Professor Theresa Jean Tanenbaum
Department of Informatics
Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences
Location: ICS 180
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.
The emergence of the “ubiquitous computing” paradigm in the late 1980s introduced a series of significant challenges for research and practice in human-computer interaction, by moving the locus of interaction from the person sitting at a desk in front of a PC to the person moving through a world suffused with devices and information. This has supported an expansion of HCI’s topics to include questions of spatiality, tangibility and experience. The recent explosion in sensor networks, so-called “big data”, and the distributed collection of loosely-affiliated devices grouped under the heading of the “internet-of-things” has further stretched the concept of Ubiquitous Computing to the point where it is hard to define. Thus, we find ourselves in an introductory course to a topic that no longer properly exists. In this class we will explore the history of Ubicomp in a collaborative research context to better understand the central challenges and questions driving contemporary ubiquitous computing theory and practice.
BIG DISCLAIMER! Be prepared to read. Be prepared to think. Be prepared to research. Be prepared to write. Your work will be evaluated based on these four factors.
We will be using Slack as a discussion board and collective backchannel during class discussions. The URL for the Slack Channel is: http://inf241.slack.com
Everyone is required to use Zotero to manage their bibliographic references. We will also use a shared Zotero library to identify and claim readings to discuss in class. The URL for the Zotero Group is: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1757468/inf_241_-_intro_to_ubiquitous_computing
Always make certain you have a laptop or tablet with you in class, a pencil or pen, and access to the readings.
We meet once a week for three hours. Classes will be a combination of lectures, small group discussion, and presentation to the class.
Each week you will be responsible for reading two to four papers relevant to the field of Ubiquitous Computing. The first papers are ones that I will assign ahead of time, related to that week’s theme. I will lead a discussion of that paper during the first half of class. On three weeks that I will not specify ahead of time you will be given a reading response quiz in-class for a grade.
Each week, every student is responsible for locating and bringing a scholarly article to discuss with the class, related to that week’s topic. We will be using Zotero to claim articles, and to prevent duplicate selections. Once you have found an article, add it to the Shared Zotero Collection for that week, and add a note with your name to “claim” it. The longer you wait to find an article, the harder it will be for you to find something relevant to the topic at hand worth discussing. Be sure to check Zotero while searching for articles to see what has already been claimed. Scholarly articles include research publications, trade and professional publications, and in rare cases mainstream news publications, however the latter must first be cleared by the instructor.
Once you have identified an article that is relevant to the topic, and of interest to you, be prepared to discuss it in class. We will divide into small groups each week and every group member will have a chance to present their article of choice. After a short period of discussion, the group will nominate one person to present an article to the class. Presenters can talk about what the article says, why it was chosen, why it’s important, and what was learned from it. Be aware that this is not etched in stone; there is significant flexibility in how you present, however these are general themes that should be touched on.
Presentations and participation in group discussion are part of your participation grade so try to bring something engaging and relevant.
Grades will be based on the following factors:
You will note that in none of these criteria are you being evaluated on the specific idea or argument you are making. This means that you are free to pursue designs and ideas that are bad, uninteresting, impractical, silly, absurd, impossible, unlikely, challenging, upsetting, depressing, inspiring, revolutionary, broad reaching, reductive, playful, subversive, and any other qualities you can imagine. But, no matter how bizarre or absurd your idea is, you need to research it deeply, connect it to the ideas and issues we discuss in class, and argue for it strongly and effectively. Bad/weird/unconventional ideas can be much harder to defend than good ideas, but a well defended idea that isn’t within the normal discourse of the field can be a significant contribution.
This grade is a measure of how successfully I believe you have engaged with the class. This might take the form of participating in class discussions, posting on the Slack channel, being selected to present your paper within your groups, and any other indicators of engagement I might choose to designate.
I will assign three reading response quizzes to be completed in class this quarter. Each one will be worth 5% of your grade. I will not announce when these will be assigned until we are in-class on the day they are due. These quizzes will be distributed on paper, and will be collected and graded by the reader. You may use any printed/handwritten notes you want, but may not refer to the original paper, or use a digital device to search the web for answers. The goal of these quizzes is to hold you accountable for doing the readings, and the content and format of them will reflect this goal.
Class attendance will be determined by completing index cards. The index cards are also a means for me to get feedback about the course. The reader will distribute the cards at the beginning of the class and collect them at the end. For each class please write your name on a card, the date, your student ID and a comment about the course.
If you would like to submit an anonymous comment, take an extra card and don’t put your name on it.
(Note: Ignorance of these policies – especially those pertaining to academic honesty and plagiarism – is no excuse for failing to observe them.)
If you are a student with a disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) and think that you might need special assistance or a special accommodation in this class or any other class, please check out the Disability Center online or visit them in person at
100 Disability Services Center, Building 313
Irvine, CA 92697-5130
If you find that personal problems, career indecision, study and time management difficulties, etc. are adversely impacting your successful progress at UCI, please check out the Counseling Center or Graduate Student Services.
