MAS.S66: Computational Wireless Sensing, Fall 2019

Instructors: Fadel Adib

Lectures: Mon 3:00-5:00PM at E15-341

Office Hours:

  • By appointment

Course Overview

This graduate-level seminar focuses on the latest research in wireless and mobile computing. The course will cover emerging application domains including digital medicine, subsea IoT, and batteryless micro-sensing. We will explore these areas through reading and discussing recent papers and a semester-long research project.

Tentative list of topics include:

  • Backscatter, Energy Harvesting, & RFIDs

  • Seeing Through Walls & Vitals Sensing

  • Piezoelectricity & Underwater Communication

  • In-Body Communication

  • Hacking Sensors: Acoustic & Inertial Attacks

  • Noise Cancellation & Networked Cancellation

  • Liquid & Food Safety Sensing

  • Deep Learning in Wireless

  • Brain Sensing


  • Sign up for the MAS.S66 Piazza forum. We'll be using Piazza for Q&A and other discussions, so please sign up ASAP.

  • The first lecture will be on Monday, September 9.

About the Course


Strong undergraduate background in computer systems. Experience with at least one programming language, such as Python or C (ideally both).

Grading policy

The class will be graded as follows:

  • Reading Questions and Participation: 30%

    • Paper reviews before class: 15%

    • Class participation: 15%

  • Paper Presentation: 10%

  • Project: 60%

Readings and Reviews

Each lecture will have one or two assigned readings, which we will all read prior to the class. All students are expected to have thoroughly read the paper, and come to class ready to discuss them in detail. This is essential to get the most out of the class!

Before each class, students must submit a short review (one to two paragraphs) of the required readings. Submit your review at the Review Submission submission page. Reviews will be accepted by 12am (midnight) the night before the class. Each student may skip one review during the semester without affecting their grade.


We expect you to attend all lectures, unless there are pressing or unforeseen conflicts. Conflicts that are persistent (e.g., registering for another class at the same time and “splitting” attendance between them) are not excused.

Paper Presentations

Each student will also be assigned one paper to present to the class during the semester. The presentation should roughly be 25 minutes. Keep the following questions in mind to help you structure your presentation:

  • What problem is the paper solving and why is it important?

  • What is the main idea of the paper?

  • How does the paper differ from previous work?

  • Are there any flaws in the paper? How would you improve the paper or build on it in future work?

Research Project

The research project is a core component of the course. Students will propose and conduct in groups of 2 or 3. It is OK (and often a good idea) to work on a class project that complements your ongoing research provided it is relevant to the course. Talk to Fadel if you're not sure whether this would work.

The project milestones and rough timeline are as follows:

  • Proposal (1-2 pages): October 7

  • Progress Report 1: October 28

  • Progress Report 2: November 18

  • Final Presentation: December 9