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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 programme 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 programme:

  • 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 language is the most natural way of human communication, this might not always be the best to communicate with a machine.

Why study this programme in Groningen?

  • This programme is unique in its combination of: Artificial intelligence; Cognitive science and modeling; Language & speech technology; 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

After your studies

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 specialised 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 (PhD studentship) or at a research institute like TNO. About 50% of our students choose a career as a scientist, mostly as PhD student.

Job examples

  • Work for a startups to develop smart software
  • Interaction designer
  • Usability tester
  • PhD research position

Visit the Human-Machine Communication MSc page on the University of Groningen website for more details!

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