Class Information

Instructor: Professor Ashok Agrawala
Location: CSIC 3118 - Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9:30am-10:45am

Office Hours: By Appointment

Important Links

End of the Semester Activities

  1. Final Exam:
    1. It will be given on May 12th in class. It will be sent to remote locations on the evening of the 11th. The exam requires essay type answers and requires you to share your thinking on some topics. As the time is limited, you have to express your thoughts carefully.
    2. Maryland students may write their answers in an exam book or prepare your answers using a computer and send them to me by e-mail after the exam.
    3. Remote locations should be sending their answers by e-mail.
  2. Projects:
    1. All projects require a report to be submitted by the end of this week (May 15th)
    2. All software developed should be made available so that others can build on it. Please contact us about the logistics of this step.


All groups who have not presented in the last two weeks must present their final update on either May 5th or May 7th.

All groups must prepare a writeup (either documentation or online Wiki) regarding their project.


DateTopicPresenterSlides / Video (>500mb each)
January 27Class Introduction - Dr. Agrawala - [ppt] [pdf]
January 29Introduction to Information Dynamics (1) - Dr. Agrawala - [ppt] [pdf]
February 3Introduction to Information Dynamics (2) - Dr. Agrawala- [Video]
February 5Initial Project Discussions (1) - Groups- [Video]
February 10Titan against Titan ...who's technology will win? - Dr. John Waclawsky (Motorola)- [ppt] [Video]
February 12Initial Project Discussions (2) - Groups- [Video]
February 17Exploring Context - Christian B. Almazan - [ppt] [Video]
February 19Project Discussions - Groups- [Video]
February 24Visual Link Analysis - Christopher Westphal (Visual Analytics)- [ppt] [Video]
February 26Project Discussions - Groups- [Video]
March 3Information Dynamics (3) - Dr. Agrawala
March 5Project Discussions - Groups
March 10Titan Against Titan ... (2) - Dr. John Waclawsky (Motorola)- [ppt]
March 12Project Discussions - Groups- [Video]
March 24Context-Aware Computing
- Jari Multisilta (Tampere University of Technology, Finland)
- Mary Lee Kingsley
- [Hyperlinking Reality Video] [Image Space Video] [Indoor Positioning Video] [Sports Tracker]
- [Slides]
- [Video]
March 26Project Discussions - Groups- [Video]
March 31The Future of Information - Dr. Agrawala- [Slides] [Video]
April 2Project / Quality of Life Discussions - Groups- [Video]
April 7e-Governance - D.N. Gupta (ISID, New Delhi)- [Slide Set 1] [Slide Set 2] [Video]
April 9Project Discussions - Groups-
April 14Time in Systems - Prof. Agrawala- [Slides] [Video (1)]
April 16Time in Systems (2) - Prof. Agrawala- [Video]
April 21Information Organization - Neha Gupta- [Slides] [Video]
April 23Project Discussions - Groups- [Video]
April 28Microsoft Unlimited Potential Initiative - Anoop Gupta (Microsoft)- [Slides] [Video]
April 30Project Discussions - Groups- [Video]
May 5End of Semester Discussions - Everyone- [Video]
May 7End of Semester Discussions - Everyone- [Video]
May 12Final Exam - Class


It has been stated that in the history of mankind no technology has had such a rapid growth, such a rapid deployment and such a far reaching impact on mankind on a global scale as the information technology since its inception about 5 decades ago. Nearly all aspects of this technology have shown an exponential growth and the impact of the ready access to world-wide information through the Internet has been felt in the remotest corners of the world. Clearly, this technology is impacting most aspects of our life today. However, as most of the growth has been driven by the economic aspects, there has not been any comprehensive look at the technology and its impact on mankind. It seems that the full potential of what can be done with information technology to improve the quality of life has not been realized. At least that is the premise of this course in which we intend to study the question of how the information technology can be used to improve the quality of life of mankind. We propose to explore the answers to this question through a deep understanding of the nature of information itself and its relationship to our daily functions/operations/requirements, etc.

While information technology has to its credit many major achievements, it has not been able to replace man in the loop for many problems. We intend to study the fundamental limitations of the information technology and address the question of what all can be done within the limitations of this technology.


The methodology we intend to follow is that of lectures, group studies, research and exploration, building of proof of concept systems using available test beds and other facilities, etc. The participants will be organized in groups of 3-4 and each group will undertake a specific area to explore with specific assignments each week. Typically one of the two sessions each week will be devoted to a lecture and the other session will be used for groups to report the findings of the previous week.


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