Picture of me

Alexander Hambley

Hi, I'm an MSc student at the University of Manchester, studying Advanced Computer Science with a focus on Software Engineering. My main interests are in more creative projects.

I was an intern at HeX Productions, and I am a first-class Computer Science graduate from the University of Nottingham.

LinkedIn

Current Projects

MacOS Pokedex App

I'm currently working on a little Pokedex app for MacOS. The project was designed for me to learn more web technologies. Below is a video showcasing the app.

The app is built on Electron, and uses APIs such as csvtojson. It also uses the PhotonKit UI library.

A screenshot of the Pokedex app showing the first handful pokemon.

The app allows for users to search the entire Pokedex. Users can also choose to only show the pokemon from specific generations:

A screenshot of the Pokedex app showing the pokemon returned for a search.

The app also allows users to select a specific Pokemon and see more information about them.

A screenshot of the Pokedex app showing detailed informaton for Dragonite

The app is in development but can be found on GitHub:


Android Development

I'm familiar with mobile development methodologies, design patterns, power management and core Android components, including activities, fragments, services, broadcast receivers and content providers

Apps Developed:

A sample image of the Finger Painter app

Finger Painter

This application is essentially Paint, but for Android. It allows the use of custom colours and various shapes.

Download APK
A sample image of the Running Tracker app

RunTracker

Similar to Strava, the app will track a user's walk or run. The apps provides the user with the ability to see the run plotted on Google Maps, and in graph format.
The users can control how often the GPS is polled.

Download APK
A sample image of the Recipe Book app

Recipe Book

This application uses a content provider to pull data from a SQLite database.

Download APK
A sample image of the Dissertation app

Dissertation Prototype

This is a prototype application developed for my dissertation. It was produced as a result of the findings of my dissertation.
My dissertation is explained below.

A sample image of the MP3 Player app

MP3 Player

A simple MP3 Player: it plays and stops a song, as well as supporting notification functionality.

Download APK

Web Development

Internship

I have a lot of experience with PHP, JavaScript, HTML, CSS and MySQL. During my internship with HeX Productions, one of my tasks was to relaunch a tech event called Accessibility Nottingham. I created an accessible website for the event, built on the Wordpress CMS. The website meets the WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility guidelines.

A screenshot of the homepage of the Accessibility Nottingham site.

The site automatically updates based on the most recent event information. ACFs, CPTs and other advanced plugins were used to achieve this functionality.

A screenshot of the events page of the Accessibility Nottingham site.t

The site also has a newsletter / blog section. This is used to post information about upcoming events, and news about accessibility in technology. There is also the ability for posts to be 'liked'.

A screenshot of the blog page of the Accessibility Nottingham site.

It was developed to be fully responsive, working on mobile, tablets, and desktop. The site was also fully tested using mobile screen readers.

Two screenshots of the Accessibility Nottingham site on mobile, showing the events page and the tickets page.

The site interfaces with EventBrite's API in order to allow users to book tickets directly from the tickets page of the Accessibility Nottingham website:

A screenshot of the tickets page of the Accessibility Nottingham site.

University Group Project

I have also led a very successful group project where a web-tool was developed for the University.

A screenshot of the overview section of my second year project

The site is designed for Food Science students, especially those in their penultimate year. Students can see lists of potential jobs, as well as use an online tool to discover jobs that match their skills.

A screenshot of the skills section of my second year project

The site was built to match the theme of the University and be completely responsive.

A screenshot of my second year project on mobile

It interfaces with a MySQL database, giving the admin the ability to easily modify all elements of the database without having to use SQL.

A screenshot of the database section of my second year project

Data Science and InfoVis

I am experienced in handling very large data sets and constructing accurate and practical visualisations. I have a lot of experience with R; especially the tidyverse library. In particular, I'm experienced in functional programming with purrr, various data transforming techniques with dplyr, and plotting with ggplot2.

Some Trivial Examples of Visualisations:

A scatter plot with a local polynomial regression model:

Capture rate plotted against base values. Shows a downwards trend.

A stacked area graph with generational data encoded as colour:

A stacked area graph showing the most frequent stat ranges

A parallel coordinates graph with generational data encoded as colour:

A parallel coordinates graph showing the distribution of stats

HCI and Social Robotics

Dissertation

A screenshot of my dissertation prototype

HCI has been the primary area of my research during University. My undergraduate dissertation was focused on social media addiction, and I achieved a high first (84%). The dissertation looked at:

  • The causes of social media addiction
  • Behavioural addictions (such as gambling) and compulsion
  • Predispositions, such as mental health
  • Social Networking Site (SNS) addiction and Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD)
  • Persuasive software design
  • Current considerations by technology companies

A number of studies were conducted, including a questionnaire, a focus group, and a cooperative evalution. Following these studies, three prototypes were produced. A screenshot of the third is shown.

Ubiquitous Computing

Another one of my major HCI projects was a "Smart Ball". This ball contains a six-axis MEMS accelerometer and gyroscope which tracks the ball's throws, catches and spins. I wrote an algorithm to make inferences on this data, such as how high the ball was thrown, or how much of a spin was placed on the ball.

The context of the project was one focused on assisting users that had accessibility issues, such as those recovering from hand injuries. The ball attempted to gamify the recovery process through the use of psychological principles such as positive reinforcement. For example, the ball stores the points total for a session of successful catches and spins, and a user can see how their progress improved over time. The ball also supports a two-player implementation of the game "Hot Potato".

Image of the ball with some of the components visable inside.
Image of the ball during the development stage, with some of the components visable inside.

Social Robotics

Picture of everyone who attended the robotics event
Picture of everyone who attended the robotics event.

I've also had the opportunity to attend a social robotics event at the University of Twente, where I prototyped social robots for interaction with autistic children, as well as the gamification of mathematics.

One of the robots in the University of Twente's Robotics and Mechatronics lab.
A social robot called Pepper.