Syllabus - Computer Science 378 - Mobile Computing
 The University of Texas at Austin ∑ Fall 2012

Objectives: An introduction to mobile computing with a strong emphasis on application development for the Android operating system. Students will complete a major project with the goal of releasing an app on the Android Market place. Topics will include Android Development Environment, user interfaces, audio, persistence, SQLite databases, location, sensors, and graphics.

Prerequisites: Upper Division CS Standing, Suggested: completion or co-enrollment in CS439.

Lecture: 53110, MWF 2 - 3 pm, PAI 3.14
Lab Times: Some Friday class times are dedicated to lab time for work on tutorials and projects.  PAI 5.38 teaching lab (I will be available in the lab noon - 4 pm on Fridays.)

Instructor: Mike Scott, <> Painter Hall 5.68,
Office Hours: MW 3 - 4:30  pm Painter Microlab (5th floor lab), Fridays 12 - 4 pm,  and by appointment. Email me for an appointment.

Teaching Assistant: Nathan Clement , ,  Lab hours: Monday 10 am - 12 noon, Thursday 1 - 4 pm

Textbook (Required):

Recommended Books: (at most one of these)

Website: Course materials and announcements are available there.

Computing Facilities:

Android Device: You are NOT required to have an Android Device. Development can be done on the Android Emulator. However there is no substitute for testing on a real device. There will be multiple Android dev phones and tablets available for checkout during lab hours. Phones must be returned to the instructor by the end of the day.

Software: Application development will use Java. The Microlab computers in Painter are set up to do Android programming. If you want to work on your own machine you will need the following. (all of these are freely available)

Class Discussion Tool: I have set up a discussion group for the class on Piazza.

Schedule: A schedule of lecture topics, reading assignments, and assignment distribution and due dates is available online, via the class web page,  The schedule lists topics and readings. The schedule is subject to change.

Assignments and Projects (Listed by Due Date)
Topic Due Date Points
App Review Mon. 9/10 50
Tutorial 1 Fri. 9/14 25
Tutorial 2 Fri. 9/21 50
Tutorial 3 Fri. 9/28 50
App Proposals Mon. 10/1 125
Tutorial 4 Fri. 10/5 50
Tutorial 5 Fri. 10/19 50
App Paper Prototype / Mock Up Wed. 10/17 50
Tutorial 6 Fri. 10/26 50
Alpha Release Fri 11/9 100
Alpha Release Evaluations Mon. 11/19 50
How To Page Wed. 11/28 50
Beta Release Mon. 12/3 200
Web Ad Fri. 12/7 50
Beta Release Evaluations Fri. 12/7 50

Academic Honesty: Taken from the CS department Code of Conduct.

"The University and the Department are committed to preserving the reputation of your degree. It means a lot to you. In order to guarantee that every degree means what it says it means, we must enforce a strict policy that guarantees that the work that you turn in is your own and that the grades you receive measure your personal achievements in your classes:

Every piece of work that you turn in with your name on it must be yours and yours alone unless explicitly allowed by an instructor in a particular class. Specifically, unless otherwise authorized by an instructor:

You are responsible for complying with this policy in two ways:

  1. You must not turn in work that is not yours, except as expressly permitted by the instructor of each course.
  2. You must not enable someone else to turn in work that is not theirs. Do not share your work with anyone else. Make sure that you adequately protect all your files. Even after you have finished a class, do not share your work or published answers with the students who come after you. They need to do their work on their own.

The penalty for academic dishonesty will be a course grade of F and a referral of the case to the Dean of Students. Further penalties, including suspension or expulsion from the university may be imposed by that office.

One final word: This policy is not intended to discourage students from learning from each other, nor is it unmindful of the fact that most significant work in computer science and in the computing industry is done by teams of people working together. But, because of our need to assign individual grades, we are forced to impose an otherwise artificial requirement for individual work. In some classes, it is possible to allow and even encourage collaboration in ways that do not interfere with the instructor's ability to assign grades. In these cases, your instructor will make clear to you exactly what kinds of collaboration are allowed for that class."

For CS378 I expect you to complete the tutorials on your using the provided code when given. For your projects I expect you to do significant work on your own. You can use class examples and examples from the web, but these must be documented. To be clear, a significant amount of work on your project must be your own.

For more information on Scholastic Dishonesty see the University Policy on Scholastic Dishonesty

Important Dates for Changing Academic Status and Dropping the Course: Refer to the Registrar's academic calendar for the deadlines for changes in academic status. Highlights are:

Students experiencing significant nonacademic problems (extended health problems or family emergencies) should contact the CNS Deanís Office (WCH 1.106, (512) 471-4536) or the Dean of Studentís Office ( for assistance.

See the College of Natural Science Guidelines and Procedures page for more information. (

Religious Holidays: By UT Austin policy, you must notify me of your pending absence at least fourteen days prior to the date of observance of a religious holy day. If you must miss a class, an examination, a work assignment, or a project in order to observe
a religious holy day, you will be given an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time after the absence.

Students with Disabilities: students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259,

Many thanks to Professor Frank McCown of Harding University and Professor David Janzen of Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo for sharing their materials with me.

To the CS 378 home page