Summer Intern position in Mobile Awareness

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Update: This intern slot has been filled.

This is the first of a series of posts advertising internship positions at FXPAL for the summer of 2010. Other posts will follow next week. A listing of all internship positions currently posted is available here.

Effective communication among workers is the backbone of any successful organization. It is essential for enabling people to build common ground, to create and develop new ideas, and to develop the complex interpersonal relationships that are critical in helping workers share and combine expertise.

To explore this space, we have been building MyUnity, a new system that aids workers in building group awareness. The system uses multiple sources, both automatic and user-provided, to report colleagues’ location, availability, current tasks, and preferred communication channels. Information is aggregated, fused and presented as a simple presence state for each worker. Workers can independently control what information is collected by the system, allowing them to participate in the system without compromising their privacy.

As workers become more distributed and mobile, the need for technology-assisted awareness tools becomes crucial. This need will be the central focus for the next phase of the Unity Project: to leverage and extend the Unity system to better support awareness on-the-go. The intern will work with a group of researchers to design and implement a mobile application that serves as a source of sensor data for the Unity system, and also provides users with awareness of workplace activity while they are away from the office. Development will take place on one or more mobile platform such as an iPhone, Google Android, or Windows Mobile.  The intern will have an opportunity to take the lead in writing up the work for publication at a top-tier conference.

Prospective candidates should be enrolled in a PhD program and should have significant experience in software development on mobile devices. Expertise in HCI and evaluation is also desirable.

The intern will be hosted by Jacob Biehl. For more information on the FXPAL internship program, please visit our web site.

> Effective communication among workers is the backbone of any
> successful organization. It is essential for enabling people to build
> common ground, to create and develop new ideas, and to develop the
> complex interpersonal relationships that are critical in helping
> workers share and combine expertise. An important building block of
> effective communication is ongoing group awareness, including
> knowledge of co-workers and their current activities, projects, and
> how individual actions may affect others.
>
> As workers become more distributed and mobile, the need for
> technology-assisted awareness tools becomes crucial. The goal of this
> intern project is to leverage and extend the Unity system to better
> support awareness on-the-go. The intern will develop a mobile
> application that serves as a source of sensor data for the Unity
> system, and also provides users with awareness of workplace activity
> while they are away from the office. The intern will work with a team
> of researchers to build and evaluate one or more applications for a
> mobile platform such as an iPhone, Google Android, or Windows Mobile,
> and will take the lead in writing up the work for publication at a
> top-tier conference. The intern will be hosted by Jacob Biehl.

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