COS Independent Work Seminar:
Apps of Random Kindness

Spring 2016

General Information:

Instructor: Alan Kaplan
ak18 at cs princeton edu
Office Hours: Tuesdays, 4:30pm
Office: 221 Nassau St Room 105 (map | streetview)
Meeting time and place: Thursdays 9:30-10:50AM, Room 301 Computer Science Building
TA: Sunil Pandey
pandey at princeton edu
Office Hours: Mondays, 4:30pm - EQuad F110

Links: Description, Schedule, Resources, FAQ, Piazza


Today there are more than 2.5 billion smartphone users globally, and by 2020, some estimates project over 6 billion smarthphone subscriptions. In 2016, there will be more than 6 billion IoT (Internet of Things) devices, with projections of over 20 billion deployed IoT devices in 2020! This is an incredible number of mobile computers, each with mobile broadband connections, and a host of sensors, including cameras, GPS, accelerometers and barometers. The overall goal of this IW seminar is to design, develop and experiment with mobile technology that can be used to help individuals or communities. The goal is not just to "write an app," but rather to produce some innovative approach to a problem and demonstrate/evaluate its utilty and benefits.

Application areas include, but are not limited to: environment & climate, social activism, civic computing, health care, philanthropy and crowdsourcing. In general, IW projects must have an impact - locally, nationally or even globally.

Students are highly encouraged to use and/or extend open source platforms. Projects can utilize any combination of mobile devices (e.g., Android smartphones), cloud-based backends (e.g., AWS), open APIs/data (many), hardware sensors (e.g., Raspberry Pi), augmented reality (e.g., Google Cardboard) and programmable UAVs.


Date Topic
Feb 1 Information meeting for all IW students (Small Auditorium (COS 105), 4:30-5:30PM)
Feb 4 Introduction
Feb 11 Develop project plans
Feb 18 Develop project plans
Feb 25 Written project proposals due
Feb 25 Proposal talks
Mar 3 Discussion and feedback
Mar 11 Discussion and feedback
Mar 17 Spring break
Mar 24 Demo Day 1
Mar 24 Checkpoint form due
Mar 31 Discussion and feedback
Apr 7 Discussion and feedback
Apr 14 Discussion and feedback
Apr 21 Demo Day 2
Apr 18-22 Oral presentations
Apr 29 Written final report due
May 5-6 Poster session for all IW students




Frequently Asked Questions: