Introducing machine learning concepts using hands-on Android-based exercises

Blaine Ayotte, Justin Au-Yeung, Mahesh K. Banavar, Dana Barry, Gowtham Muniraju, Sunil Rao, A. Spanias, C. Tepedelenlioglu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


In this innovative practice work-in-progress paper, we discuss novel methods to teach machine learning concepts to undergraduate students. Teaching machine learning involves introducing students to complex concepts in statistics, linear algebra, and optimization. In order for students to better grasp concepts in machine learning, we provide them with hands-on exercises. These types of immersive experiences will expose students to the different stages of the practical uses of machine learning. The data collection apparatus is based on applications (apps) developed for the Android platform. Due to the accessible nature of the app and the exercises based on the app, this approach is useful for students across all majors.We provide the students with three different sets of activities, the first of which will introduce the basics of machine learning with specially designed artificial datasets. The second and third activities involve data collection, modeling, training, and testing, as applied to machine learning algorithms. The second activity will involve collecting touch/swipe data on mobile devices from students as they use a touch logger app. The third activity uses the Reflections app to collect cross-correlation data from rooms with different purposes. These hands-on activities guide the students through every step of the machine learning process. Student learning is assessed for each activity by holding workshops for undergraduate students. A workshop with the first activity outlining the basics of machine learning was given in the fall of 2018 and significant student learning was demonstrated. Workshops for the second and third activities are planned for the fall semester of 2019. Results from these workshops will be presented at the conference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728117461
StatePublished - Oct 2019
Event49th IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2019 - Covington, United States
Duration: Oct 16 2019Oct 19 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Conference49th IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Android
  • STEM
  • machine learning
  • mobile
  • signal processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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