Email is BY FAR the most reliable way to get in touch with me; however, for most course related inquiries (anything that is not of a personal or individual nature) please post your question to our online discussion board FIRST (LINK FORTHCOMING).. Likewise, I will use your university email address for all communications. Please check this account on a regular basis. When you communicate with me please put Inf242 in the SUBJECT LINE.
You need access to a personal computer (Mac or Windows) for major amounts of time for this course. You need Internet access for this course. You must be able to save word processing files in a .doc or .docx (Microsoft Word) or .pdf format for sharing and submitting files to the instructor. You are expected to have working knowledge and capability with your computer before entering this class.
Please submit all papers and materials (unless otherwise noted in the course schedule) through EEE or TurnItIn.com as noted in class. NO ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED BY EMAIL. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Class information and announcements will be communicated through EEE and through your UCI email address. To access EEE, you will need your UCI Net ID and password. If you do not know these, please contact OIT.
Please read and heed the following information regarding academic dishonesty. The instructor cannot and will not tolerate academic dishonesty. Here is a direct quote from the UCI Office of Academic Integrity & Student Conduct:
“Learning, research, and scholarship depend upon an environment of academic integrity and honesty. This environment can be maintained only when all participants recognize the importance of upholding the highest ethical standards. All student work, including quizzes, exams, reports, and papers must be the work of the individual receiving credit. Academic dishonesty includes, for example, cheating on examinations or any assignment, plagiarism of any kind (including improper citation of sources), having someone else take an examination or complete an assignment for you (or doing this for someone else), or any activity in which you represent someone else’s work as your own. Violations of academic integrity will be referred to the Office of Academic Integrity and Student Conduct. The impact on your grade will be determined by the individual instructor’s policies. Please familiarize yourself with UCI’s Academic Integrity Policy (https://aisc.uci.edu/policies/academic-integrity/index.php) and speak to your instructor if you have any questions about what is and is not allowed in this course.” (quote source: https://aisc.uci.edu/faculty-staff/academic-integrity.php)
When writing your final papers, all group members will be held EQUALLY responsible for any plagiarism, regardless of who actually wrote what in the paper. Your drafts and final papers WILL BE CHECKED FOR PLAGIARISM.
The penalty for plagiarism is at a minimum to receive a 0 on the assignment and have the case reported to the Associate Dean’s office. Particularly flagrant cases may receive more severe punishment (notably failing the course).
What is cheating?
❑ Supplying or using work or answers that are not your own.
❑ Providing or accepting assistance with completing assignments or examinations.
❑ Faking data or results.
❑ Interfering in any way with someone else’s work.
❑ Stealing an examination or solution from the teacher.
What is plagiarism?
❑ Copying a paper from a source text without proper acknowledgment.
❑ Buying a paper from a research service or term paper mill.
❑ Turning in another student’s work with or without that student’s knowledge.
❑ Copying a paper from a source text without proper acknowledgment.
❑ Copying materials from a source text, supplying proper documentation, but leaving out quotation marks.
❑ Paraphrasing materials from a source text without appropriate documentation.
❑ Turning in a paper from a term paper website.
You should be on guard against plagiarism at all times. At any time that you read anything in preparation for a paper or consciously recall anything that you have read or heard, you must be prepared to provide documentation.
Generally, when you use someone else’s ideas and/or words, you will either quote that person directly or you will paraphrase or summarize that person’s words. You must let the reader know which you are doing.
For example, the text here on plagiarism was initially written Gillian Hayes for the Winter 2013 version of her INF 242 class, although some modifications and additions of my own have been integrated into it. The original can be found here: http://www.gillianhayes.com/Inf242w13/, along with Professor Hayes’ own disclaimer that the material has been “generously borrowed and slightly modified from the UTC Center for Advisement and Student Success.”
Oftentimes plagiarism isn’t intentional – it happens because the writer either isn’t in the habit of citation, or because the overhead of citing sources turns the process into a burden. I strenuously advise you to adopt the use of a reference management system if you do not already use one. This is one of the single best investments of your time you can undertake as a graduate student, and it will reward you a thousand times over once you have integrated it into your workflow. There are many great options out there at this point. I used EndNote for a long time, before it got crufty and slow. The university library officially supports Mendeley but I am not particularly familiar with it. I’ve moved all of my bibliographic management tasks over to Zotero in the last year, and I am extremely happy with it: it’s free, it works as both a stand-alone program, and as a browser plug-in, it integrates very smoothly with Word, it has great collaboration support, it has AMAZING citation scrapers for the major online repositories (ACM DL, JSTOR, Springer, etc.), and it has a very complete database of reference formats that are easy to install. Did I mention that it’s FREE? It is! For more information about the options out there, the UCI Library has a good resource here: http://libguides.lib.uci.edu/content.php?pid=19606&sid=583269.