The Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) program unites undergraduate education and faculty research in a team-based context. As a VIP student you earn academic credits, while working in a VIP-team connected to a research project.

About Vertically Integrated Projects

VIP provide a multi-year, multidisciplinary approach to learning that is project-based, innovative, and research-active.  It is an opportunity for you to practice professional skills while making real-world contributions in a research context. You will be working with researchers and students from all levels of study. 

Vertically Integrated Projects are:

  • Ambitious: Embedded in faculty scholarship and exploration
  • Collaborative: Enabled by vertical integration of teams
  • Large-scale: Teams can have dozens of students
  • Long-term: They span semesters, even years
  • Multidisciplinary: Students from many different programs participate

Courses

VIP: Research integrated development project, basic course

VIP: Research integrated development project, continuing course

The VIP teams

Real Time Web Based Pervasive Games

Goals

This team will design, create and assess real time web based pervasive games.

  • Real Time: We will use the Websockets technology to program apps that allow real time communication between players.
  • Web Based: All our apps and games will be browser-based. We will not work with native apps.
  • Pervasive Games: Our games will blend the digital (web based) and the real world. See Wikipedia for an introduction to the concept (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pervasive_game)

We prefer to develop games that have a goal other than just having fun (think gamification). The course includes lectures and workshops and it revolves around a project. You may carry out your Bachelor’s or Master’s thesis in connection with this course (without actually taking the course). In that case you will participate in some of the lectures, workshops and meetings but carry out your own project. You will not be a part of the groups mentioned below but may work closely with them.

Research, design or technical issues involved or addressed

The team will research different of the design and implementation of time web based pervasive games.
Design: Based on existing research, and through an analysis of our own and others’ pervasive games, we seek to create a dictionary of basic components.
Implement and evaluate: Develop games and integrated assessment methods in parallel, so as to assess the game’s impact (in terms of, for instance: engagement with the game, learning outcomes, etc).

Methods, technology and approaches

Methods: Research through design, Code development, Outcome assessments (interviews, questionnaires, observation)
Technologies: Real Time Web Communication, responsive web app design and development (HTML, CSS, Javascript), Game Design, Media Production

Students' knowledge and areas of interest

This is a rather presence-intensive course. We have lectures, workshops or meetings usually twice per week and all are compulsory. As long as Covid-restrictions are in place we will meet via Zoom, but this may change depending on university-wide decisions. The team consists of people with different skill sets. There will be a UX-group, a development-group, an event-group and a project assistant manager. To become a member of this team you need to apply to one of the groups below. I will hold interviews with you before you are admitted to the team.

UX-group
The design group will be formed by 2-3 students. They will design the user (player) experience but not necessarily the game itself (rules, mechanics, etc). They do not need to know how to program JS but it would be a plus. Students that apply to this group need to send a portfolio that showcases their work with graphic and interaction design as well as user experience. The solution must be sent as a zip-file to erik.pineiro@mau.se before Dec, 1st. The zip-file must be smaller than 5Mb. Students will be admitted to the group based partly on their portfolio.

Development group
The development group will be formed by 3-10 students. They will program the app(s) that go with the game(s). Students that apply to this group need to send a portfolio that showcases their experience of coding in HTML, CSS & JS. The portfolio should be sent to erik.pineiro@mau.se before Dec, 1st. It must not be larger than 5Mb. Students will be admitted to the group based on their portfolio. Students in this group do not need to know before-hand how to program web-based real-time communication. Learning how to do this will be part of the course. They need however to have a good level of HTML, CSS and JS. They should for instance be able to, on their own, code an app as the one presented in this example: Same Taste App.

Event group
The event-group will be formed by 2-3 students. They will establish and manage the communication with the target group: identify them, find ways to communicate with them, create marketing material, interest them in our game(s), set up test-events, organise game-event(s), etc. This group could also be called “customer account management and marketing.” You should not apply to this group if you do not like making cold calls, meeting with people you do not know, etc. Students that apply to this group need to send a motivation letter explaining why they want to participate in this group. The solution must be sent as a zip-file to erik.pineiro@mau.se before Dec, 1st. Students will be admitted to the group based partly on the solution they submit.

Project Assistant Manager
The team will have one project assistant manager. S/he will be the instructor’s assistant in all that regards the creation of the game(s): s/he is expected to plan and follow up everything that happens in the project. Please note that there is a difference between the course (lectures, examinations, etc) and the project (the game(s) we will develop).
This person must:
A. Be very dedicated to the project
B. Have a complete overview of the project of what goes on in each of the groups
C. Be good listener
D. Be able to set and enforce deadlines
E. Have a good mind for organisation and leadership
There are no specific knowledge requirements for this post.
It’s desirable (but not required) that the project assistant manager knows how to program in JS. Students that apply to this group need to send a motivation letter and a CV explaining why they want to participate in the team and why they want to be Project Assistant Manager. The letter must be sent to erik.pineiro@mau.se before Dec, 1st. The student will be admitted based partly on the letter they submit.

Partners:
Data Society (MAU), Computational Media Lab (Media Technology, MAU)

Instructors:

Erik Pineiro

Contact:

Erik Pineiro 

Machine Intelligence

Goals 

To develop innovative solutions for real-world application domains, building upon the state-of-the-art available technologies in machine learning and artificial intelligence, coupled with our novel research ideas and hypothesis, towards addressing important societal challenges.

