ITIC Student Projects

The  IT Innovation Centre in IT Services offers a range of projects to students interested in the following areas:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Big Data
  • Data Mining
  • Gamification
  • Human Computer Interaction: gesture controlled (LeapMotion), touchables (touch tables…), wearables (GoogleGlass, OculusRift)…
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Internet of Things
  • Virtual Labs
  • Brain Computer Interfaces
  • Mobile Technologies

We will also accept students’ ideas for projects with innovation value.

Please note: These projects are co-supervised by the IT Innovation Centre AND an academic supervisor in the School of Computer Science. To find out more email Nandy Millan, IT Innovation Manager,  at n.millan@bham.ac.uk

Completed Student Projects


Year  Student Name  Project
 2015-16       Matthew Riley  How Can Phishing Attacks Be Reduced At the University of Birmingham? 
 2014-15  Alan Cheng  University Open Day Info App for Google Glass
 2014-15  Bruno Kancelskis Mouta  Gesture Controlled Technologies- Myo Evaluation
 2013-14  Lakshmi Gopalarakrishnan  Brain Computer Interface: An investigation in to BCI
 2013-14  Rameez Shafshad  Splunk Evaluation
 2013-14  Xiaohua Yang  Mobile App. to support eLearning
 2013-14  Junlong Shu  Gesture Input
 2013-14  Dong Hou  Personalised UoB News aggregator

 

Student Projects 2017

Project Title

Project Description

University of Birmingham Virtual Lab

The University is investing in a Collaborative Teaching Laboratory (CTL) facility, bringing together teaching activities across a broad range of science and engineering disciplines.

The vision for the CTL is to become a hub for science & engineering teaching, with multifunctional labs suitable for subject-specific and cross-disciplinary teaching and team working; social and break-out spaces to support informal learning; modern, state-of-the-art space to support the needs of diverse learners; and multi-functional space to reach out to schools and non-science students. 

The CTL vision addresses the challenge of handling increased demand for STEM at a time when both pedagogy and technology are changing rapidly. Drawing on lessons from similar national and international facilities, the CTL will replace traditional, discipline-specific labs, and will allow for a range of innovative teaching methods to be used, beyond the “classical bench laboratory” model. The use of modern, high tech IT systems (especially virtual technologies) will enhance laboratory experience and increase infrastructure sustainability. Furthermore it will reflect industry working practices by offering opportunities to practise inter-disciplinary working. 

This project will look at prototyping ideas using virtual reality, immersive technologies, gesture controlled or any innovative use of educational technology in the classroom. 

Electronic Notebooks for

UoB Collaborative Teaching Lab(CTL)

The University is investing in a Collaborative Teaching Laboratory (CTL) facility, bringing together teaching activities across a broad range of science and engineering disciplines.

The vision for the CTL is to become a hub for science & engineering teaching, with multifunctional labs suitable for subject-specific and cross-disciplinary teaching and team working; social and break-out spaces to support informal learning; modern, state-of-the-art space to support the needs of diverse learners; and multi-functional space to reach out to schools and non-science students. 

The CTL vision addresses the challenge of handling increased demand for STEM at a time when both pedagogy and technology are changing rapidly. Drawing on lessons from similar national and international facilities, the CTL will replace traditional, discipline-specific labs, and will allow for a range of innovative teaching methods to be used, beyond the “classical bench laboratory” model. The use of modern, high tech IT systems (especially virtual technologies) will enhance laboratory experience and increase infrastructure sustainability. Furthermore it will reflect industry working practices by offering opportunities to practise inter-disciplinary working. 

This projects looks at building a proof of concept for an electronic notebook to be used in the CTL. 

Use of Immersive Technology to Train

Social Workers in the College of Social Sciences

Academics from Social Sciences are using immersive technology to do virtual training of social workers. This project involves working with the IT Innovation Centre and academics in CoSS to develop a number of immersive scenarios using Google Cardboard and purposedly built mobile apps. 

Gesture Control Technology for the University Lapworth Museum

Gesture control technologies allow users to engage in virtual activities and interact with digital content using intuitive motion and movements. The aim is to improve the user experience and the interaction between users and computers by allowing users to use simple gestures to control computers in a way that replicates movements and gestures made in everyday life. This touch-free approach facilitates new ways of user-computer interaction that look and feel very different from traditional approaches (i.e. interaction via keyboard and mouse, touch screen etc.).

This project will explore how this innovative and rapidly growing field of technology can be used to provide new ways of exploring museum palaeontological collections to allow enhanced formal and informal learning opportunities. In addition to providing an exciting, user-defined interactive encounter with fossil specimens, other potential benefits include being able to examine 3D models of specimens that can only be fully understood when it is possible study the object from different views. This will enhance the way people can interact with objects that might be static within display cases within a museum exhibition environment. The technology will also provide novel opportunities for investigations of palaeontological objects that might not otherwise be accessible, due to fragility, conservation requirements or rarity.

The project will involve developing a proof-of-concept to use gesture controlled devices to interact with 3D models of specimens in the museum. 

Chatbots

This project involves building chatbox to improve customer experience for the IT Services Helpdesk.

Information Security Log Scanning

Feasibility study and prototype of a way to centralise application and system logs and to scan them for patterns denoting security breaches and potential cyber-attacks.

Due to the huge volume of data, it is suggested to use the BEAR high performance computing facility with HADOOP to implement large scale log scanning in parallel. Or suggest alternatives.

The project would be to investigate and report on the feasibility of this approach, and preferably implement a working prototype.

Management and disposal of the log files themselves would be an optional feature.  This could include ways of reducing the size of the files through de-duping, compression etc.

Information Security Checks

Conduct an analysis of the effectiveness of information security controls in force at the University that could be part of an annual ‘plan-do-check-act’ cycle.

The scope of the study would include not only technical analysis of controls but also staff surveys covering policies, training, anti-phishing, social engineering etc.

Phishing

Phishing is a major problem in the University.  In the autumn term over 50 sets of credentials are known to have been compromised through phishing attacks.  Furthermore, important University communications are sometimes mistaken for phishing attacks.   The University tries to educate users, but very little is understood about what makes a user respond to a message and whether characteristics of the message or website are likely to influence response rates.  Better understanding in this area should help improve user education and our own communications.

The aim of the project would be to find out more about why users respond and in particular whether the look and branding of a message and website makes responses more likely.

The project would involve a user educational exercise by mounting a simulated phishing attack on a selection of our users with branded and unbranded versions of messages and websites.  If users gave their credentials away, the site would inform them of the dangers of responding to phishing attacks. This would be followed by a questionnaire sent out to those who had been subject to the attacks about why they did or did not respond. 

Securing Intelligent Networked Devices

Recently, a compromised network attached fridge sending spam hit the headlines.  This highlighted a growing problem with devices connected to the network which are not perceived as computers by those connecting them.

There are many such devices including printers and cameras that pose a security risk if unsecured, because as attackers can take control of them for a variety of illicit purposes.  In addition to sending spam, devices have been used for denial of service attacks, serving web pages and gaining access to confidential material.

The project would aim to develop a scanning tool which finds unsecured devices within an address range, identifies them and reports on them with the option to secure these devices once found.  Development would initially focus on a small range of printers known to be susceptible to security issues, but be configurable to include other devices if the approach proves to be viable. 

Mobile Learning

Design and development of  mobile apps with an innovation value.

Internet of Things

Design/Evaluation of Internet of Things applications.

3D Interactive Data Visualisation

with Gesture Control 

Using gesture control technology (Leap Motion/Kinect) to interact with 3D visual data representations. Eg: using gestures to “slice” and manipulate different data fields on a 3D data visualisation.