This faculty research team is focused on a microblogging app, called Anonymouse, for a smartphones. Anonymouse incorporates a novel infrastructure-less communication technology, allowing it to be used even in environments with no cellular or wifi service. It is designed to support free speech by preventing blocking, censorship, and surveillance. It also supports communication during events that disable the internet and cellular communication infrastructures. Marketing, user experience, and communication technology development all play major roles in the project. Students on this team can gain experience in mobile app development, computer security, the customer discovery interview process, and user studies. The environment is somewhat startup-like and the focus is on accomplishments leading toward widespread use of the app and a sustainable method of supporting further development. If you want to build something that can prevent a few people from monopolizing control of communication and do the tough work of getting the word out to those who care, this may be the right team for you.

Meeting time and location:

The full Free Speech team meets weekly on Wednesdays at 6:00pm to 7:00 pm in 2311 EECS. Each subteam arranges a convenient time to meet and work together.

Team organization:

Each Free Speech subteam has a team leader that reports to and meets with the faculty PI. The teams are flexibly structured to enhance creativity and opportunity for student growth. We have the following project teams: App Development, Market Research and Marketing & Outreach.

Open Lab Meeting:

Join us at an MDP Open Lab meeting to learn more about the research and meet current team members and faculty.

Date: 10/9/19
Time 6:00pm-7:00pm
Location: 2311 EECS

More information

Students apply to a specific role on team as follows:

UX/UI (2 Students)

Preferred Skills: UX/UI

Likely Majors: Computer Science, Information (SI), Computer Engineering

Smartphone Application Development (7 Students)

Preferred Skills: Application development

Likely Majors: Computer Science, School of Information (SI), Computer Engineering

Market Research (4 Students)

Preferred Skills: Find and interview potential end users (market research). Collect and analyze feedback on app design decisions/product features.

Likely Majors: ANY, Business

Marketing and Outreach (4 Students)

Preferred Skills: Website and other marketing material design, including graphical design and video editing

Likely Majors: Any

Apprentice Researcher (4 Students)

Preferred Skills: Interest in project material, willingness to develop skills. OPEN TO FRESHMAN AND SOPHOMORES ONLY.

Likely Majors: Any

Faculty Sponsor

Robert Dick
Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Dr. Dick is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He previously co-founded and served as the CEO for Styrd Inc., which produces wearable electronics for athletes. He currently works as a results-oriented embedded systems researcher who cares deeply about the freedom of speech and seeks to oppose the global trend toward internet surveillance, censorship, and blocking. He especially likes projects in which a deep understanding of a particular application leads to a new fundamental concept or technology with broader application. Over the last 15 years, he has won awards for teaching, research, and the development of commercial technologies.

Students: 12-21

Likely Majors: Any, Business, CE, CS, SI

Summer Opportunity: Summer research fellowships may be available for qualifying students.

Citizenship Requirements: This project is open to all students on campus.

IP: Students who successfully match to this project team will be required to sign an Intellectual Property (IP) Agreement prior to participation in January 2020.

Course Substitutions: Honors