Human Communication Technologies Lab

Realizing effective communication of human experience using information technology.


Communication and computing technology is advancing at an accelerated pace. Humans are finding it difficult to keep pace with these changes, and yet these new technologies are supposedly made for the benefit of humans. The Human Communication Technology (HT) Research Laboratory researches a number of key issues which put people "back in the loop" and allow us to communicate experiences to computer systems and each other more effectively. An awareness of people's different cognitive, physical and emotional capabilities provides a foundation for acquiring, analyzing, representing, storing, retrieving, transmitting, communicating and ultimately synthesizing human experience. Faster processing machines, bigger data capacity, new algorithms, multimedia and multimodal systems will be combined with developments in medicine psychology, sociology and art to enhance the communication abilities between people and machines.


Our innovation stems from the integration of human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence. We seek to incorporate human experience as the critical entity processed by people and systems. This focus on experience leads to novel ways of thinking about how our machines facilitate and support communication between people and machines. These concepts in turn allow the exploration, creation and development of new technologies, as well as radically new metaphors for work and play. As the functionality of our machines out-paces our needs, the focus on human experience becomes even more critical.



For past projects, see our old HCT site research page.


Human Communication Technologies Lab
x427/x509, ICICS X-Wing
2366 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC, Canada
V6T 1Z4

Tel: +1 (604) 822-4583
Website: https://hct.ece.ubc.ca
Email: ssfels [at] ece.ubc.ca

Land Acknowledgment

We respectfully acknowledge the land on which we work, live and play is the unceded and occupied traditional territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of xʷmə𝜃kʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Penelakut, Squamish, Sechelt, Tsleil-Waututh, Sto-lo, and Tsawwassen First Nations.

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion + Indigeneity

The HCT lab is committed to truth and reconciliation, inclusive leadership and advancing diversity in all aspects of the lab environment including research opportunities, collaboration, intellectual advancement and equitable access to funding opportunities, and inclusive and diverse research teams. In addition to UBC's EDII initiatives, HCT recognizes that EDII policies and practices strengthen the research community, as well as the quality, social relevance, outcomes, and impacts of research.

See the Faculty of Applied Science EDI.I website to learn more about these EDII commitments, to find related EDII resources, and how to support EDII initiatives in the Applied Science community. Also, see the Government of Canada's Dimensions charter as it is our guiding charter and seeks to increase EDI within Canada's post-secondary institutions and the university research ecosystem.


The HCT laboratory is grateful to it sponsors for the generous support they have provided. Please contact Dr. Sidney Fels if you would be interested in sponsoring research projects and/or laboratory activity.

Industry and Not-for-Profits

Altera Inc., US / ATR Media Integration & Communications (MIC), Japan / ATR Human Information Sciences (HIS), Japan / Autodesk Research Inc. / Avigilon / Bell University Labs / Bell Sympatico / B-Con Engineering / Dlink, Inc. / Haskins Laboratory, US / Infusion Systems Inc., Canada / Kaiser Electro-Optics Inc., US / New Media Innovation Centre (NewMIC), Canada / Nissan Research Centre, Japan / Nissan Research of America, US / Nippon Telephone Telegraph, Japan / NVIDIA, Inc. / Panasonic, Inc. / Parametric Human / Polhemus Inc., US / Puffer Fish / Sense Tecnic / Tactex Controls Inc., Canada / Urban Opus / Vidigami Media Inc.


Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council (NSERC) / BC Innovation Council (BCIC) / Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IRIS) / Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research / Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) / Canada Council for the Arts / Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) / Western Economic Diversification / Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) / NCE Grand / Department of Foreign Affairs, Industry and Trade (DFAIT) / Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)


Dept. of ECE / Peter Wall Institute for Advances Studies / Teaching & Learning Education Fund (TLEF) / Institute for Computing, Information & Cognitive Systems (ICICS) / Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC) / The Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCAR) / The University of São Paulo (USP) / Lancaster University


Undergraduate Students

The HCT laboratory sometimes sponsors capstone projects. Please check the ECE Capstone page for more information.

PhD and Master Students

The HCT laboratory is always looking for excellent Master’s and Ph.D. students. The number of open positions fluctuates year-to-year. The HCT lab offers an exciting, dynamic, and advanced research environment in the areas of human-computer interation, artificial intelligence. Please check our project pages to find out about some of the diverse areas we are doing research in.If you are interested in joining the HCT laboratory please do the following:
  1. Read the research pages of the HCT site to see if what we do is interesting to you. Projects that have an active tag are in progress.
  2. Send in an application to the UBC Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Indicate that your interests and list Dr. Fels as a possible supervisor.
  3. Send a letter indicating the following:
    • why you want to work in the HCT laboratory
    • what research area and/or project area you’d like to do your research in
    • whether you need funding or not
    • your C.V.
Please refer to the UBC Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering web site for department eligibility requirements and application procedures. Normally, students begin their study either in September or January. However, in many cases, it is possible to start in May as an RA prior to enrolling as a student, and then continue as a Master/Ph.D. student in September.

Undergraduate Research Assistantships and Part-time RA

The HCT has ongoing projects that require short term research assistants. Requirements for candidates vary depending upon projects. The usual skill set we require is a strong command of programming (C, C++, scripting, etc.) and an interest in human-computer interaction, physically-based modeling, image processing, adaptive interfaces. Salaries are commesurate with experience. To apply, contact Dr. Fels (ssfels (at) ece.ubc.ca).If you are an undergraduate looking for a summer position, you may be eligible for extra funding through an NSERC undergraduate scholarship. Students eligible must be enrolled in an undergraduate program and have a greater than 83% average. To apply, contact Dr. Sidney Fels, ssfels (at) ece.ubc.ca.

Post-Docs and Research Associates

The HCT lab has many active projects that welcome the opportunity to work with post-doctoral fellows. If you are interested in joining the lab as a PDF, then please contact Sid Fels, ssfels [at] ece.ubc.ca. Some of the PDF positions have funding available; however, for unfunded opportunities, you must have your own fellowship funding.

Associates and Visiting Researchers

The HCT lab is always looking to partner and collaborate with fellow researchers. If you would like to be an associated member of the laboratory or be a visiting researcher, please contact Dr. Fels, ssfels [at] ece.ubc.ca.