Class Information

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

Office Hours: By Appointment

Class Forum:


April 13: Milestone 7 has been posted. It is due on the last day of class, Tuesday, May 11.


Next Milestones: Milestone 6 Due on Tuesday, April 13.
Project Information (pdf) [Last Updated: March 30, 2010]
Please put [CMSC818G] in the subject line for all e-mail communication, thanks!

All project documentation, code, milestone submissions, and other information is at:

Important Links

MyeVyu Information:


DateTopicPresenterSlides / Video (>500mb each)
January 26   Class Introduction   Dr. Agrawala   Slides [pptx] [pdf]
January 28   Information Dynamics   Dr. Agrawala   Slides [pptx] [pdf] - Video [avi]
February 2   Information Dynamics (Continued)   Dr. Agrawala   Slides [pptx] [pdf] - Video [part 1] [part 2]
   Context-Security Study   Gleneesha Johnson   Slides [ppt] [pdf]
February 4   Introduction to Rover   Christian B. Almazan   Slides [pptx] [pdf] - Video [avi]
February 16   Information Dynamics (Continued)   Dr. Agrawala   Slides [pptx] [pdf] - Video [avi]
February 18   Project Introductions   Groups    Video [wmv]
February 23   Information Dynamics (Continued)   Dr. Agrawala   Slides [pptx] [pdf] - Video [wmv]
February 25   Thoughts on Context   Christian B. Almazan   Slides [pptx] [pdf] - Video [wmv]
March 2   Project Updates   Groups   Video [wmv]
March 4   Project Updates   Groups   Video [wmv]
   Thoughts on Education   Dr. Agrawala   -
March 9   Critiques Discussion   Groups   Video [wmv]
March 11   Virtual Time   Dr. Agrawala   Slides [pptx] [pdf] - Video [wmv]
March 23   Visual Link Analysis   Chris Westphal [Visual Analytics]   Video [wmv]
March 25   Time-Based Location   Matthew Mah   Slides [pdf] - Video [wmv]
March 30   Peace   Dr. John Grayzel   Video [wmv]
April 1   RSSI-based Location   Dr. Agrawala   Slides [pptx] [pdf] - Video [wmv]
April 6   What is Quality of "Service"?   Dr. John Waclawsky   Video [wmv]
April 8   Project Progress Presentation   Students   Video [wmv]
April 13   Intellectual Property   Dr. John Waclawsky   Video [wmv]
April 15   Groups' Poster Presentations   Strdent groups   Video [wmv Part 1 Part 2]
April 20   Sharing Information   Dr. Agrawala   Video [wmv]
April 22   Thinking About Planning   Dr. Agrawala   Video [wmv]
April 27   Geolocation Standards and Privacy   Richard Barnes [Raytheon/BBN]   Slides [ppt] - Video - [ wmv Part 1 Part 2]
April 29   Technology-Mediated Social/Civic Participation    Dr. Ben Shneiderman   Slides [ppt] - Video [wmv]
May 4   Working in the Very Large   John-Francis Mergen   [ppt] - Video [wmv]
May 6   Final Presentations   Groups   Video [wmv Part 1 Part 2 Part 3]
May 11   TBD   TBA   -
May 14   Final Exam   Students   8:00am to 10:00am, Same Lecture Room


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 testbeds and other facilities, etc. The participants will be organized in groups of 2, possibly 3, and each group will undertake a specific area to explore.