CS8803 - Mobile Computing and IoT

Ashutosh Dhekne

Fall 2021: Mon/Wed 2pm-3:15pm, Love (MRDC II) 183

Picture showing various IoT uses

Teaser Video

Course Description

This course will teach a variety of ideas, concepts, techniques, and algorithms, that are all crucial to understanding and developing mobile systems and applications. The course will begin from first principles and ramp up to real-world systems and technologies. Keywords related to this course includes: wireless sensing, localization, GPS, drones, sensors, motion tracking, acoustics, location privacy, etc.

Course Topics

We will start from absolute basics, and cover important modules from linear algebra and data/signal processing. We will assume that you do not recall anything from prior courses (even if you have taken them). We will discuss the crossover of ideas from these modules to wireless communication and mobile computing. The course is designed with CS students in mind, particularly those inclined towards systems and networking.

GPSGPS and Indoor Localization
Understanding GPS, understanding why indoor positioning still not available ... Location fingerprinting (WiFi, magnetic, BLE), crowd-sourcing, mapping. Unsupervised data-driven learning, clustering, sensor fusion, filtering, simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM).

GesturesActivity and Gesture Recognition (Humans and Objects)
Understanding IMU (accelerometer, gyroscope, compass) Can a smartwatch track human gestures and activities? Can embedded IMUs track the motion of a fast-moving baseball? Motion models and filtering techniques

Smart HomesSmart Homes and IoT
Ambiance sensing (WiFi and Alexa)
Can users be tracked from WiFi reflections? Can Alexa learn human activities from everyday sound? Wireless sensing techniques: liquid identification, presence detection, device-free tracking, FMCW, Doppler. Acoustic analytics: Time of flight, Angle of Arrival (AoA), beamforming in audio context

WearablesWearable Computing
Next generation of wearable devices: finger rings, ear-buds, smart clothing. Rings: Vibration and ultrasound, receiving vibrations (with IMU and microphone), body-channels. Hearables and earables: noise cancellation, bone conduction, motion to speech recovery, binaural sounds, energy optimization (wake-on-speech)

Smart HomesAutonomous Systems (Cars and Drones)
Core challenges in autonomous systems: sensing, computing, communications + actuation. Robotic wireless networks, 5G networks, cell-tower on flying drones, ray-tracing, channel optimization. Cars: LIDAR, RADAR, and vision, sensor fusion, relative map creation.

Smart HomesMobile Privacy and Security
Why personal, always-ON devices are a major challenge in security and privacy Side channel attacks, inference algorithms, hardware loopholes, sensor data leaks. Case studies: location privacy, password typing, Alexa attacks, IMU fingerprints, acoustic drone attack, clock leaks, etc.

Course Format

The initial course topics are taught in class. For later topics students are expected to read research papers about the topic, write short 1 page reviews and submit reviews before class. We will be discussing those papers, and students are expected to participate in the class with comments and thoughts about the work. The course will have 2 homeworks, 2-3 programming assignments (PAs), 1 midterm exam, and an end-test, and a final project.

About Instructor

Name: Ashutosh Dhekne. Please call me: Ashutosh (preferred), or Prof. Dhekne Pronouns: He/Him/His

COVID-19 Statement

This course explicitly acknowledges the impact of COVID-19 on all of our lives and I understand that there might be circumstances which will require you to request absence from class, cause slight delays in submissions of assignments and homeworks, etc. I will be reasonably able to accommodate your requests. Accommodations beyond 1-day must be requested through standard procedures for medical related issues as dealt by Office of Disability Services or through doctor's notes from Stamps Health Services. All requests must be made via email only. You will be able to attend the classes online if your circumstances require. Please request online instruction on particular days if you cannot attend in-person due to any reason. Online session link will be posted to Canvas or via Canvas announcements.


Homework: 10%
Paper Reviews: 10%
Midterm: 25%
End-Test (non-cummulative): 10%
PA0 + PA1 + PA2: 0% + 5% + 10%
Project: 30% 40%

Course Calendar (Subject to Change)

DateTopicMaterialPaper Reviews/ToDo/Deadlines
08/23/2021 (Mon)IntroductionSlides will be uploaded before lecture
08/25/2021 (Wed)Linear Algebra Refresher 1Simulteneous Equations, Column Spaces, Solutions
08/30/2021 (Mon)Linear Algebra Refresher 2Eigen Values, Null Spaces HW1A Released
09/01/2021 (Wed)Sensor OverviewBasics of Sensors in a Mobile Phone PA0 Released (ungraded)
09/08/2021(Wed)Signal Processing Refresher 1Signal Composition
09/13/2021(Mon)Signal Processing Refresher 2Signal Decomposition, FFT HW1A Due.
09/15/2021 (Wed)Signal Processing Refresher 3Nyquist Rate, Time Domain to Fourier Domain
09/20/2021 (Mon)Probability RefresherProbability, Baye's Rule HW1B Released
09/22/2021 (Wed)Outdoor LocalizationGPS - Theory, Practice, Applications Optional Reading: Understanding GPS
PA1 Released
09/27/2021 (Mon)Outdoor LocalizationDifferential GPS - Improving Accuracy Review: SafetyNet
09/29/2021 (Wed)Indoor LocalizationInitial Efforts, RSS, Fingerprinting Review: RADAR
10/04/2021 (Mon)Indoor LocalizationInertial Sensors, Dead reckoning Review: UnLoc
HW1B Due.
10/06/2021 (Wed)Indoor LocalizationToF, Ranging, Synthetic Aperture Review: TrackIO
10/13/2021 (Wed)Indoor Localization, COVID-19TDoA, AoA, Beamforming, Contact Tracing, Physical Distancing Casual Reading: P2PLoc, 6Fit-A-Part
10/18/2021 (Mon)3D OrientationLocal and global reference frame, Rotation Matrices Review: iBall
10/20/2021 (Wed)Final Project Options In Class Discussion and Project SelectionPA1 Due. PA2 Released
10/25/2021 (Mon)Fine-grained Tracking Sensor FusionReview: ITrackU
HW2 Released
10/27/2021 (Wed)Body Movements TrackingArm Track Review: ArmTrack
11/01/2021 (Mon)Augmented RealityOverlay Augmented Reality Review: Overlay
11/03/2021 (Wed)Side Channels (Attacks?)Smartwatch Snatching Password Review: MoLe
11/08/2021 (Mon)Side Channels (Attacks?)Review: Backdoor,
11/10/2021 (Wed)MidtermMidterm Exam
11/15/2021 (Mon)Wireless SensingSee through wall Read: WiVi
11/17/2021 (Wed)Wireless SensingLiquid Identification Read: LiquID
11/22/2021 (Mon)FMCW, RFID, IoTSignals for sensing, RFID Systems, IoT Intro, ZigBee Intro
11/29/2021 (Mon)IoT Case StudiesHome Automation, Industrial Automation, Public Safety Take Home End-Test
HW2 Due.
12/01/2021 (Wed)Future DirectionsNoise Cancellation, Earables, COVID-19 Response, Final Thoughts PA2 Due.
Final Exam TimePoster/Demo SessionFinal Project Demonstration