MSc Project Ideas

I’m interested in applying computer science to complex problems in the real world - here are a few ideas...

  1. Project 1: “Robotic Sailboat telemetry interface development” - The aim of this project is to develop an interface for a robot boat for use in field research and data replay. We are interested in developing software for an autonomous robotic sailboat. As part of our research, it is necessary to construct an interface for use with the boat which coordinates the telemetry systems and monitoring systems during our experiments. This system is also used to replay the data we collect. The current implemented interface is not good enough for our requirements and this project is to understand the constraints and requirements of this application and to design a suitable “seaworthy” interface. Suitable for:- ISD students and MIT/IT students who have completed modules in human factors and interface design. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8mFVsT23Tw&feature=youtube_gdata

  2. Project 2: “Using biosensing as novel controllers in human robot interaction applications” - Human robot interaction is an emerging branch of HCI which combines robotics, interface design and psychology, and defines the way in which we interact with robotic devices. The majority of robots act in accordance to directly specified instructions, or via a remote control. This process is termed teleoperation. However, autonomous robots which are designed to react to the real world need to be able to interact with humans in a different manner. This has so far been achieved through voice commands or gestures processed through image processing and AI. A novel way to interact with robots could be through monitoring the physiology of the human and feeding that information to the robot. This project aims to examine the feasibility of using biosensing equipment to produce improved interactions with simple robots. Suitable for:- all MSc students but particularly those with an engineering or data analysis/science background

  3. Project 3: “ The potential for security risks with smart phones” - As smart phones increase in popularity and functionality they become more and more like our own PCs. But does this also imply that they may fall victim to the same problems with security such as viruses, worms and botnets? If so how could this compromise their use at home and in the business sector? The threat may increase as phones become increasingly programmable for example the android phone which can behave like a simple linux computer. Can such features be exploited and in what ways? The aim of this project is to understand current security flaws in these systems and to propose/develop suitable countermeasures if needed. Suitable for:- IT students in particular but generally ok for all MScs.

  4. Project 4: “An assessment of the security of cloud computing services in business applications” - Cloud computing is an emerging paradigm and is a utility computing model that involves a dynamically growing and shrinking collection of heterogenous, loosely coupled nodes. These nodes work together to appear to the client as a single computational resource. Computing power supplied by cloud services has been described in a manner akin to power grid usage. Businesses are keen to capitalise on the services offered by cloud computing. However, like its forerunner, grid computing, cloud services are being developed without the security of the systems at their heart. Given the potential impact of cloud services on businesses, the aim of this project is to evaluate current security systems implemented within cloud services and to produce an assessment of potential security flaws, and what impact such flaws have on the trustworthiness of cloud services. Suitable for:- MIT students in particular given the business angle of this project. http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2009/11/the-cloud-a-short-introduction.ars/

  5. Project 5: “Benchmarking an Artificial Immune System: Putting CSPRA to the test” - Artificial immune systems are algorithms inspired by the human immune system, put to work to perform computational tasks. Such problems have included intrusion detection, virus detection, multiobjective optimisation, robotics and informatics to name but a few. In 2009 a new AIS has been developed. This algorithm claims superior performance to a number of different system. However this algorithm has not yet been benchmarked against other similar systems, and thus the aim of this project is to test the capabilities of this novel algorithm. Suitable for:- IT/MIT students with an interest in AI/Machine Learning, who are considering a career in research.

If you’re interested in partaking in one of these projects please email me at jqg@cs.nott.ac.uk, or I’m happy to discuss similar and related projects in the areas of artificial immune systems, robotics, data analysis and security.