MSc and UG Project Ideas
Chris Greenhalgh, 2013-02-04
I am very interested in the idea of Appropriate ICT (van
Reijswoud, 2009), i.e. ICT that
fits well in particular contexts or settings, especially in the
two-thirds world. Most of my current work is in mobile and ubiquitous
(including mobile games and cultural experiences). I have also been
involved in developing extensions for Moodle, the University's new VLE.
Here are some project ideas; I'm happy to discuss your own proposals:
Trajectories and Ubicomp Experience Design
provide a conceptual framework for thinking about, designing and
evaluating a broad range of experiences which include technological
elements, including pervasive games, cultural visits, teaching/learning
experiences and cross-media interaction. I have started to write a
web-based tool for sketching and viewing trajectories (http://www.cs.nott.ac.uk/~cmg/sketchbook/WebContent/index.html)
based on this concept and tool.
Trajectory sketching tool design/evaluation - [Wenliang Lin]
[Suits MSc HCI, BSc CS]
This project is an HCI project which focusses
on the current/evolving trajetory sketching tool and assesses the
extent to which it can be used to design and represent trajectories.
This project would probably involve a combination of: user studies of
various trajectory sketching execises (e.g. on paper), user evaluation
of current tool, design proposals for changes/improvements to the tool.
Optionally the design proposals could be implemented and evaluated.
Trajectory sketching tool Multi-screen display [Mariwan Hama Saeed]
[Suits MSc HCI, perhaps
IT/MIT, BSc/MSci CS, BSc SE] This project is an implementation plus
HCI/software development project. The goal is to extend the trajectory
sketching tool to simultaneously control the displays on several
screens/devices when walking through a trajectory. For example, one
screen might show what would appear on a mobile device, another what
would appear on a public screen and a third display might show the
current context (location, active users in the trajectory/scenario).
The challenge would include designing suitable way(s) to author this
multi-screen content as well as actually displaying it. Some user
skills required, plus networking and perhaps some server-side
development (e.g. Node.js or Java - not PHP).
Trajectory generator for Marathon project
[Suits MSc HCI, IT, MIT, BSc/MSci CS, BSc SE] There is currently a
short-term project being done by Horizon DTC students, supported by
Google, to create a system for spectator to share video of a marathon
from their mobile phones. The goal of this project would be to link to
that system (perhaps its logs) and generate trajectory sketch file(s)
that represent e.g. a particular runners "trajectory" within the race.
This might include a range of perspectives visualising/representing
space, time, rank, events, and so on.
Trajectory generator for a cultural visit
[Suits MSc HCI, IT, MIT, BSc/MSci CS, BSc SE] The goal of this
project would be to generate trajectory sketch file(s)
that represent an individual's and/or a group's visit to some
particular cultural venue or event such as a museum, historic city,
gallery or theme park. This might include a range of perspectives
space, time, rank, events, and so on. The project could link to
existing third-party applications that could be used to record details
of the visit (e.g. http://www.everytrail.com/),
or capture/recording could also be part of the project activity if
there were distinctive requirements. In general, the trajectory
generation will also require input from the venue/event to provide
context and perhaps supporting data (e.g. maps, schedules), which would
need to be combined with the user's own record(s) of the visit.
Trajectory generator for ...
[Suits MSc HCI, IT, MIT, BSc/MSci CS, BSc SE] The goal of this project
would be to generate trajectory sketch file(s)
that represent something else identified by the student for which the
trajectory concepts are interesting and relevant.
Group-aware Notification System
[Suits MSc IT, MIT, perhaps HCI, BSc/MSci CS, BSc SE] The goal of this
project would be implement a notification system for mobile phones that
is "group aware", i.e. it modifies the way it which it delivers
notifications (such as alerts and reminders) dependong on who else is
physically nearby. This responds to issues identified in http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1978942.1979199
and follow-on studies. The project would require good programming
ability for Android, networking and server development.
Spatial metaphor Automated Voice-Response system [Wei Zhang]
[Suits MSc IT, MIT,
perhaps HCI, BSc/MSci CS, BSc SE] Most people have
used an Automated Voice Response (AVR) system, for example when phoning
up a helpline or interacting with a service provider by phone. We are
relatively accustomed to the hierarchical menu system typically used,
e.g. "press 1 for a new service request, 2 to ask about an existing
request, ...". However studies have shown that persons with low
literacy and little formal education may struggle with concept
abstractions as typically used in this kind of interface. The goal of
this project is to design, prototype and evaluate an alternative AVR
interaction metaphor that is based on a virtual journey through some
relatively familiar kind of space. E.g. "press 1 to continue walking
towards the field [agricultural information], press 2 to turn off
towards the village [cultural and governance], ...".
Telling Tales for small producers
The ToTEM project created an online system for attached information and
short stories to everyday items (http://talesofthings.com/).
The aim of this project is to explore (research, prototype, perhaps
implement, evaluate) how this or similar approaches could be used to
support smart-scale producers, for example small rural farmers,
craftsmen. For example, how can or should such a system manage the
tension between unique individual items or products and lines or
families of similar or equivelent products (e.g. a particular chair or
joint of meat vs a design of chair or cut of meat).
Enhanced power management for mobile phones in resource-constrained
settings [Guangyu Yang]
[Suits MSc ACS, IT, perhaps MIT, BSc/MSci CS, BSc SE] Mobile phones are
increasingly available in developing regions. However there is often
only limited access to mains power for charging. The goal of this
project is to analyse the power consumption of a typical current
Android-based mobile phone and to prototype and evaluate a range of
power management strategies that would (a) extend battery life and (b)
help the user to cope with intermittant access to charging.
Hands-free interaction techniques for shared-use mobile
[Suits MSc HCI, ACS, IT, perhaps MIT, BSc/MSci CS, BSc SE] Mobile
phones are increasingly available in developing regions. However they
are still relatively expensive compared to "traditional" 2G handsets,
and the operability and durability of touchscreens is a potential
problem in dusty or wet conditions. The goal of the project is to
research, design, prototype and evaluate one or more hands-free
interaction methods that could be used with a current Android smart
phone. By default this would rely on the built-in camera, possibly with
external support (e.g. mirror), although use of the other sensors/media
should also be considered. If using the camera then this involve a
significant chunk of applied computer vision work, i.e. trying
fairly basic computer vision techniques on a phone with the built-in
and/or back-facing camera) to support different forms of user input
touching the phone, e.g. virtual keyboard, virtual mouse, other custom
You would probably need to develop a native application to get
in the vision code/access native vision libraries. It would probably
with some user testing/evaluation (quite experimental), but would start
literature research and tech development.