Catalogue of Modules, University of Nottingham

G54UBI Ubiquitous Computing
(Last Updated:03 May 2017)

Year  11/12

Total Credits: 10

Level: Level 4

Target Students:  MSc and Part III undergraduate students only in the School of Computer Science and students enrolled for higher research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD). Also available to students from other Schools with the agreement of the module convenor.  Available to JYA/Erasmus students.

Taught Semesters:

Spring Assessed by end of Spring Semester 

Prerequisites: Or equivalent experience of basic programming


G54PRG Programming 

Summary of Content:  

This module is part of the Human-Computer Interaction theme in the School of Computer Science.

This module will explore the emerging field of ubiquitous computing in which computation spreads away from the desktop to become embedded into the world around us, including into artefacts, furniture, buildings and ultimately into our own bodies. It will explain how ubiquitous computing builds upon mobile computing and differs from other computing paradigms such as the desktop metaphor and virtual reality. It will cover ubiquitous computing concepts, technologies, applications and design methods. Students will understand the variety of networking and sensing technologies that underpin ubiquitous computing, ranging from portable devices such as current mobile phones off-the-shelf PDAs to bespoke research prototypes of wearable and embedded interfaces. The module will cover the distinctive design challenges in this field including designing for public settings, adapting to context and coping with uncertainty in positioning and wireless communications.

Method and Frequency of Class:

ActivityNumber Of WeeksNumber of sessionsDuration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks2 per week1 hour
Computing 7 weeks1 per week1 hour

Activities may take place every teaching week of the Semester or only in specified weeks. It is usually specified above if an activity only takes place in some weeks of a Semester

Further Activity Details:
Practical is every fortnight in the Spring semester

Method of Assessment: 

Assessment TypeWeightRequirements
Coursework 1 100 Ubicomp prototype system design and development; demo session; report, 2000 words max 

Professor C Greenhalgh
Dr D Kirk

Education Aims:  The aims of this module are: To provide an appreciation of the range of issues, techniques and technologies involved in supporting and delivering mobile and ubiquitous computing applications; To enable students to understand the range of networking technologies supporting wireless information access, and appreciate state-of-the-art portable devices from off-the-shelf products to bespoke research prototypes; To enable students to apply a range of design strategies that may be used to support user interaction according to the ubiquitous computing paradigm, and the sensor technologies necessary to implement them.

Learning Outcomes:  Knowledge and understanding : A2 the use of computers in a variety of social, work, educational and business contexts, socio-technical systems, models of work flow and organisations, cooperative work and learning A3 a range of application domains and areas, including communications oriented interfaces, continuous control systems, document oriented systems, embedded systems. A4 alternative techniques for human-machine fit and adaptation, including user training and documentation, system tailorability and adaptability, designing for reliability and error in human systems, designing for different user groups, assistive technologies.

Offering School:  Computer Science

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