FAU Android

FAU's local android experts!

Summer 2015 Updates

Posted by shankar May - 9 - 2015 - Saturday Comments Off

We have started consolidating all the Apps at a Github site. Here is the  link: https://github.com/RShankar?tab=repositories . This became difficult to navigate. So, multiple theme-based Github sites are being developed. More info to be included soon.

Our paper on the use of the semantic web for  multidisciplinary app development  is scheduled for presentation at the 122nd Annual ASEE conference in Seattle, WA, in June 2015.  The paper is entitled: Searching the World Wide Web – Finding the Right Information the First Time .”  It is co-authored by K. Donate, a MSCS student, and by three professors involved in the collaboration: Dr. R. Shankar, Dr. D. Mitsova-Boneva, and Prof. Francis McAfee, respectively from engineering, urban planning, and digital arts. Ms. Donate developed a semantic web search tool based on the feedback from  students in arts, engineering, and urban planning, who collaborated to develop urban planning Apps during fall 2013. These apps are found here: https://bitbucket.org/shankarfau/profile/teams

Undergraduate students in fall ’14 developed apps on empowerment of middle school students to pursue STEM careers. These apps can be found at the above cited repository. This work on empowerment is being pursued by Sifat Islam, a PhD candidate in engineering;  Melissa Serrano, a MSCS student in engineering; and Iris Minor, a PhD candidate in education. Here is the link to their work: https://github.com/EmpowerMe .

Two three-week summer courses are planned for this summer for 11th and 12th grade students. The first one in June ’15 will have 10 groups of 3 students each focus on improving top empowerment apps from last fall in three specific areas: animation, visualization, and analytics. The second one in July ’15, funded by the Museum of Discovery and Science, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, will focus on citizen science apps that we developed an year ago. Top Apps from summer’14will be improved based on the experiences of 30 high school students who interned at the museum over the past one year. We expect the enhancements will be related to epistemology, museum experience, and curriculum linkages.

DIS/MS theses topics for summer and fall 2015: The list is provided here. If you are interested, please contact Dr. Shankar at shankar@fau.edu

Launch a Processing Android App from an Eclipse Android App: Method 2 – Using Broadcast Intents

Posted by Victor E. Gallego October - 26 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

To launch an app made using Processing from an app made using Eclipse, for this method we first need to export our processing application as shown in method 1.  From here we need to import it into our Eclipse environment.  Add a new java file for your broadcast receiver called “MyBroadcastReceiver.java”.  See below:

In the MyBroadcastReceiver.java file put the following code:

package processing.test.collect_accelerometer_data;

import android.content.BroadcastReceiver;
import android.content.Context;
import android.content.Intent;

public class MyBroadcastReceiver extends BroadcastReceiver {
    public MyBroadcastReceiver() {

    public void onReceive(Context context, Intent intent) {
        if (intent.getAction().equals("edu.fau.android.mybroadcast")) {
	        Intent i = new Intent(context, collect_accelerometer_data.class);

The name of the package and Activity to launch will vary, but for the most part this code can be used in any other application.  This code uses the broadcast receiver’s onReceive method to launch a specific Activity when it receives a broadcast with the action “edu.fau.android.mybroadcast”.  The broadcast receiver cannot be used in the application until it is registered in the AndroidManifest file. Within the application tags of the file place the following xml code:

<receiver android:name="MyBroadcastReceiver">
            <action android:name="edu.fau.android.mybroadcast" />

This code filters intents of a specific action and calls the appropriate BroadcastReceiver’s onReceive method.

The receiver part is now complete.  If you would like to send a broadcast to the receiver use the following code in a button click method or similar method:

public void launchApp(View v){
	Intent intent = new Intent();

Download the source code at the bottom of this post.


To launch an app made using Processing from an app made using Eclipse, for this method we first need to identify the package name for our Processing app.  To do this, simply export your Processing app using the “Export Android Project” file menu item.

Once the project is exported, open the AndroidManifest file and copy down your package value.   In this example it will be:


Now in our Eclipse Android application we can place the following code in our button click method for our example application:

public void launchApp(View v){
    Intent LaunchIntent = getPackageManager()

Here we use the package manager to get the launch intent of our processing app, then start a new activity with that launch intent.


Download the source code at the bottom of this post.



Writing to NFC Tags

Posted by Victor E. Gallego October - 18 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

Use the TagWriter app from NXP to write data to NFC tags.  It can be found in the Google Play store for free here:




To get started select the “Create, write and store” option.

Then, select the “New” option at the top.


Then, scroll down and select the “URI” option.


Here, we fill in the URI field.  For use with the Aquarium app for the MODS Ecoscapes we would enter something like the following:


You can substitute “livingreef” in the URI string with any of the following:







See the MODSApp’s MainMenu.java for the full list.
Once entered, select the “Next” button on the bottom of the screen.

Now the tag is ready to be written to, simply place the device on top of the tag.  It should write to the tag very quickly.  The NFC tag will now launch the appropriate screen in the Aquarium app.


Community Apps for Spring and Summer 2014

Posted by shankar March - 21 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

We have started working with major local non-profit agencies to develop applications for community use. During Spring 2014, we will collaborate with the Museum of Discovery and Science (MODS), Ft. Lauderdale, FL, to develop apps for their exhibits. The eventual goal is to  help with a visitor’s experience in the museum and outside of the museum. Seven Apps are planned for the spring semester. This will be a collaboration between computer engineering and digital arts students, enrolled in the courses taught by Dr. Shankar (engineering) and Prof. McAfee (digital arts) respectively.  A computer science graduate student, Luis Rodriguez, will expand the work this summer and build a top-down template, using autocode generation techniques of Eclipse’s EMF (Eclipse Modeling Framework), to make thematic floor plans come alive.  During summer ’14, rising 11th and 12th grade students, enrolled in our ESP (engineering scholars program), will work in teams of 3 to further develop these MODS Apps. Some of the student groups will also work on Apps for FAU’s Registrar’s office and the Children’s Services Council (CSC) of Broward. Both these latter initiatives are just starting. All the three initiatives will continue in the fall semester and beyond. If you are interested in participating with these or other activities, feel free to contact Dr. Shankar at shankar@fau.edu.