do so.
Students will work in a fast-paced environment, identifying real-world problems and designing and prototyping innovative solutions in a group setting. UVA students will work in groups with local students from the University of Crete, Department of Computer Science, and in collaboration with the Foundation of Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH) . Student groups will also receive feedback from pre-determined stakeholders in their design domain, acting as clients.
This program is designed to be a highly immersive, hands-on experience with limited traditional instruction time. Students will be working on their own in groups, with some facilitation by the program director and a host instructor, and will be producing artifacts which will be used for assessment. Creativity workshops and activities will be conducted throughout, including creativity assignments and challenges, to help students unleash their creative side. More than anything else, this is a real-world experience on UX design, spanning beyond the application of skills acquired in the prerequisite course, with intercultural interactions with local students and clients.

Announcements IconAnnouncement

Check back for updates about this program's Summer 2021 availability (updates to be published by February 1).

Location IconLocation

The program will be held in Heraklion, the capital of the island of Crete, the largest Greek island and southern-most part of Europe. Crete has a rich history and culture, from the Minoan Civilization during the Bronze Age (c. 2700 – c. 1100 BC), to acting as a province of Venice during the Venetian Era (c. 1200 AC), and experiencing the longest siege in human history by the Ottomans (1648-1669). Its long history, along with its exceptionally unique flavor of Mediterranean cuisine make it a world-class tourist destination. Throughout the three-week period, students will be visiting sites of historic and cultural interest with the goal to identify and design innovative solutions to observed challenges. Complimentary weekend visits to nearby places, such as the city of Chania with its picturesque Venetian harbor, will act as retreats for sharing the experiences of the week before.

Heraklion is also the home of the Foundation of Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH), which will provide a home base for the program. FORTH focuses on specialized research in sectors like microelectronics, computer science, and robotics.

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Courses IconCourses

Creative Interaction Design
(CS 4501; 3 credits)
Prerequisite: CS 3205 HCI in Software Development

Faculty IconFaculty

Panagiotis Apostolellis |
Panagiotis Apostolellis is a full-time Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Virginia. He received his PhD in Computer Science & Applications from Virginia Tech in 2017. He also holds a MSc in Computer Science from Virginia Tech and an MSc in Human-Centered Computer Systems from the University of Sussex (UK). Additionally, Panagiotis has a Graduate Certificate in Human-Computer Interaction from Virginia Tech (2015). While a graduate student at Virginia Tech (2011-2017), he worked at the Center for Human-Computer Interaction under the guidance of Dr. Doug Bowman, researching the impact of audience interaction using serious games and VR on young student audiences visiting informal learning spaces. At UVA he teaches a higher-level elective course on HCI in Software Development and introductory CS classes. His teaching experience also involves being a Visiting Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech, serving as a Teaching Assistant in multiple CS courses, and teaching diverse audiences about IT and New Media Technologies. His dissertation received the Outstanding Research award for 2017-2018 from the CS department at Virginia Tech. Panagiotis has also extensive experience as a Senior Interactive Systems Designer and Developer, creating and testing numerous interactive exhibits (some of them used by thousands of people during the 2004 Olympic Games) at a cultural institution in his home country, Greece (2000-2011). Most recently, he worked as a User Experience Analyst and Designer on improving the classroom-to-classroom synchronous instruction delivery at Virginia Tech (2017-2018).

Dimitris Grammenos |
Dimitris is a Principal Researcher at the Institute of Computer Science of the Foundation of Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH) in Greece with more than 20 years of international R&D experience in the domain of Human-Computer Interaction. Over the years, he has created numerous innovative interactive systems, several of which are installed in public spaces (museums, airports, exhibitions, etc.) and used by many thousands of people. He holds a degree in Computer Science and a Master of Science and a PhD in Electronic Engineering. He also holds a Certificate of Competency for the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT). He has more than 50 scientific publications in international conferences, journals and books and has published scientific articles regarding how Stupidity, Ignorance and Nonsense can be used for sparking and nurturing creative thinking and innovation. Since 2014, based on his related expertise, he develops and delivers workshops and events that introduce the concepts and practice of creativity and creative thinking to children, parents, teachers and the general public. Up to now, he has organized more than 55 workshops in 5 countries with a total of about 3500 participants, in venues ranging from small classrooms to auditoriums with audiences from 10 to 300 people, including students of all ages, parents, educators and the general public.

Teaching Assistant | Naomi Johnson |
Naomi Johnson is a fourth-year student at the University of Virginia and will be graduating shortly before the study abroad program, where she will be working as a teaching assistant. After the program, she will be working full-time at Microsoft as a software engineer. Before transferring to the University of Virginia, Naomi worked as a research assistant in the Human-Computer Interaction lab at Brigham Young University, where she designed experiments to explore the impact of interfaces on the user's effectiveness and accuracy at annotating data for machine learning. She also interned with Stanford University's HCI lab, working on design-oriented software. After transferring to UVA, she became a teaching assistant for Professor Apostolellis's CS 3205 HCI in Software Development. Naomi also completed an internship with Adobe Research, where she worked on the backend of Data Illustrator, a prototype of a new data science tool, in order to improve the user experience.

Accommodation and MealsAccommodation and Meals

Students will be housed in a centrally-located hotel in Heraklion, which is connected by public transit to the academic spaces at FORTH and a few minutes walking distance from the main cooperative work space. Most days will include home-made meals served at the workplace, while special excursions will include visiting local taverns serving the many specialties of Cretan cuisine.

Cost and Financial Aid

The program cost and payment schedule are listed under the "Budget Sheets" link at the top of this page. Students with identifiable financial need are encouraged to apply for fellowships, scholarships, and financial aid.


Accessibility IconAccessibility

The University of Virginia believes in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individual and flexible basis. Classrooms and indoor spaces are fully accessible with ramps and elevators, as are most popular locations. Students should be prepared for a moderate amount of walking over uneven surfaces during several visits to locations of cultural and historic interest in Heraklion, and not all historic sites may be fully wheelchair accessible. If you believe that you would require adjustments in order to fully participate in this program, please contact the Student Disability Access Center at 434-243-5180 as early as possible in order to begin this dialogue.


Passport IconPassport and Visa

All participants will need a valid passport in order to participate in the program. Students must ensure that their passport is valid at least six months past the program return date. US passport holders will not need a visa to participate in this program. International students should meet with their International Student Advisor in the International Studies Office as part of the application process.


Health Info IconHealth and Safety Information

All students considering Education Abroad should consult the Students Abroad section of the U.S. Department of State’s web-based travel resources and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Traveler’s Health web resources to research health, safety, and security conditions; visa requirements; immunization requirements; and recommendations on staying healthy and safe in their target destination(s). Students should also carefully review the UVA Education Abroad Health & Safety Abroad web page. Parents and guardians are strongly advised to review all of these resources, as well. UVA students and visiting students enrolled in UVA Education Abroad programs are subject to the University of Virginia’s Policy on Student International Travel.

This program is currently not accepting applications.