CSC 540 Mobile Application Development II

Fall 2010-2011
Class number: 14971
Section number: 701
M 5:45PM - 9:00PM
LEWIS 01001 Loop Campus


What makes the mobile device a unique computing platform? How can these properties be exploited to create new experiences for users? This class focuses on the programming, use, and HCI concerns of mobile media applications focusing on creating compelling user experiences that solve real-world needs. It covers the basics of Android programming and explores mobile imaging and media creation, location, user-centered design, usability testing, prototyping, and field evaluation. Significant emphasis will be given to current research in the field as presented in the CHI, Ubicomp, and Pervasive communities.


We'll be using a draft of "Building Mobile Experiences" by Frank Bentley and Edward Barrett. PDFs of chapters will be available at no charge.


This is a project course and the majority of the grade will be based on several small weekly assignments and a larger final project. A percentage of the grade will also come from class/blog/wiki participation.


Significant Java programming experience required. Some overview knowledge of HCI concepts would be helpful, but not strictly necessary.

Note: First session will meet on 9/20 (Class will not be held on 9/13 and 9/27. These classes will be made up at the convenience of the in-person students.) This syllabus is tentative and is open to modification based on interest of class.

Introduction to Mobile Computing. Topic areas of research and recent product development. History of Mobile Computing. Basic Android fundamentals.

Mobile Location. Location APIs, Location based services, Social use of location data.

Generative Research for Mobile Applications. Ethnographic-style research. Affinity Analysis. Data and Connectivity. Bluetooth, 3G/4G, WiFi. Carrier restrictions on data use. Difficulties of mobile data.

Mobile Design. Concept Models, Wireframes, Paper Prototyping and Usability. Rapid Prototyping. Getting concepts built quickly and into real world use. Field trials. Usefulness vs. Usability. Media Capture and Social Networking. Examples of media capture and annotation systems. Live video streaming. Use in political protests and disasters. Social Networking services for mobile devices. MotoBLUR. Mobile Persuasion. Encouraging behavior change through mobile technology. Health monitoring, pedometer apps. Social health systems. Urban Computing. Using mobile devices in the city. Bike availability, sidewalk hazards, air quality sensing, traffic sensing, etc. Wearables. Mobile phones integrated with clothing. Examples from MIT Media Lab. Amarino toolkit. Basic Arduino programming. Commercialization. App stores and Marketplaces. Conducting public beta trials. Scalability of mobile web services. Final Project Presentations.

School policies:

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary during the quarter. If a change occurs, it will be thoroughly addressed during class, posted under Announcements in D2L and sent via email.

Online Course Evaluations

Evaluations are a way for students to provide valuable feedback regarding their instructor and the course. Detailed feedback will enable the instructor to continuously tailor teaching methods and course content to meet the learning goals of the course and the academic needs of the students. They are a requirement of the course and are key to continue to provide you with the highest quality of teaching. The evaluations are anonymous; the instructor and administration do not track who entered what responses. A program is used to check if the student completed the evaluations, but the evaluation is completely separate from the student’s identity. Since 100% participation is our goal, students are sent periodic reminders over three weeks. Students do not receive reminders once they complete the evaluation. Students complete the evaluation online in CampusConnect.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

This course will be subject to the university's academic integrity policy. More information can be found at If you have any questions be sure to consult with your professor.

Academic Policies

All students are required to manage their class schedules each term in accordance with the deadlines for enrolling and withdrawing as indicated in the University Academic Calendar. Information on enrollment, withdrawal, grading and incompletes can be found at

Students with Disabilities

Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential.
To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at:
Lewis Center 1420, 25 East Jackson Blvd.
Phone number: (312)362-8002
Fax: (312)362-6544
TTY: (773)325.7296