MAS.S60: How to Wirelessly Sense Almost Anything, Fall 2022

Instructors: Fadel Adib, Aline Eid

TA: Tara Boroushaki

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

Office Hours:

  • TA: Monday 2:30-3:00 PM, Monday 5:00-5:30 PM, Location: E15-341

Course Overview

This graduate-level seminar focuses on wireless sensing. The class will cover the foundations of wireless sensing (acoustics, RF, signal processing, machine learning, energy harvesting) and the application domains (smart homes, gesture recognition, health monitoring, climate & ecology, mobile computing, IoT, self-driving cars, AR). The lectures will interweave the technology fundamentals with readings and discussions of recent research papers. The course also includes a semester-long research project.

Topics include the principles, practices, and emerging applications in:

  • Battery-Free Computing

  • Seeing Through Walls (aka, X-ray Vision)

  • Wireless Localization & Gesture Recognition

  • Backscatter & RFIDs

  • Health Sensing & In-Body IoT

  • Ocean IoT

  • Hacking Sensors (FitBit, Alexa, GPS, etc.)

  • Sensor Fusion with Machine Learning

  • Sensing for Robotics & AR

  • Low-Power Wide-Area Networks

  • Smart Surfaces for Sensing & Networking

  • 5G & Millimeter Waves


  • Sign up for the MAS.S61 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 14.

About the Course


12 (2-0-10). AAGS-petitionable for undergrads.


Graduate standing (i.e., an undergraduate degree in engineering or computer science) or advanced undergraduate standing (senior) or permission of instructor

Grading policy

The class will be graded as follows:

  • Reading Questions and Participation: 30%

    • Paper reviews before class: 15%

    • Class participation: 15%

  • Project: 70%

    • Proposal (1-2 pages): 10%

    • Progress Report 1: 10%

    • Progress Report 2: 10%

    • Presentation: 20%

    • Final Report: 20%

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 (link forthcoming). 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. The class is entirely in-person, and lectures will not be recorded.

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 and Aline if you're not sure whether this would work. We can provide equipment and have a budget for purchasing.

The project milestones and timeline are as follows:

  • Proposal (1-2 pages): Fri, October 14

  • Progress Report 1: Fri, November 10

  • Progress Report 2: Fri, December 2

  • Final Presentation: Mon, December 12

  • Final Report: Wed, December 14