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Current Students

Computing & Technology Resources

All students enrolled in Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) courses are required to have a laptop they can use in classes and for their studies.

Tablets/Chromebooks alone are not acceptable. HCDE recommends the following minimum laptop specifications:

  • Intel® or AMD processor with at least 2 cores and 64-bit support; 2 GHz or faster processor or Apple M1 processor
  • 8GB of RAM (16GB recommended)
  • 256GB storage space or larger
  • A graphics card with DX12 support for Windows such as an nVidia GeForce GTX 1050 or equivalent (Apple M1 and above meet this requirement)
  • OS requirements:
    • Windows 10 or 11 20H2 or greater; LTSC versions are not supported 
    • MacOS version 11.1.2 (Big Sur) or newer
  • A note on other operating systems:
    • While for many classes you only need a browser, but for many classes with systems design or programming you need to run programs such as Adobe CS, Rhino, Arduino, or be able to write and run programs in Python or Javascript. Therefore, while for some classes you can manage with a tablet, for many you will not.

UW computing resources courses

  • UW Information Technology (UW-IT): Free courses, workshops, and online tutorials.
  • UW-Learning and Scholarly Technologies: Free online courses on Computing Fundamentals (e.g, Security, Networking); Design and Graphics (e.g., Photoshop, Illustrator); Digital Audio (e.g., Audacity, Garageband); Document Creation (e.g., Word, InDesign); Spreadsheets and Databases (e.g., (Excel, Access); and Web Publishing. Some in-person workshops.

Computer labs on campus

  • Odegaard Learning Commons: The Odegaard Learning Commons, with hundreds of workstations, provides access to learning technologies in the heart of the undergraduate library.
  • Media Studios on Campus in Odegaard and Mary Gates: The Media Studios serve as a boutique studio space for students working on media projects. Visit one of our Media Studios for access to special hardware and software geared toward video and audio editing.
  • Engineering Student Computer Lab The College of Engineering supports a computer lab located in the basement of Wilcox hall, room 73.
  • Virtual Student Computer Lab The College of Engineering also supports a virtual computer lab that HCDE students can access.

Inexpensive or free software (and student discounted software and hardware)

  • Aptana Studio 3: A complete code editor for HTML, CSS3, JavaScript, and more. The full version is a free download.
  • ATLAS.ti: Students get a discount on ATLAS.ti.
  • Axure RP Pro: Free for students and teachers.
  • Tableau: Free for students.
  • HCDE has basic licenses that can be issued to students on a quarterly basis. Please email the computing manager if you are interested in using one of these licenses.
  • UW Bookstore Tech Center: Student discounts on hardware (e.g., computers and accessories) and software (e.g., Parallels, Adobe Creative Cloud).
  • UWare: Software from UW at reduced cost or free (e.g., Microsoft, Apple, Sophos, SAS, SPSS).
  • VMware Products: All HCDE students, staff, and faculty have access to VMware academic program, which provides licenses for VMware Workstation and VMware Fusion.