Students will study Android APIs and learn to build significant Android applications. The course will have a practical focus, with significant in-class programming, programming assignments and a large project (optionally with a partner). The course philosophy is that programming is learned by doing. While the course focuses on Android, we will learn general principles of software engineering and mobile app development.
The course assumes familiarity with programming and object oriented terminology. It assumes some familiarity with the Java programming language. If you are weak on Java, please study up. It does not assume any previous experience with Android programming.
|Zhiting Zhufirstname.lastname@example.org||Office Hours: Wednesday 3pm-4pm in GDC 1.302 (Desk 2)|
|Emmett Witchel||witchel AT cs DOT utexas DOT edu||GDC 6.432||Tuesday 2:00pm-3:15pm (or just send an email for an appointment)|
|Sometimes I am just down the hall at GDC 6.440 talking to graduate students.|
There are many excellent Android programming books out there, and I encourage you to visit your local bookstore and figure out which one will work for you. They have different approaches, for example, some emphasize principles and some emphasize recipies. You should judge which approach works for your learning style. One trick that I use when evaluating a book is to have some specific question, like how does this book explain content providers? Then see if the book has a reasonable answer to your question. Here are two ideas.
Derek Banas has done a series of Android tutorial videos on youtube, which I found useful, though they are a touch dated. Here is the first one.
You will probably find the Android documentation essential, and I will often include links to their excellent documentation.
You do not need an Android device for this class. However, you might enjoy using one for development. There are a variety of inexpensive devices available, some subsidized by showing you ads on the lock screen.
We have a CS 371M Mobile Computing class in piazza (piazza.com) for this course (link). We will use that forum to communicate about the course, and you are expected to keep up with announcements on that site.
Piazza is great for general questions and clarification. It is not appropriate for you to post specific code and ask your fellow students to debug it.
Feel free to use your own computers, or the CS department has labs.
Android studio isn't great about shared installation, so to use the CS version, you need to set up first. Please email email@example.com to set up an "account." This involves making a directory for you that will store your personalizations for Android studio. Once your account is created, launch Android studio and follow these steps.
If you want to develop on your own machine (recommended), download the Java development platform, called Java SE SDK. Then download Android Studio as a development environment. We will spend most of our time in this class in Android Studio. Within Android Studio be sure to download the hardware-assisted emulator (most likely the HAXM installer for Intel x86), if supported by your hardware. Here there is help on how to get started with downloading and installing Android Studio.
If you have a laptop, please download and install Android Studio. It can be a time consuming process (and it can consume significant bandwidth). We will use Android Studio extensively for in-class programming. It will behoove you to have it updated before class. Bear in mind that Android Studio updates freqeuently and the updates are often worth tracking (you also need to run the standalone SDK Manager from within the GUI and then update it seperately). Please plan ahead. For example, if we have a flipped classroom activity, you should update Android Studio the night before. Here is a link that explains how to update SDK tools. Use the stable channel.
Android studio contains a nice emulator for Android devices. We specify that all programming assignments will be graded on the following virtual device.
You should create a device with the above configuration for testing. If we are doing work that requires different devices (e.g., different screen sizes), we will tell you. Our standard tablet will be a Nexus 10 with a 2560x1600 display and otherwise the same spec's as the Pixel 2 with 800MB internal storage and 500MB external.
The course uses the git software version control system. You can find much tutorial information for git on the Internet. For example, here is a nice visual tutorial on git branching, and here is a nice description of the model.
The course will host all code on github, so you must make an account. Go here..
Our workflow with github is documented here .
Here are some command lines, for reference. Please remember to push your code after commit.
We will post an invitation link on Piazza for each homework and flipped classroom. Github will create a repo for you after you accept the assignment. The repo will contain all the starter code and resources that you need to start your project. If there's anything missing, we will post it to Canvas.
We will hold several flipped classroom activities where students will program in class and the course staff will assist them. There will be a clear assignment and a starting point for the code. Your flipped classroom experience will improve if you have a good laptop.
Here are the rules for a flipped classroom.
The home works start easy, but get quite difficult, so budget your time accordingly.
Students are encouraged to talk to each other, to the course staff, or to anyone else about any of the assignments. Assistance must be limited to discussion of the problem and sketching general approaches to a solution. Each student must write out his or her own solutions to the homework.
The department student code of conduct is here. Here is a nice quotation, "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."
If you are not sure about whether some form of collaboration is acceptable, please ask.
Students may not acquire from any source (e.g., another student or an internet site) a partial or complete solution to a problem or project that has been assigned. You cannot simply search for homework/lab answers and turn that work in as your own. If you do so, you will be caught and you will get an F on the assignment and possibly in the course. I take academic honesty very seriously. I will look for any form of cheating and if found, I will persue it, and it will be painful for the guilty party.
Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 512-471-6259,
Assignments are due exactly at the indicated deadline. Any project submitted after the deadline, even by a trivial amount, will be counted as 1 day late. Technical failure of devices or services does not excuse you from a deadline, so please finish your work with time to spare
If you are having difficulty submitting for some technical reason, the best course of action is to email the TA with your solution attached. Emailed solutions received after the deadline may still be counted as late.
For each day that an assignment is late the maximum score achievable will be reduced by 15% (with an eventual bottom around 15%). But no matter how late it gets, I encourage you to finish all course work. In this class it is always better to submit work than not to submit it. You will get some point value for all correct work submitted.
When you turn in a late assignment, it is imperative that you inform the TA (via email) that you have done so. Assignments are collected by a script which runs at the deadline, so late assignments may not be discovered by the grader unless you send an email.
I want you to do the work for this class. It is always better to turn in an assignment than not. Let course staff know if you are having problems keeping up.
All students are granted a total of 3 slip days over the course of the semester. A slip day negates the penalty of turning in an assignment late by one day (which is up to 24 hours from the due time). Slip days may not be used for the final project. Slip days are atomic, if you are 5 minutes late an entire slip day must be used.
Slip days will not be automatically used when you turn in a late assignment. In order to use a Slip Day, include a note in your email to the TA when you inform him that you have turned in a late assignment.
You are expected to be able to manage the source code for your homework and projects. That means you should make redundant backup copies, so the failure of the flash drive that you bring to campus (for example) should not mean that you have lost all of your work. This problem should be obviated by the course's git repository, which we encourage you to use for development. You must use it to submit your work.
A seemingly common problem when submitting code is that it simply will not build. These errors fall into two categories.
Your final grade for the course will be based on the following factors. I use plus and minuses in my grades. I present approximate weights to give you some sense of the relative importance of assignments, but common sense applies. Attendance is mandatory and counts toward your grade.
Everybody makes mistakes. If you think your assignment was not correctly graded please contact the TA via email.
We thank Derek Bana's youtube videos and a big thanks to UT's Mike Scott for his version of the course. A bit of the course is copied from Stanford's CS 193A, Android App Development (Winter 2015). We really appreciate that the course authors have released their content under a creative commons attribution 2.5 license. To comply with the license, we link to the license, give Stanford credit, do not use the materials for commercial purposes, and distribute our own version of the materials under the same license. We have modified the originals in a variety of places.
Last updated: 2018-02-20 20:10:50 -0600 [validate xhtml]