NDAK16004U Mobile Computing (MC)

Volume 2020/2021

MSc Programme in Computer Science


The course gives an overview of mobile computing interfaces, focusing on both mobile phones and more recent mobile technologies, such as smart watches and augmented reality interfaces. The course sheds light on two fundamental aspects of mobile computing: (1) the technological foundations of mobile computing interfaces; and (2) the user interface requirements for such novel computing interfaces.

The course contains advanced material on both technological foundations and interaction styles on mobile interfaces. In more detail, the following will be addressed in the course:

  • Overview of mobile network and communication architectures: WiFi, GSM, and UMTS.
  • Software architectures and development on mobile devices: differences to desktop computer interfaces.
  • Hardware and software requirements for mobile devices: compensating for slower processors, battery-life, and limited screen sizes.
  • New input and interaction styles: sensors, touch, and the mobile device’s camera.
  • Evaluations of mobile interfaces: laboratory evaluations vs. studying in the wild.
Learning Outcome

Knowledge of

  • Functionalities of mobile networks.
  • Challenges particular to mobile user interfaces.


Skills in

  • Building prototypes for mobile device platforms.
  • Performing an evaluation of the created prototype.


Competences in

  • Designing mobile applications for a range of user interfaces.
  • Selecting appropriate measures for evaluating these interfaces/prototypes.

Material will be based on slides, and scientific papers centered around mobile computing topics as outlined in the course content description.

See Absalon for a list of course literature.

It is strongly suggested that students have participated in a fundamental Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) course, e.g., Interaction Design. Advanced Topics in Human-Centered Computing (ATHCC) is also relevant.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
Lectures will alternate between technical foundations and user interface challenges. During some of the lectures, students will give presentations on their progress on their project and their report (developing and evaluating a rough mobile device prototype).
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 36
  • Preparation
  • 44
  • Project work
  • 115
  • Exam Preparation
  • 10
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes
Written assignment
The exam consists of two parts:

1) The group project report, which is designed and written during the course. The report is to be submitted one week before the examination day

2) The oral examination is without preparation and is based on the group project report.

The project report should describe and reflect on the design, implementation, and evaluation of a user interface for a mobile device. The project report will be centered around a topic in mobile computing interfaces, which will cover the content of the course.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.

A 20 minutes oral examination based on the project report.

The report must be resubmitted individually or as a group report (no later than two weeks before the re-exam week) for the student to qualify for the re-exam.

Criteria for exam assesment

In order to earn the grade 12, students must demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competences described in the Learning Outcome.