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ECE 498HP Extending Mobile Computing through Cloud Computing

Current course on Special topics in ECE deals with the intersection of mobile computing and cloud computing. Certain issues concerning how cloud computing can further extend the services provided to mobile users are studied. Teaching involves lecturing on relevant supporting technologies, such as wireless networking and cloud computing theory. A significant portion of the course is devoted to practical mobile software development.

The necessary mobile and cloud computing infrastructure is provided in partnership with Microsoft Research. 

Project Hawaii - Microsoft Research
Project Hawaii Facebook page


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Announcements and Recently Updated


Hi students.

The speech-to-text SDK is now available for WP7. You can download it here.

On Wednesday (March 2), I will point you to some resources on cloud computing. In particular, I will show you some simple walkthroughs for Windows Azure and Amazon Web Services. Feel free to go ahead to download and install the SDKs and try them out.

Project Presentations

You are responsible for presenting your project progress during class time in a few weeks. In particular, you have present your progress in the classes before and after Spring Break. Please refer to the project page for details.

More Phones

We have additional phones for the class. We highly encourage you to get more devices to better work on your projects. Please send an email to Victor if you want an extra phone.

Course So Far

You have all submitted the first two MPs and the project proposal on time. That means everybody has full marks for the course thus far. There is one more MP (due this Friday). More details about the course project will be announced this week (here on the website). The TAs will be contacting the groups individually to work closely with you.

MP3 Released

MP3 is now ready. It is due on February 11. Part of it involves getting together with another group. So make sure you leave some time for that.

Our new lecture room is Siebel Center 1302, effectively immediately. Make sure to come to Siebel Center on Wednesday.

Yong Liu, a research scientist from NCSA will speaking briefly during Monday's lecture. They are also involved with Microsoft's Project Hawaii. So you can work with his research group for your project. In particular, he will talk about various topics. It should be quite interesting, and I encourage you to consider the things he is proposing.

Below is just one of his proposals. You can contact him directly and check his website for more details.

Harness the power of Mobile+Cloud for Localized Scientific Model
Execution and Visualization: A Next Generation Community Informatics

Principle Investigator: Yong Liu <>, National
Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign

The powerful combination of mobile phones and Clouds has open a new
way for solving important societal problems such as urban flooding
situational awareness and emergency management at much higher
spatiotemporal resolution. It is now possible to develop a set of new
generation of community informatics tools that can help local
residents to run scientific models as services and visualize the
results in a map, all within the mobile+cloud platform.  In this
proposal, a new framework called "Localized Scientific Model Execution
and Visualization (LSMEV)" is to be developed that uses MSR Project
Hawaii's SDK and provides mobile-phone triggered scientific model
execution in the Azure cloud and Bing Maps-based visualization of
local personalized on-demand situational awareness.

Background and Related Work
Community informatics is about "community problem solving" and
"connecting cyber-space to community-place" (Loader et al., 2000).
However, currently there is a major gap between existing citizen
science practices and real community-centric problem solving
capability. For example, many well know citizen science projects such
as eBird (see a recent review in Silvertown, 2009) mainly focus on
collecting environmental monitoring data in a very broad geographical
area without considering community-specific problem solving and
actions that can be carried out by local citizens. This project
proposes research plans that go beyond simple volunteer-based data
collection. Our current ongoing work has already explored the usage of
Azure for scientific modeling (Liu et al., 2010), although it is not
developed in the mobile+Cloud framework. Liu et al. (2009) also
developed Web 2.0 geospatial visual analytics for improved urban
flooding situational awareness and assessment in previous work.

Project Plan
We will carry out the following tasks for a six-month pilot project
starting from Spring 2011: (1) develop/deploy a Model-based
Geostatistics service in the Azure Cloud using ordinary krigging as an
example (a spatial interpolation model from geo-R, an open source
package) that can produce interpolated contour maps for user-defined
thematic variables such as rainfall rates. (2) develop/deploy a mobile
phone-based Bing Map-based interface that allows users to trigger and
visualize on-demand calculation and results of contour map of thematic
value such as rainfall rates at user's current location within a
radius of a few miles. The rainfall data need to be dynamically
searched and fetched from a popular citizen sensing web site called
"CoCoRaHS (". This allows personalized
real-time situational awareness of rainfall information, which is
especially important during intensive urban storm events. The
visualization on the mobile phone will produce personalized
spatial/temporal view of users' surrounding environment.

Intellectual Merit
The mobile+Cloud platform-based "Localized Scientific Model Execution
and Visualization (LSMEV)" framework we propose will be a "geographic
community"-centric "mash-up" of distributed citizen contributed data,
which can dramatically improve personalized situational awareness. The
framework developed here will enable future incorporation of more
complex physics-based model and forecast. This will be one of the
first next generation community informatics tools that enable
personalized local view and understanding of spatiotemporal
environment phenomenon such as storms.

I will not be at my regular office hours tomorrow (Thursday, January 27). I will mostly be at CSL attending the student conference. If you would like to talk with me, please send me an email and we can set something up. (I will be away next week as well, and will not have office hours.)

We will be moving very quickly with the programming assignments in this course. So please be sure to come to the first lecture on Wednesday. We will be providing you time to form groups and discuss project ideas during the first lecture.

If you are currently registered in the course, you must attend to the first lecture, or send an email explaining why you cannot.

If you are currently not registered, you must come to the first lecture for any chance of getting into the course. Depending on the number of students, group dynamics, and distribution of devices, we may be able to fit you into the course. There are no promises of course.

Students. This is a fast-paced course. The first assignment (MP1) is due January 28. You have to form a group, get a phone, set up various Microsoft accounts (may take several days), and learn WP7 programming basics to hand in MP1 on time. Please get started right away.

To form groups, you can use the discussion forum now. Be sure to also come to the first lecture to form groups.

You can come get a phone during my (Victor's) office hours on Thursday, January 20. I will provide you with a loan form and checklist to sign. Please email me by Wednesday 9:00 PM if you plan to come. If nobody emails me, I will hold office hours.

Hello students. Class starts this Wednesday at 3:00 PM in Everitt Laboratory 257.

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