These project ideas are targeted at third- and fourth-year computing students at Dublin City University. Some may also be suitable starting points for MSc practicums.

First some general words. My interests are in the areas of Unix (particularly FreeBSD and Linux), computer systems, database management systems, computer networks and web technologies. I’m also interested in anything related to managing or accessing large collections of digital media including photos, music, voice and video.

If you’re interested in one of these projects — or if you have your own idea that you think might interest me — then please get in touch. You can use email, but usually it’s best just to bang on my door (room L1.02).

Important

These ideas are usually just the starting point for discussing a potential project. It usually takes several rounds of discussion to pin down a really good project idea.

Some of these ideas have been implemented previously, with varying degrees of success.

Ideas

Audio Social Updates

I like following the Tour de France, but I’m often too busy to watch all of it.

However, I would like to receive updates if anything of significance happens.

There are a small number of Journalists who cover cycling and are active on Twitter.

Idea

Create and Android app to provide audio updates from selected journalists during sporting events (or similar).

Key point

The app should require little or no custom server infrastructure.

We can do this by layering the apps transport and storage on top of Twitter and Google Drive (or Dropbox).

OpenStreetMap

OpenStreetMap is an incredible but little-known resource. It’s like Wikipedia, but for maps.

All of the data is available to download and use as a vector map (points, lines and polygons).

I don’t have a specific idea, but clearly many projects could be based on this data.

What about a navigation app for hill walking? Google maps can’t do that.

Or what about this…

Get an Arduino and an LED board, and create a navigation app for cycling where the LED board is mounted (somehow) on the handlebars and provides a simple left, right or straight-on indication as you approach a junction.

NFC Tags

NFC tags are cheap, and scanning them is quick and easy.

Think of something interesting you can do with NFC tags.

IFTTT

IFTTT is pretty useful.

What about doing something similar, but without having to authorise a third-party app to access your Google account, or your Dropbox account, and so on.

Instead, all of the orchestration would happen on your phone, and authentication tokens would travel only between your phone and the service provider.

Einstein (Mark II)

If you’ve attended a computer programming module in the school, then you’ve likely used Einstein.

Einstein is kind of hard-wired to our School of Computing environment; e.g. authentication, modules, etc.

It might be useful to build a docker-ised version of something like Einstein, but which could be easily deployed in any number of educational institutions.

Anything else …

If you’ve read this far, you probably have a fairly good idea of the type of project that’s likely to float my boat. So please feel free to suggest your own ideas in which you think I may be interested.