CS 756: Mobile Computing and Sensor Networks, Fall 2012

Tuesdays, 6pm-9:05pm, TIER 105


  Cristian Borcea
  Office: GITC 4409
  Phone: 973 596-3662
  Office Hours: Mondays, 5pm-7pm


  • 11/28 The lecture slides for next week are posted.

  • 11/02 The lecture slides for next week are posted.

  • 10/19 The lecture slides for next week are posted.

  • 10/02 The lecture slides for next week are posted.

  • 09/20 The lecture slides for next week are posted. Don't forget to send the summaries for the CloneCloud paper by midnight on Monday.

  • 09/18 The slides for the presentations we had so far are posted. In the future, they will be posted by midnight on Tuesdays.

  • 09/13 The lecture slides for next week are posted.

  • 09/08 The assigned papers for the entire semester are posted.

  • 09/04 The slides for the first lecture are posted under the weekly schedule below. Also, the research papers assigned for next week are posted.
  • Goals

    Short description

    As mobile devices are becoming ubiquitous, they start to serve purposes beyond email and browsing on the go. Smart phones, vehicular systems, home appliances, and environmental sensors can form heterogeneous mobile networks to provide a new class of applications that acquire, process, and disseminate real-time information from systems located in the proximity of people, places, or activities of interest. Mobile social networks, location-based services, vehicular traffic monitoring applications, and people-centric sensing are just a few examples of this wireless/mobile computing revolution. This course provides an in-depth study of mobile computing and sensor networks. The main topics include: infrastructure support for mobility, mobile social compouting, people-centric sensing, vehicular computing and networking, and security and privacy in mobile computing.

    Who should take this course

    You should take this class if you want to learn how the wireless revolution is (and will be) changing the way we live and interact with each other. Besides understanding mobile computing and sensor networks, you can find topics for Ph.D. and M.S. theses. Additionally, the theoretical and practical knowledge acquired in this class can help you find very good jobs as we are witnessing a boom in the wireless/mobile computing industry and people with skills in these areas are still rare.


    CS 656. Talk with me if you did not take CS 656: background in operating systems, distributed systems, security, or programming languages may be acceptable. While this course is addressed to CS graduate students, you should contact me if you are from another department and have a strong interest in it.

    Reading, presenting, and discussing research papers

    There is no book required for this class. Each lecture is based on several research papers covering a specific topic. The instructor will introduce each topic and then will moderate the discussions of the assigned papers. Students are required to read the papers and submit summaries before the class. Each student will present and lead the discussion for at least one paper during the semester. The papers will be selected by the instructor from top conferences and journals; they will be posted at least two weeks prior to each class. Lecture and presentation slides will be posted one day prior to each class.


    The project will be done individually. There will be two types of projects: (1) "design" project - which proposes a novel idea (e.g., application, service, protocol) and ideally implements it (the implementation is not required, but it is highly recommended). Students will have to use their own mobile devices for potential implementations. (2) "survey" project - which presents a broad survey of a research area and includes lessons learned and future challenges. Each project will deliver a conference-style paper (5-8 pages). The projects must be chosen by week 5 and an intermediate presentation will be done in class in week 9.


    • Research paper summaries - 30%
    • Research paper presentation(s) - 20%
    • Participation in class discussions - 20%
    • Project - 30%


    Week Topic Readings
    1 Course overview. Two decades of mobile computing: challenges and achievements. Slides.
    • Optional: References listed at the end of the lecture slides.
    2 Ubicomp at 20: progress and future.
    3 Infrastructure support for mobility. Slides.
    4 Mobile social computing. Slides.
    5 Static sensor networks.
    6 Mobile people-centric sensing I. Slides.
    7 Mobile people-centric sensing II.
    8 Programming mobile ad hoc networks. Slides.
    9 Intermediate project presentation.
    10 Vehicular computing and networks I. Slides.
    • Optional: References listed at the end of the lecture slides.
    11 Vehicular computing and networks II.
    12 Energy challenges in mobile computing.
    13 Security and privacy in mobile computing I. Slides.
    14 Security and privacy in mobile computing II.

    Honor Code

    The NJIT Honor Code will be upheld, and any violations will be brought to the immediate attention of the Dean of Students.

    Modifications to Syllabus

    The students will be consulted and must agree to any modifications or deviations from the syllabus throughout the course of the semester.