15-821/18-843: Mobile and Pervasive Computing (IoT)

Professors Mahadev Satyanarayanan & Dan Siewiorek
Guest Faculty:  Professors Jason Hong, Swarun Kumar, Brandon Lucia, Asim Smailagic

Fall 2020
Course Web page at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~15-821

YouTube videos of final demos from previous classes 

Course Description

This course explores the principles and practice of mobile computing and its close relative, pervasive computing (aka "Internet of Things (IoT)").   Many traditional areas of computer science and computer engineering are impacted by the constraints and demands of mobile and pervasive computing. The course will offer significant hands-on experience:  students will work under the guidance of a mentor on a project. Each student will present a research paper from the literature in a conference-style 30-minute  talk.      Each student will also present a short (30 minutes) overview of the commercial landscape for one of the topics covered in class.  There will a brief quiz at the start of each class, based on the readings  for that class.

Necessary Background Knowledge

Students with good backgrounds in operating systems, distributed systems, and computer architecture will find that this course builds naturally on their knowledge base.   Without these prerequisites, the course may still be accessible to a student who is willing to put in additional effort.  If in doubt, check with one of the instructors before registering.

Course Goals/Objectives

The primary goal of this course is to help students learn the core principles and design challenges of two closely-related classes of computing systems: (a) those in which wireless-enabled mobility is a first-class design consideration, and (b) those that are rich in sensing, computing and communication, yet gracefully integrated with human users.  Although wireless networking plays an important role in this course, it is not the sole or primary focus.

Learning Outcomes

This course aims to impart conceptual knowledge, hands-on experience and industry context.  A set of course readings gives students conceptual knowledge on  key topics in mobile and pervasive computing.  A substantial implementation project (roughly 50% of the course credit) gives hands-on experience. Commercial scans that are researched and presented by the students helps them to learn about the relevant state of the art in industry, and to see how commercial practice diverges from academic research. Research paper presentations give students exposure to tasteful choice of research problems, and to extracting key concepts from the published literature.


Course Logistics

Course Resources

External Resources

Synthesis lectures on Mobile & Pervasive Computing (Morgan & Claypool, free access to all Carnegie Mellon students and faculty).  The links below will only work from a machine with a CMU IP address.


Mahadev Satyanarayanan

Office: GHC 9123
Phone: x8-3743
Email: satya@cs.cmu.edu

Admin assistant: Chase Klingensmith, GHC 9229 (x8-3041, chasek@cs.cmu.edu)

Dan Siewiorek

Office: NSH 3513
Phone: x8-2570
Email: dps@cs.cmu.edu
Admin assistant: Marian D'Amico, NSH 3526 (x8-1216, marian@cs.cmu.edu)

Guest Faculty

Important Dates

Grading Weights

All students are expected to honor the CMU Academic Integrity Policy.

Expectations for In-Person Attendance in Class

In order to attend class in person, we expect that you will abide by all behaviors indicated in A Tartan’s Responsibility, including any timely updates based on the current conditions. In terms of specific expectations for in-person students, this includes:

Facial coverings. If you do not wear a facial covering to class, we will ask you to put one on (and if you don’t have one with you, we will direct you to a distribution location on campus). If you do not comply, please remember that you will be subject to student conduct proceedings, up to and including removal from CMU. Accordingly, we will be obliged to take other measures for the safety of the whole class.

Student Wellness

Take care of yourself.  Do your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle this semester by eating well, exercising, avoiding drugs and alcohol, getting enough sleep and taking some time to relax. This will help you achieve your goals and cope with stress.

All of us benefit from support during times of struggle. There are many helpful resources available on campus and an important part of the college experience is learning how to ask for help. Asking for support sooner rather than later is almost always helpful.

If you or anyone you know experiences any academic stress, difficult life events, or feelings like anxiety or depression, we strongly encourage you to seek support. Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS) is here to help: call 412-268-2922 and visit their website at http://www.cmu.edu/counseling/. Consider reaching out to a friend, faculty or family member you trust for help getting connected to the support that can help.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

If you have a disability and have an accommodations letter from the Disability Resources office, we encourage you to discuss your accommodations and needs with us  as early in the semester as possible. We will work with you to ensure that accommodations are provided as appropriate. If you suspect that you may have a disability and would benefit from accommodations but are not yet registered with the Office of Disability Resources, we encourage you to contact them at access@andrew.cmu.edu.

Last updated 2020-09-01-12:35  by Satya