Human Computer Interaction is the study of how humans and computers interact so that humans can use computers more effectively. HCI is a field that's been developing for a few years. Instead of focusing on how to engineer new technologies it focuses on how to use the current technology to produce more useful stuff instead.
HCI is not about developing a cool new solution. Its about making solutions that currently exist more feasible. The reason I'm doing it is because frankly 80% of cool stuff today was reseached about 10 years ago. It takes so long to come to the consumer shelf that we are bored by the time we get it.
Look at Facebook. We had the technology to build that 20 years ago. People were already doing it in colleges or locally 15 years ago. MySpace and Friendster even came out before it. But, one great implementation and it defeated all its other rivals. Same goes for Google. Yahoo! and other competitors were the king of search in their day. Google's PageRank algorithm took them on providing better results and the rest is history.
I'm doing a masters from Georgia Institute of Technology. A link to the course can be found here In Georgia Tech, the course headed up by 4 schools:
The reason for this is the interdisciplanary nature of the subject. Georgia Tech seems to have an inclusive environment and only around 30 or so kids in one track per year.
HCI in its clearest form is about helping people. Its about thinking about the products of the future. And that's why I'm doing a Masters in the subject.