I completed my MSc in software science and have several years of industry experience in SAP, software development and maintenance. My industry and research area is continually evolving and updating. Therefore, it is natural that I keep up my expert knowledge in smart devices, especially android, by undertaking training programs in advanced topics as well as research.

Why is this important?

I have been lecturing in ITC539 – Android App Development for several years now. The students are expected to deliver software for mobile devices that can eventually hit the mobile application market. Students, therefore, expect that their lecturer carries the latest knowledge and skills, as well as capabilities to troubleshoot current platforms and provide a vision for future platforms.

To keep abreast with the latest development in mobile technology and development, one of the fastest-growing IT arenas, I collaborated with a team of researchers. I developed a low complexity equaliser Least-Squares Minimal Residual (LSMR) algorithm. In short, LSMR is used to solve the matrix inversion iteratively for Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld (DVB-H) devices. If you are interested, you can read our team’s journal article here.

What did it look like?

In recent days, the use of HD videos is the norm – such as the resolution of the smartphones we use. However, broadcasting of HD videos through phones are not yet completely supported by the network operator or by any chat communication application due to extremely large file sizes. Moreover, Android have many different versions and it is a great challenge for the developer to make the app work in majority of the phones.

In weeks 9 and 10 of ITC539, a key activity that students need to complete is the uploading of video files using APIs and Android libraries. Many students face issues in uploading certain types of videos even though they use the same Android OS as their personal device. Most of the third-party libraries in Android are developed with their codec and unproven compression algorithms that may not work in all the Android OS. Being in research & development, I would be able to explain this to my students confidently and articulately, so that they are aware of the general issues that already exists in Android OS app development and learn to overcome the same.

As a mobile app developer can only control the app, if the developer is unable to use the supplied libraries, they will need to develop their own libraries with new codecs. Although this course doesn’t require such level of development, to develop their own libraries, some HD students will go out of the way to develop their own libraries, encouraging them to think outside the box. The research in this area which I am actively participating in, provides me as a lecturer the proper tools to guide the students who want to develop their app further. And also, to help those students who are struggling with the third-party libraries to overcome the difficulties in video processing.

Impact on learning design

The knowledge I gained through my research is then easily shared, applied and implemented in the teaching of ITC539. Using real-time examples from my research, during my lectures, I can bring in both industry knowledge and research application to the forefront of the students learning experience. In particular, the research I completed this year on video encoding is key to ITC539’s learning design since most apps will be using this encoding in the very near future.