Research, design or technical issues involved or addressed

The team will tackle problems where the research and development of smart autonomous systems can play a key role with respect to today’s societal challenges and overall human well-being. The scope of research topics includes AI sub-areas such as (but not limited to):

  • image and video processing
  • visual scene analysis and interpretation      
  • audio/speech/natural language processing
  • activity recognition
  • recommender systems
  • deep reinforcement learning and planning      
  • deep neural networks
  • multi-agent (systems) learning
  • block-chain technologies

Methods, technology and approaches

The work carried out within the Machine Intelligence team has a strong focus on data science methods and practices, as well as hands-on experience with tools for data analysis and visualisation.

Projects are mainly focussed on software development based on existing open source frameworks (cloud computing platforms, such as AWS; big data frameworks, such as Spark, Google Colab), as well as potentially deploying solutions for embedded systems when needed (for example, using RaspberryPi). Existing AXIS camera setups in MAH (IOTAP lab and Library) will be made available to students, as well as other hardware components that may be required.

Resulting work will be properly documented and persisted for further development and demonstration purposes as part of the course report. Students having completed a project with the Machine Intelligence team under the VIP course, are encouraged to continue development of those projects as their final thesis project.

Student’s knowledge and areas of interest

  • experience with or willingness to learn machine learning, artificial intelligence and data analytics concepts and methods
  • experience with or willingness to get familiar with key programming tools and frameworks for ML/AI development

Partners

Preliminary: AXIS, Apptus, Sigma Technology (potentially)

Academic projects: DISS-project, ECOS-project

Instructor 

Radu Mihailescu

Contact

Radu Mihailescu

 

Smart Campus

Goals

  • support people getting to places by potentially influencing equipment, such as the elevators
  • support finding colleagues/lecturers/staff and most suitable study/work place for current task
  • understand usage, for example, for replanning/rebuilding
  • optimise usage, facility maintenance and cleaning
  • monitor number of people per floor for safety/evacuation purposes
  • virtually bring the campus together (many buildings at different locations)
  • smart meeting rooms, such as, equipment configuration and control
  • let personal/group preferences influence actuation of devices, for example, lights, window blinds, temperature, and ventilation

Research, design or technical issues involved or addressed

Smart Campus team members will propose projects in:

  • smart education
  • smart building
  • IoT flipped classroom
  • smart parking 
  • Smart transport - to and from and within Campus
  • IoT orangery
  • building control, for example, shades and ventilation

Projects include hardware and software development, app development, prototyping, proof of concept, problem solving, and service development by applying approaches and methods in:

  • machine learning
  • agent-based learning
  • optimisation and simulation system
  • sensors, sensor networks
  • interaction technology
  • communications

Methods, technology and approaches

The methods, technologies, and approaches will be discussed between the students and instructors of each project at the early stages.

The hardware components required for a project on Smart Campus will be provided to the students, this includes, development boards such as ESP boards or Arduino, various sensors, wireless communication technologies such as ZigBee, Bluetooth/BLE, nrf modules.

It is also required that all data captured during different phases of project, programming codes, algorithms be stored in a network drive to keep all the files available for future uses, demonstration, and development.

The team of students completed a project on the Smart Campus under the VIP course are encouraged to continue development of those projects as their final thesis project.

Student’s knowledge and Areas of Interest

A team of students working on a particular project in the Smart Campus needs to have knowledge, understanding and experience in smaller project/s with a focus on one or more of the following research areas and show creativity in solving problems:

  • IoT
  • machine learning
  • agent-based learning
  • optimisation and simulation system
  • sensors and sensor networks
  • interaction technology
  • mobile app development
  • communications

Partners

Preliminary industry partners: Sigma connectivity and Axis and academically IoTaP-subproject DISS.

Instructors

Reza Malekian, Jan Persson, Radu-Casian Mihailescu, Simon Siggelsten

Contact

Reza Malekian

Digital Transformation for Value Creation

Goals

  • Explore the impacts of digital transformation on (business) organizations, e.g. barriers as drivers.
  • Strive to work together with external partners, both national and international
  • Research how digital technologies transform value creations and offering.

    Our first project will be in collaboration with Åkermount Consulting to explore how visitors of a sports event can be attracted by a more digital experience.

Research, design or technical issues involved or addressed

The team will research

  • Different theoretical lenses such as sociomateriality and socio-technological views.
  • The impact of barriers and drivers on businesses, NPOs, higher education etc. by using quantitative and qualitative approaches
  • Digital technologies and their application in a business context. 

Methods, technology and approaches

Mixed-Methods approaches. Sensors, CPS, Social Media, AI, etc. Data analysis tools such as Nvivo, SPSS. Concepts like Porter’s Value Chain, BMC or IS success as analysis tools.

Student’s knowledge and Areas of Interest

Students with background in business studies or related knowledge, such as leadership and organization.

Partners

  • Data Society (MAU), Computational Media Lab (Media Technology, MAU)
  • Åkermount Consulting (Anders Åkerberg)
  • Osnabrück University (Kristin Vogelsang, Henning Brink)
  • Supply Chain 4.0 Network

Instructors

Sven Packmohr

 

How can I be a part of VIP?

Follow these steps to join a VIP team

  1. Choose a VIP-team that you would like to be part of. Email the team instructor and Maria Engberg with the following information: 
    • What do you study now?
    • In a few sentences, tell us why you have chosen this team and what you think you can contribute.
  2. Apply to the VIP course that suits your level of study experience, depending on the credits you have. All new students apply to the course VIP: Research Integrated Development Project. Students who have already taken the basic course, should apply to the continuing course VIP: Research Integrated Development Project, continuing course
  3. Come to the introduction meeting about VIP. You will receive more information about the meeting when you are accepted to the VIP course.
  4. Participate in VIP courses/VIP teams for several semesters in a row.

For more information about the VIP-program, please contact Maria Engberg or Erik Pineiro