Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ideas, ideas, and more ideas...

Here is a list of project ideas I'm interested in but unfortunately not having enough time to work on by my own, I could certainly use some help :). Some of which are projects/services while others are (what I believe to be) useful mobile apps. I can supervise/co-found or advice any of them. If you are interested in more information, drop me a line. I will keep updating the list as I find time and as new ideas come to my mind.


  1. A GoodReads-like website for research papers: I like how Goodreads works and I think it would be great if we could build a similar platform specifically for research papers. I think rating and reviewing papers through a similar platform is more reliable and useful than the current citation mechanism. Usually when you read papers, you could like some while not cite them yet (which, in the current citation system, means they won’t get any credit and your friends won't know you read these papers and found them nice). I believe such reviewing and sharing system could potentially substitute Google Scholar (on the long run); papers will be evaluated by a wider audience that includes whoever reads the paper (and not only by the smaller network of people who cite it). Papers will be evaluated by the crowd eliminating some of the inherent limitations of Google Scholar especially the Matthew effect and the Vulnerability to spam (I borrowed these fancy words from Wikipedia ;-)).
  2. A collaboration platform for researchers that facilitates proposal of research ideas, discussions and collaborations on projects: Occasionally, I have interesting ideas that I would like to see implemented but I often lack the necessary expertise or knowledge in all the technologies needed to bring the idea to life. I might as well have the knowledge but lack the time to do the whole project on my own. I believe many of the researchers I know share the same experience. In the platform I propose, one could share a high level description of the idea and list the knowledge she is missing and the sort of collaboration she is looking for. Others can view, comment or start a serious discussion about possible collaboration. I believe we as researchers need to talk more to each other (and by other here, I mean researchers from other fields who we don’t usually meet in the conferences we usually go to). My hope is that such a platform could encourage collaborations among researchers who don’t usually get to talk or meet each other and foster discussions that advance research.
  3. A website with articles about the recent trends in machine learning/ data mining and AI: I know how hard it can be for Arabic-speaking student, especially in the IT field, to find useful resources even with the wealth of information on the Internet (which might also be a curse if you are new and want to navigate your way and filter what Google gives you). So, a while ago I decided to build a website where I write short articles on topics related to recent trends and techniques in machine learning and data mining. The idea is that the articles should be short, focused, easy to understand, example-oriented and in Arabic. That is because I wanted them to appeal not only to IT students, but to whoever interested in advancing her knowledge in these areas. I really want to make this a reality and I could use all the help I can get (setting up the website, typing the articles (I’m very slow in typing Arabic), or even helping with suggesting topics, writing, reviewing and putting the content together).

Mobile Apps: I don’t have the business plan ready for these apps but I would very much like to be involved or co-found any of them. Let me know if you find them interesting.

  1. A mobile app that detects the level of noise in the environment and automatically mute/reinstate the mobile phone. This adds a touch of intelligence to your mobile and is really useful in cases where you are, for instance, in a meeting or a lecture. You don't want to be disturbed but forget to put your mobile on the silence mode. The app periodically senses the level of noise, estimates where you are and adjusts the sound accordingly.

  2. A mobile app that switches between playlists according to the place and time of day: the songs you enjoy listening to in the morning are most likely different from those you listen to during your walk in the afternoon. And those are most likely different from the ones you listen to while cooking or running. A mobile app that detects your current activity and combines it with the time of the day to recommend the next song or to switch to appropriate playlist is potentially useful. (This idea is inspired by a chat with my friend Yun-Gyung Cheong).


15-07-2016: Together with a friend we started working on point 3 in the Misc. category: a website in arabic to educate people about the latest trends in machine learning, data mining, and artificial intelligence. We named it ArLore and you can find it here:


  1. These sound like really interesting ideas! Thanks for posting these. I think 1 and 2 would go really well together.

    I've always thought that world needed an open platform for sharing, reviewing and collaborating on research. I think the only impediment would be, even if it was done, getting researchers to use it. Gaining traction would be the hard part, since most people won't use it if a lot of people aren't on there. But perhaps if you start with it just being a really nice way to view and catalog research papers on the web? Just an idea, but I've particularly been really interested in articles like this:

    That are just designed to look really well on the web.

    Number 3 I think would be the most realistically helpful, since there aren't a lot of resources in Arabic on that, so anything would probably be really useful. I guess it would just be a matter of finding content writers who are competent enough and are willing to lend their time.

  2. Thanks for the feedback Omar. I agree, traction is always the factor that one should worry about. That's actually one of the main reasons I shared the idea in the first place. I wanted to see what the community thinks about such service. I got some nice feedback so for but I'm still hoping for help in building it and checking its viability with a wider audience.

    As for number 3, I really like this one and I want to do it. I was thinking about starting with an article/ week so that it would be possible for me to write the content with the help of few friends. I still certainly need more help so any suggestion is more than welcome.

  3. Just stumbled on this:

    Have you looked at this before? It seems like it has a similar mission to what you were getting at!

  4. Interesting, but seems more oriented to team work rather than focusing on sharing ideas. To be honest, I'm not particularly interested in organising what happens after people show interest in collaborations. I mainly want people to share and collaborate.

    But many thanks for sharing it, I definitely need to do serious market analysis before starting to work :).