MSc in Human-Machine Communication

General

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Program Description

University of Groningen

How can we model human task performance? How do our brains combine visual and auditory information? What is the ideal interface for a tired air traffic controller?

The Master's degree program in Human-Machine Communication (HMC) focuses on Cognitive Science and its applications. HMC provides you with insights into human cognition and teaches you to use this knowledge in applied settings, such as tutoring systems, speech technology, and human-computer interaction. For example, by leveraging knowledge of human cognition, you can improve the communication between humans and complex computer systems, use language and speech technology, or develop simulation models of users.

Two questions form the basis for this program:

  • How does human cognition work?
  • How can we use this knowledge in applied settings?

To answer these questions, you have to know how humans perform specific tasks and how this performance limits and affects task performance. How do humans acquire new skills and how do they learn to adapt to a new task? In addition, it is important to think about how humans communicate and apply this to human-machine communication. While the language is the most natural way of human communication, this might not always be the best to communicate with a machine.

Why study this program in Groningen?

  • This program is unique in its combination of artificial intelligence, cognitive science & modeling, language & speech technology, and computational neuroscience.
  • Our faculty is the home of the 2016 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry, Ben Feringa, and the Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Frits Zernike.

Program

Curriculum

2-year program; credits per year: 60 ECTS; most courses are 5 ECTS.

Study abroad

Study abroad is recommended

  • For an average of 20 weeks
  • Maximum of 60 EC

Exchange: All our science and engineering programs offer study abroad possibilities at a number of partner institutions. Our partners include top-100 universities in Europe (for example in Germany, the UK, and Sweden) and in the USA, China, South-East Asia, and South America. Our exchange programs have a typical duration of one semester and count toward your final degree.

Admission requirements

Dutch diploma

Specific requirements More information
Knowledge minimum

Sufficient English proficiency on VWO level is required.

Previous education

A Bachelor's degree in Artificial Intelligence, Psychology or a relevant degree including the following subjects: Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Psychology or Cognitive Science, Statistics and Research methods, practical skills in Programming.

International diploma

Specific requirements More information
Previous education

A Bachelor's degree in Artificial Intelligence, Psychology or a relevant degree including the following subjects: Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Psychology or Cognitive Science, Statistics and Research methods, practical skills in Programming.

This is merely an indication of the required background knowledge. The admissions board determines whether the specific contents of this/these course(s) meet the admission requirements of the master program for which you applied.

Language requirements

Exam Minimum score
IELTS overall band 6.5
TOEFL paper-based 580
TOEFL computer-based 237
TOEFL internet-based 92

Registration procedure

The Admissions Board will decide whether you can be admitted to the Master's degree program. Applications are evaluated on a continuous basis. You do not have to wait until the application deadline to apply.

Application deadlines

Type of student Deadline Start course
Dutch students

01 May 2020

01 September 2020

EU/EEA students

01 May 2020

01 September 2020

non-EU/EEA students

01 May 2020

01 September 2020

Tuition fees

Nationality Year Fee Program form
EU/EEA 2019-2020 € 2083 full-time
non-EU/EEA 2019-2020 € 15500 full-time
EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 2143 full-time

Job prospects

Once you have obtained your Master's degree, you can then use your skills in industrial research and development departments or usability labs, where you make sure that knowledge about human thinking and acting is used as early as possible in the design process.

In companies where computer software and new media applications are made, user interface design experts, usability testers and interaction designers are needed. If you have specialized in the field of speech and language technology, you can, for instance, get a job at a telecommunication company.

You could also choose to find a job at a research institute where you work as a researcher. This can be done at a university (Ph.D. studentship) or at a research institute like TNO. About 50% of our students choose a career as a scientist, mostly as a Ph.D. student.

Job examples

  • Work for startups to develop smart software
  • Interaction designer
  • Usability tester
  • Ph.D. research position

Research

Interdisciplinary in nature

Within the Master's degree program Human-Machine Communication, much of the research is connected to the Department of Artificial Intelligence and the research institute Bernoulli. Most of the teachers in the Master's program participate as a researcher in ALICE and the content of the courses is closely linked to their research themes.

The mission of the Bernoulli Institute is to perform outstanding academic research and teaching in Mathematics, Computer Science, and Artificial Intelligence, and to maintain international leadership herein; to foster these disciplines as a living body of knowledge, and to make it relevant to society in its broadest sense. The symbiosis between pure and applied science, and between mono- and multidisciplinary research and teaching, is a distinguishing characteristic of our institute. As an important part of this mission, we aim to transfer our results to other areas of science and technology and initiate and expand inter- and multi-disciplinary research collaborations.

The following research groups within the institute focus on Artificial Intelligence:

  • Autonomous Perceptive Systems
  • Cognitive Modeling
  • Multi-Agent Systems
  • Robotics

The research in Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Engineering is inherently interdisciplinary in nature. With Computing Science, an interest in formal modeling is shared, where these models may be symbolic, statistical or hybrid in nature. With Psychology and Biology, an interest in natural cognition is shared, where the goal is to describe fundamental qualities of cognition in such an explicit way that computational models of perceptual, cognitive, and behavioral control functions can be constructed.

Good ties with the research of other institutes at the University of Groningen

The master HMC also has good ties with the research of other institutes at the University of Groningen. There are ties with the Faculty of Behavioural and Social sciences (Heymans Institute - Prof Addie Johnson), the Centre for Language and Cognition Groningen (Computational Linguistics - Dr Petra Hendriks, Dr Leonie Bosveld-de Smet, Dr Gosse Bouma, Prof Ir John Nerbonne, Dr Gertjan van Noord) and the research centre Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences (Prof Ir Diek Duifhuis).

Last updated October 2019

About the School

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astr ... Read More

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astronaut and the first president of the European Central Bank. Geographically, the University is rooted in the Northern part of the Netherlands, a region very close to its heart. Read less
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