University of Pittsburgh

ACIE Award 2011

Software as a Service for Mobile Computing

Insert Name

Jingtao Wang

Computer Science
5423 Sennott Square

Watch the above video to learn more about Wang's project.

Jingtao Wang, Computer Science, recognized that the public demand for portable devices such as the iPhone, Android, and iPad created a need for developers who can design mobile applications. The skills traditionally taught for building desktop computer applications are not transferrable to mobile applications. The ACIE award Software as a Service for Mobile Computing, focused on the development of CS 1635: Designing, Prototyping and Evaluating Mobile Interfaces.  CS 1635 will enable students to contribute to current projects in research labs on and off campus, while learning the skills they need to be competitive and successful in the job market.

Mobile Devices

Examples of devices that require mobile applications.

Wang had four goals in mind while developing the course:

  1. Develop a new upper-level undergraduate course to teach students critical techniques on how to design, prototype and evaluate mobile applications effectively.
  2. Identify, create and maintain a library of mobile interface design patterns via case studies of highly successful mobile applications.
  3. Explore usage of a class-specific Question and Answer web site for knowledge discovery and expertise sharing among students.
  4. Bootstrap a community of mobile developers at the University of Pittsburgh and enable a new platform for a broad range of research collaborations.

Wang believes that treating mobile devices as a smaller version of PCs is not the right approach for learning, because people use these technologies very differently.  Current information on mobile development focuses on how to use specific application programming interfaces (APIs), rather than how to design and mobilize applications that meet users’ needs.  Wang receives requests from outside companies as well as internal researchers seeking students with these skills.   This course will make it easier for Wang to train 20 – 40 students each semester, giving students the technical know-how they need to be able to work on projects and explore the newest frontier in computer science.

Final Report

Teaching Times Article