Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mobile Apps Development Course at the University of Notre Dame

Smartphones, tablets, and other powerful mobile devices are rapidly becoming omnipresent and users rely on mobile applications for their communications, business activities, entertainment, and countless other usage scenarios. Application development on mobile and wireless devices differs from programming of “traditional” computing systems in various ways and requires trained professionals that are familiar with the unique requirements of mobile systems and their development platforms and tools.

The goal of this course is to expose talented undergraduate students to hands-on experience with mobile systems, technologies, and applications, thereby preparing them for careers in mobile and wireless communication and computing domains. Specifically, concrete objectives of this course are:
  • To increase the number of professionals in the area of mobile applications and technologies.
  • To develop student skills and abilities in applying engineering and computing tools and methods to real-world problems.
  • To enhance students’ written and oral technical communication skills.
The course is co-taught by Professors Patrick Flynn and Christian Poellabauer; both members of the Wireless Institute and faculty in the Computer Science and Engineering department at the University of Notre Dame. The course was offered twice so far (with 9 students enrolled in 2010 and 30 students enrolled in 2011) and students are invited to develop projects around a specific theme. In 2010, the theme was “Notre Dame” and students developed apps on both Android and iOS platforms to help their peers on campus, e.g., one app provides easy access to dining options and nutritional information on campus, another app provides information about football weekends on campus, and the third app allows students to become instant reporters using their mobile devices for Notre Dame’s student-run newspaper, the “Observer”. In 2011, the focus was on apps that help individuals and businesses in the South Bend area, and 16 apps were developed in areas such as health care, biometrics, entertainment, communication, and security. For 2012, the theme will be “App Development for the Greater Good” and students are invited to develop mobile apps that (well aligned with Notre Dame’s mission statement) address challenges such as unemployment, injustice, access to health care, and many other social issues.


Instructors’ websites:

posted by Christian Poellabauer