The advent of affordable sensors (e.g., web cams, mobile phone based sensors, and off the shelf components) and wireless mobile computing devices (e.g., mobile smart phones, Arduino boards with 802.11b wireless connectivity, etc.) has created boundless opportunities for in-the-world computing applications that can transform our lives.
This course explores these opportunities in the form of a preparatory course for graduate school. We will learn how to read, present, and discuss research papers from the literature of ubiquitous computing (sometimes called pervasive computing). Some distinguished guest lecturers from the campus may also present their work, and there may be a "class trip" to a lab or two on campus.
In addition to engaging the literature, we will form teams to undertake small research projects. A project may involve the design and implementation of a ubiquitous or mobile computing application, or it may involve an in-depth study of mobile computing use in a real environment (i.e., not building an application). The course will culminate in team presentations of their creations to interested students and faculty. Teams may invent their own project, choose from ideas provided by the professor, or identify an outside faculty member, company, or graduate student to ``sponsor'' a project. There will also be a weekly 50 minute section for the presentation of background in research project execution, such as the basics of the scientific method.
Our contract. This course will be challenging because you are learning both a new subject matter and a new method of inquiry at the same time. My promise to you is that if you put in the required effort (average 10 hours a week or more during the project phase), you will have acquired powerful knowledge, skills, and life experiences that few undergraduates have, and will prove valuable whatever you do in life. This course will have no artifical homework; everything we do here is how the pros do it. Learning and applying the skills of inquiry (a generalization of "critical thinking") to technical reading and computing research are life-long skills. I also promise it will be fun!
Enrollment in the course is limited to 60. Majors and minors in CSE, ECE, and Cognitive Science are welcome. The prerequisite is completion of a major project course, such as: CSE 131, CSE 132B, Cog Sci 102C, Cog Sci 121, Cog Sci 184, ECE 111, ECE 118, ECE 191, ECE 192, COMT 111B, COMT 115, or ICAM 160B. Other project courses, experience, or accomplishments may be petitioned. For example, CSE 120 with Geoff Voelker will be approved.