EECS 395, 495: Internet-of-Things Sensors, Systems, and Applications

Quarter Offered

Winter : 11-12:20 TuTh ; Hester


Helpful but not required: experience with embedded systems and microprocessors (e.g. EECS 346, 347, 366), basic understanding of signals and systems (e.g. EECS 213, 222); knowledge of communication systems (e.g. EECS 307) and data structures (e.g. EECS 214).


Buildings that recognize and adapt to their occupants, teams of drones that perform search and rescue or survey architectural digs, invisible implantable or wearables devices that support and protect patients in hospitals and homes, swarms of postage-stamp sized satellites orbiting earth supporting global scale space experiments. These applications and others have motivated the development of the Internet-of-Things; a paradigm for computing where trillions of tiny, even invisible computers support daily life, infrastructure, and humanity in general. While promising to revolutionize computing and the world, this vision of computing is far from fully realized–with many challenges in energy efficiency, miniaturization, networking, information retrieval and processing, security and privacy, and many other areas.

This seminar style course will cover recent exciting work, and important early work in embedded systems, wireless sensor networks, computer architectures and languages, and other IoT related literature. We will investigate energy aware computing on tiny devices, new ultra low power communication paradigms, and emerging hardware platforms and operating systems. We will also discuss and analyze security, privacy, sustainability, and ethical issues that arise from the ubiquitous, invisible information gathering devices of the IoT. Finally, we will propose, exchange, analyze, and defend new ideas, systems, and applications for the future IoT.

INSTRUCTOR: Prof. Josiah Hester

COURSE GOALS: This course aims to (1) provide an introduction to the research and systems problems encountered at the edge of the IoT, (2) equip students with the ability to conduct original systems research, including generating and communicating ideas, (3) educate on the societal, security, and ecological impacts of ubiquitous computing.


  • Paper reviews: Papers will be read before each meeting and reviews written on merits
  • Spirited in-class discussion: students are expected to defend ideas and reviewed papers
  • Final project consisting of short research paper. This will NOT require building a system, just proposing and defending an idea, outlining possible experiments, and showing mastery of the scientific method as well as the literature. This project will have multiple milestones throughout the course.

GRADING: Paper Reviews 40%, Project 45%,  In-class discussion / participation 15%