INF 241 / CompSci 248A
: Introduction to Ubiquitous Computing

Fall 2015


Alfred Kobsa: kobsa@uci
Hours: after class, or Wed. 2-3pm in 5092 DBH (send email beforehand)

Hosub  Lee:  hosubl@uci

Meeting Times
MW 3pm-4:20pm in 1300 DBH

Message board:
Class mailing list:
Team signup:

Note: These are guidelines intended to help students plan their work in this course. However, the instructor reserves the right to make changes to this syllabus over the course of the quarter.

from UCI Catalogue
The "disappearing computer" paradigm. Differences to the desktop computing model: applications, interaction in augmented environments, security, alternate media, small operating systems, sensors, and embedded systems design. Evaluation by project work and class participation.

Add/drop: Electronic Add/Drop only. Standard University time lines apply.

Attendance: Students are responsible for material that is disseminated during class. If you miss class, please arrange beforehand with a friend to get notes/handouts for you. If you know you are going to miss something important, contact the instructor beforehand. It's much easier to accommodate planned absences. If you send an excuse after missing a class, please provide documentation. Students are responsible for all material taught in this course. If you join the class later in the quarter, you are expected to complete all missed work immediately.

Sick Policy: If you find that you are unable to make it to a scheduled event (class, exam, presentation, etc.) due to sickness, please get some documentation from a health care provider to assist us in maintaining fairness to the other students in the class. In the absence of such documentation, please contact the staff as soon as you realize that you are going to miss a scheduled event. Generally sicknesses will be treated on a case by case basis. We will accommodate you as best as we can depending on the circumstances.

Respect: This class will involve discussion of topics on which you and your classmates may have differences in opinion. Please be respectful of others at all times.

Academic Honesty: Please familiarize yourself with the latest UCI academic honesty policy. The consequences of academic dishonesty are not worth the risks.

Students with Disabilities or Special Needs:
see here for accommodations that can be made

Technology in Class: Please turn off all mobile phones/pagers/etc. before the beginning of each class. Please do not use notebook computers or any other technology during class for any purpose not directly relating to this class.

Web Page, Readings, and Assignments: The web page for the class is subject to update. Check it frequently and be sure to refresh / reload the web pages when you browse them. Please follow the assignments exactly. If you need clarification, ask before the assignment is due. See tips on
efficient reading.

Course announcements will be sent to your UCI email account, hence check it regularly. If you prefer to read your email on another account, you should
forward your Email to your preferred account.

Late Assignments wii be marked down.

Course Mechanics and Grading
Some of the grading will be done by peers. Group grades will be the same for everyone unless vetoed.

Readings: Each week there will be several articles, videos, or other pieces of content assigned. You should read/view the items before coming to class on the day that they are listed. You may need to be on campus, or logged in via VPN, to access some of these materials without paying for them. 

The required book for this class is John Krumm, ed. (2009): Ubiquitous Computing Fundamentals. CRC Press. Hardcover, Kindle, Google Play, Reserve in Ayala Library

book cover

Reading Summaries: At the beginning of thee classes you will be asked to write a one-paragraph summary of one or more recent readings/videos. These reading summaries will not be announced. There are no makeups for missed summaries without a doctor's note or other clear evidence of an excusable absence.

Leading Discussion: Your team is being asked to lead discussion at one class meeting during this course. Here are some tips on how to lead a discussion. Your grade will be based on the following criteria: 1) Articulates author's argument correctly and completely; 2) Identifies nuances of author's argument; 4) Poses thoughtful, open-ended questions or creative exercises to the class; 5) Guides discussion to important points; 6) Maintains control of the classroom.

Class Participation: A large part of this course is based on discussion of the topics. Your grade will be based in part on your attendance, attention, and participation in class discussions.

Final Project: Working in teams of 4-5 students, you will engage in a ubicomp project. This project may focus on any topic of mutual interest to the members of the group. It could involve implementing a novel ubicomp system, evaluating an existing ubicomp system, or some other project relevant to the course. If you are uncertain of what kind of project to pursue, I encourage you to think about personalized services enabled by building sensors, or technical privacy protections in IoT environments. There will be two interim deliverables, and two final deliverables. The interim deliverables are:
  1. a 1-page summary of your project idea including tentative software and hardware needs (and which of those you can meet yorselves). This one-pager should be accompanied by a list of 20 relevant references with DOIs or URLs, of which many should be from the Pervasive and at least some from the Ubicomp conference. Upload one document per team here.
  2. a 7-8 minute presentation about your progress to date.
Your final deliverables are:
  1. a 4-page academic paper, appropriate for submission as research-in-progress to the 2026 IEEE PerCom Conference. One paper per team. You are expected to cite an appropriate selection of the academic literature in your paper. The submission deadline is November 27.
  2. a 1-3 minute video describing your project (One video per team.)
  3. a 1 minute "madness" talk that summarizes your research goals and your main accomplishments.
Peer Reviewing: The class will be performing a "peer review" process as part of the final project evaluation. Each student will be asked to review the papers written by two other teams. In addition, students will be asked to review their own paper using the same criteria. In writing your reviews, please be rigorous and kind; the goal is to help your fellow-students make better work, and want to work more.

Assignments and Readings must be completed BEFORE the class for which they are due.


  • Click at calender entries to see details, such as readings and links to dropboxes and podcasts Link to webcast (large format) Link to podcast of class in small format
  • Subscribe to this calendar in your own calendaring system, using the URL
  • Make sure to switch on "refresh" to receive updates automatically, and allow reminders :)

CREDITS: much of the intellectual content of this class is owed to previous editons by Professors Bill Tomlinson and Don Patterson.