CS 598 WSI – Wireless Systems for the Internet of Things

Instructor: Deepak Vasisht(deepakv@illinois.edu)

Lectures: Tuesday, Thursday – 9:30 to 10:45 am Central Time

Zoom Link: Will be posted

Office Hours: TBD


This graduate-level seminar will cover the latest research in the Internet of Things from a networked systems perspective. We will discuss advances in foundational networking and systems design techniques for the Internet of Things and highlight novel inference approaches to connect the underlying data to its end applications. Students will experience and possibly build applications on top of novel IoT platforms in digital healthcare, data-driven agriculture, ocean sensing, autonomous vehicles, security, satellites, and others.

In this class, we will also have guest lectures from experts in academia and/or industry on a subset of the themes described below to get deeper into how the research problems that we are discussing impact the world out there.


This class will cover the following topics with a focus on Internet of Things:

  • Wireless Communications

  • Localization/Positioning

  • Power Management

  • Security and Privacy

  • Machine Learning for IoT Systems

  • Applications: Agriculture, Contact-tracing for COVID-19, Ocean Monitoring

  • City Scale Networks

  • Acoustic and RF Sensing

  • Satellite Networks

  • Wireless Systems for UAVs and Robotics

About the Course


This class is open to PhD and Masters students as well as advanced undergraduate students. If you taken a class in computer networks or wireless networks or embedded systems, the class material will be easier to access. If you are not sure about the prerequisites, email Deepak.


The class will be graded as follows:

  • Reading Assignments: 20%

  • Class Participation: 10%

  • Paper Presentation: 20%

  • Class Project: 50%

Reading Assignments

Each class will have one or two reading assignments which we will read prior to the class. To get the most out of the class, the students should read the papers in detail before the class. Before each class, the students should submit answers to two-three questions about the readings posted on the course website. The answers are due at 11:59 pm on the night prior to the class. You are allowed three free skips. An answer submitted after the deadline but before the class counts as half-skip.

Paper Presentation

Every student will lead at least one discussion in the class. In most cases, this will be done through presentation of a paper that we have read for the class. This presentation should be 25–30 minutes and will be followed by a discussion. In your presentation, try to answer the following questions:

  • Problem: What is the core problem that the paper is trying to solve? Why is it important?

  • Solution: How did past work attack this problem? What was new about this paper's approach?

  • New Connections: Can you relate the ideas in this paper to your area of research?

  • Evaluation: How was this system evaluated? Was this evaluation sound? Is it possible to replicate the evaluation?

  • Next Steps: What's missing in this paper that you'd have liked to see? Can you build on this paper to solve this?

Research Project

The goal of this class is to help you build a research project that connects the topics in this class with your own research. If you do not have a research direction yet, this class will help you identify research directions in wireless systems and the Internet of Things. In the research project, you will be able to explore these directions in depth.

Teams: Students can form teams of 2 to execute on projects. Teams of 3 are also OK, but the expectation on contribution is higher.

Expectation: The research projects should aim really high – the best research projects will lead to research papers in top conferences like SIGCOMM, NSDI, MobiCom, SenSys, etc. If your project is too ambitious to be executed in a semester, we will help you to find a smaller chunk that you can execute in class duration.

Milestones: The project will have the following checkpoints:

  • Project Proposal: Feb 26

  • Midterm Review: March 30 and April 1

  • Project Presentation: April 29 and May 4

  • Project Report: TBD

Anti-racism and Inclusivity

The intent of this section is to raise student and instructor awareness of the ongoing threat of bias and racism and of the need to take personal responsibility in creating an inclusive learning environment.

The Grainger College of Engineering is committed to the creation of an anti-racist, inclusive community that welcomes diversity along a number of dimensions, including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity and national origins, gender and gender identity, sexuality, disability status, class, age, or religious beliefs. The College recognizes that we are learning together in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement, that Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous voices and contributions have largely either been excluded from, or not recognized in, science and engineering, and that both overt racism and micro-aggressions threaten the well-being of our students and our university community.

The effectiveness of this course is dependent upon each of us to create a safe and encouraging learning environment that allows for the open exchange of ideas while also ensuring equitable opportunities and respect for all of us. Everyone is expected to help establish and maintain an environment where students, staff, and faculty can contribute without fear of personal ridicule, or intolerant or offensive language. If you witness or experience racism, discrimination, micro-aggressions, or other offensive behavior, you are encouraged to bring this to the attention of the course director if you feel comfortable. You can also report these behaviors to the Bias Assessment and Response Team (BART) (https://bart.illinois.edu/). Based on your report, BART members will follow up and reach out to students to make sure they have the support they need to be healthy and safe. If the reported behavior also violates university policy, staff in the Office for Student Conflict Resolution may respond as well and will take appropriate action.