Program Overview

This two-week intensive summer program for high school students imparts the essentials of application development for mobile devices like cell phones and tablets. Specifically, students will create applications for the Android platform, as Android’s development tools can be installed over all commonly used operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux). Moreover, the Java language we’ll use to code applications is much more widely known than the boutique languages used to develop applications for the iOS (Apple) platform.

Program Objectives

The main objective of this course is to provide students with the tools and knowledge necessary to create applications that can run on a current mobile computing platform. This summer, our target platform is Google’s Android. Upon completion of this course, the engaged student should be able to:

  • Use the Java language and associated Android frameworks to create mobile apps
  • Create effective user interfaces for mobile apps
  • Harness Internet services in support of mobile apps
  • Store/retrieve data in support of mobile apps
  • Take advantage of common mobile extras such as GPS, mapping services, etc.
  • Articulate the differences between desktop and mobile applications, and the consequences of these differences
  • Learn new mobile app development tools independently

Learn more about Mobile App Development:

Program Dates & Details Eligibility Requirements Program Cost Program Requirements Typical Day Faculty Bios

Program Dates & Details

Session Dates

Session II: July 13 – July 26, 2019
Duration: 2-weeks


Credit: Noncredit
Grading SystemPass/Fail

Eligibility Requirements

Students must be a minimum of 15 years of age by the orientation and move-in date.

Previous experience with object-oriented programming in the Java language is strictly required. Students who have taken AP Computer Science A or a comparable course, or who have equivalent experience should be adequately prepared. This program is suitable only for students who are confident in their basic object-oriented programming skills and who want to increase the breadth and sophistication of those skills. For full Summer College admission requirements, view the Admissions Overview and Eligibility page.

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Program Cost

Program Costs:

  • Residential: $3,360*
  • Commuter: $2,566*

*Please visit our Program Costs page for more detailed information. Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees in March.

Program Requirements

What to Pack

Students will be required to bring their laptops to class every day. Laptops must have one of the following operating systems installed:

  • Windows 7, 8 or 10 (32-bit or 64-bit), or
  • Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) or higher, up to 10.13 (macOS High Sierra), or
  • Linux with GNOME or KDE desktop (64-bit capable of running 32-bit applications), with GNU C Library (glibc) 2.19+

The development tools (all free) we’ll use are very demanding of computer resources. The less powerful the laptop, the slower these tools will run. Here are the minimum hardware recommendations for a laptop to run the course software:

  • 4 GB RAM (8 GB is recommended, however)
  • 4 GB available disk space
  • Screen resolution 1280×800

Student Expectations

This is an intensive program, in which every minute counts. We therefore expect:

  • 100% attendance
  • 0% lateness
  • No web-surfing, social media use or other distractions while in class
  • Assignments to be completed by the start of the following class session
  • Attendance at office hours at the first sign of difficulties, or
  • Use of the class’s online Q&A facility if difficulties are encountered outside of office hours

This is an academically rigorous, college-level program. Students are expected to complete nightly homework assignments and actively participate in group projects. Students are expected to attend all classes every day, arrive on time, and meet all academic obligations. Free time will vary as each program is unique, as is the subsequent workload.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

This intensive course runs for two weeks, from 9:00am – 1:00pm, Monday – Friday. The first day is spent on installation and check-out of the required (free) software on students’ laptops, and on covering basic mobile computing and programming concepts.

Each succeeding day typically begins with a review of previous coverage and proceeds with coverage of new topics. Coverage includes dissections of example applications embodying the new concepts and play-alongs allowing students to practice new techniques before having to apply them in daily homework assignments. Students must bring their laptops to class in order to participate in play-alongs.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College trips and activities. Check out our Campus Activities page for more information!

Final Academic Obligation

Students are permitted to leave on Friday, July 26, 2019 after 4:30pm upon the completion of the program. If students have any questions regarding their final academic obligation, we encourage them to reach out to their instructor. Please refer to the Move-Out page for important information regarding the checkout process.

Faculty Bio

Dr. Robert J. Irwin

Dr. Irwin is a recently retired SU Faculty member from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University. He has served as Assistant Professor of Computer Science at SUNY Oswego, was visiting faculty at Hamilton College, and has also taught at Le Moyne College and Pace University. He developed and taught the first mobile application development course at SU. Prior to returning to academic life, Robert was a research engineer at TextWise, LLC., natural language processing specialists in Syracuse and the Director of Software Engineering for Applied Intelligence Systems, Inc., an AI development firm in New York City. He was also a member of the research staff at Riverside Research Institute and a project manager at Merrill Lynch in New York City. His chief research interests lie in theoretical computer science, and he has published in the areas of generalized dynamical systems, high-order theory of computation and complexity, and artificial intelligence.