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Ingbert Floyd (
Sunah Suh (

Office Hours: by appointment
We can often be found in 212 LIS (Doctoral Study)

Class Time & Location

Friday, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Room 131, LIS Building
Spring 2011

Course Description & Objectives

Introduces students to a range of rapid prototyping techniques and methods to analyze needs, opportunities and design spaces. Students will work in teams to develop ideas for novel computational devices or applications to meet identified needs. Covers the interlinked entrepreneurial skills of identifying an unmet need, exploiting technological opportunities, exploring a design space to refine an idea, and communicating a design vision through demonstrations with prototypes and proofs of concept. This enables developers to show how their envisaged working interactive technology will be used productively in a particular real-life context. Communicating the vision of computational devices is a challenge because dynamic use in context is hard for people other than the device's developers to imagine. The ability to produce convincing, clear, powerful demonstrations even at the early stages of a project is a highly valuable entrepreneurial skill, and also highly applicable within an organization.

Readings and required course materials

There is no textbook for this class. Most or all of the readings are available online. You will be provided paper copies of readings not available online.

Requisite Experience

This class is intended for students from all backgrounds. No particular experience is required. Some students will have more experience in certain areas than others (e.g., technology, entrepreneurship, etc.) Please realize that we expect you to take on a mentoring role for your fellow students in areas where you have more experience than they do.


You are expected to have regular attendance in the course. While there is no specific grade for attendance, the course requires class participation in order to obtain a full learning experience, both for you and your fellow students. You should be aware, however, that we will be conducting design jams at the beginning of nearly every class. Participation in these design jams is graded (for completion).

Informing your instructors of any absences, especially those which are planned or due to illness, is both common courtesy and a good habit to establish. Like most instructors, we are willing to make allowances if you inform us of absences ahead of time, or at least during class. We are much less willing to make accommodations for students who are consistently absent, or who do not take the effort to inform us of expected absences.

Group Work

Much of this course centers around group work and for good reason: start-ups are very rarely solo projects and effective teamwork is a integral part of successful entrepreneurship. We understand, however, that group academic work is often quite different from the real-world and that problems can arise in group projects that require mediation. If you have concerns regarding your group and its dynamics, please contact us as soon as possible and we will work to resolve them.

Academic Dishonesty

Any student who we, the instructors, discover to be cheating will automatically and immediately fail the class. It is the instructors’ discretion whether to report the student's academic dishonesty to university level bodies. Remember, a violation of academic integrity can lead to a student being "suspended or dismissed" from the university (UIUC Student Code Article 1-Student Rights and Responsibilities, Part 4. Academic Integrity, § 1-403 Penalties for Infractions of Academic Integrity). The assignments in this class are very straight-forward. Given the nature of the course, it will be very obvious if you are copying work done by somebody else, whether your classmates or some internet source. Getting inspiration from other people’s work is fine; simply give them due credit by citing your source if that’s where your inspiration comes from. Cheating includes, but is not limited to:

  • Copying someone else's work and turning it in as your own work.
    • Someone else's work means someone else's work, whether it is the work of your classmate, the work of some anonymous stranger on the internet, etc. You may not copy someone else's work on the internet and turn it in as your own. We will be doing spot checks on the assignments that are turned in. Google is a very powerful tool for uncovering academic dishonesty. You have been warned.
  • Copying someone else's work, making cosmetic changes, and turning it in as your own work.
  • Turning in group work without crediting the group.
  • Turning in individual work and crediting the group.
  • Allowing another individual to copy your work, and turn it in as their work.

Any case of intimidation, coercion, etc., will be reported to higher authorities, either campus-level or law enforcement, depending on the situation. Please see the UIUC Student Code (PDF) for more details on UIUC's policies on academic integrity.