Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing

Welcome to the class website for the Fall 2008 Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing course, CS7470. This course is cross-listed for undergrads as CS4605 and for Industrial Design students as ID4833.

Lectures are held 12:00 - 1:30 Tuesday and Thursday in College of Computing Room 16. Both TAs have classes directly after this period, so if you need to talk with a TA outside of office hours, set up an appointment or come before class begins.

Most supplementary lessons on prototyping equipment will be held in the Tech Square Research Building, which is also the location of our lab.

Please take a moment to fill out the Course/Instructor Opinion Survey before Sunday, December 14.
We're always interested in this feedback.


Thad Starner (
Office: Tech Square Research Building, Second Floor, Room 239
Office Hours: Wednesday, 1-2PM

Clint Zeagler (
Office: Old Architecture, Room 103
Office Hours: TBA


Scott Gilliland (
Office: Tech Square Research Building, Second Floor, Room 243
Office Hours: Thursday 3:15-5 PM

Jiasheng He (
Office: Tech Square Research Building, Second Floor, Room 243
Office Hours: Monday 2-4 PM

Tentative Calendar

Date Event
Aug. 28 Choose Project 1 topic and group
Sept. 4 IRB certification completed, Project 1 proposal due
Sept. 5 Proposal feedback returned via email
Oct. 7 Project 1 writeup and video due
Oct. 9 Project 1 feedback
Oct. 9 Project 2 proposals due; Grace period until Oct. 14
Oct. 10 Drop day
Oct 11-14 Break - no class
Nov. 18 Project 2 functional prototype due (demo ready)
Nov. 20 Project 2 video due
Dec. 4 Project 2 paper and deliverables due
Dec. 12 Presentations during Final period

How-To Seminars

We will be offering seminars outside of class on the following topics:

  • Soldering and Basic Electrical Prototyping
  • Microcontroller Programming
  • 3D-Printer, Laser Cutter, and Vacuum Form Machine
  • Sewing and Conductive Textiles

For more info, take a look at the Seminars page.

Assigned Readings

There are assigned readings for almost every class, and we reserve the right to give pop quizzes over material in either the readings or what was covered in the previous class.
The full Assigned Reading list is available HERE, and this list will be updated every week.

IRB/Ethics Certification

Regardless of whether you think you will be conducting a user study or not for your projects, you are required as part of your grade in this course to be certified to do human subjects research. Please follow these steps:

  1. Go to the CITI website
  2. Register for a new account with Georgia Institute of Technology as the Participating Institution and your GT ID # as your Employee #
  3. Choose Group 2 - Social/Behavioral
  4. Choose the Basic Course and complete all of the modules
  5. After completing all the modules, your completion report will be submitted to the IRB. Please check that it has been updated in their system within 48 hours by logging in at Georgia Tech's IRBWise website.
  6. To get credit for completing this assignment, please print out and bring your CITI training completion report on Thursday, September 4th

Note: If you already have certification from a previous class or research project, all you need to do is the final step above.

Getting IRB Approval for a User Study

If you are doing a user study for Project 2, you need to get an IRB Protocol submitted ASAP. Normally, the approval process takes 3-4 weeks, and you must have approval before beginning a user study.

In order to submit a protocol, go to the IRBWise website and log in. On your main account page, go to “My Protocols” and click “Submit New Protocol.” This will take you to a web form that you will need to fill out. For Research Personnel, make sure to have Thad as the primary investigator (PI) and everyone in your group as students.

Here is a sample webform filled out for a past approved protocol that you can base yours on. You will also need to write up and submit an informed consent form, plus any evaluation protocol or recruitment emails/flyers that you use. Here is a sample of the informed consent document that you can base yours on. Here is a sample of the evaluation protocol that you can base yours on.

After you finish all this, you must notify Thad in person to get him to submit the form.


This is a project course and centers around two main projects.

The tentative dates for the two projects are listed in the calendar above.

Groups for the projects can consist of four people. Remember that the students enrolled in this class have a wide range of skills - from hardware to software to design - so it would be wise to find groupmates who compliment your own abilities.

Due to the smaller number of Industrial Design students enrolled in the course, there can be a maximum of only one Industrial Design student per group. If your group does not have an Industrial Design student, then you will need to set up a meeting with Professor Zeagler to review your design decisions.

Please ensure that the project you end up choosing fits the following criteria:

  • It doesn't already exist. If you can find a paper or other work that covers the work you propose to do, try again.
  • It's gradable. We want to give good grades for good work, but we need to be able to evaluate your results.

If you are unsure about your project idea, just email or come talk to us.

Here are a list of project ideas that we would enjoy seeing groups pick up, however you may also explore any idea you like, so long as you can defend your choice.

Once you have formed a group and chosen a project, please list your group here by August 28th:

Your group will then need to write up your idea and submit a proposal following the Proposal Guidelines by September 4th.

Your group will need to submit your paper and video following the Paper 1 Guidelines by October 7nd.

Your group will need to submit your Project 2 proposal following the Proposal Guidelines by October 9th. We understand though that this is not much time after receiving your Project 1 feedback, so we are giving you a grace period until October 14th. Please note that this is during Fall Break, so it is your responsibility to email it to Jiasheng He. You do not need to provide a paper copy.

Project 2 papers will follow the same format and guidelines as Project 1 papers with one important difference: it will be in a four page format instead of two page. Please note that this means either two pages front-and-back or four pages front.

Here are the Project 2 papers.


  • Class Participation - 5%
  • Quizzes - 15%
  • Project 1 - 35%
    • Proposal - 5%
    • Project work - 15%
    • Paper - 10%
    • Video - 5%
  • Project 2 - 45%
    • Proposal - 5%
    • Project work - 20%
    • Paper - 10%
    • Video - 5%
    • Presentation - 5%

Grades will be posted on T-Square.



IEEE Xplore - requires GTID and password to access

ACM Digital Library - requires GTID and password to access

Google Scholar

Georgia Tech Library's Web Localizer WAG the Dog - a very useful tool for finding papers


Arduino - electronics prototyping hardware

Wiring - electronics development hardware

Sensor Wiki - tutorials and information on sensors

Using WiiMote with Flash - good for anyone who wants to collect gesture data, while user is playing a game

Sparkfun Electronics - good for getting hardware to use for your projects.

Instructables - how-to's on many topics.

Digi-Key and Mouser - source for electronic components, small and large.

Ack Electronics - an electronic component store near the Georgia Tech campus.


See our lab's hardware resources page for details of available equipment, and ask Scott or Jiasheng for access to these devices.

Also take a look at our lab's howto pages for local how-to's.

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