CS8803 - Mobile Computing and IoT

Ashutosh Dhekne

Fall 2022: Mon/Wed 2pm-3:15pm, Kendeda 210

Picture showing various IoT uses

Teaser Video

Course Description

This course will teach a variety of ideas, concepts, techniques, and algorithms, that are all crucial to understanding and developing mobile systems and applications. The course will begin from first principles and ramp up to real-world systems and technologies. Keywords related to this course includes: wireless sensing, localization, GPS, drones, sensors, motion tracking, acoustics, location privacy, etc.

Course Topics

We will start from absolute basics, and cover important modules from linear algebra and data/signal processing. We will assume that you do not recall anything from prior courses (even if you have taken them). We will discuss the crossover of ideas from these modules to wireless communication and mobile computing. The course is designed with CS students in mind, particularly those inclined towards systems and networking.

GPSGPS and Indoor Localization
Understanding GPS, understanding why indoor positioning still not available ... Location fingerprinting (WiFi, magnetic, BLE), crowd-sourcing, mapping. Unsupervised data-driven learning, clustering, sensor fusion, filtering, simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM).

GesturesActivity and Gesture Recognition (Humans and Objects)
Understanding IMU (accelerometer, gyroscope, compass) Can a smartwatch track human gestures and activities? Can embedded IMUs track the motion of a fast-moving baseball? Motion models and filtering techniques

Smart HomesSmart Homes and IoT
Ambiance sensing (WiFi and Alexa)
Can users be tracked from WiFi reflections? Can Alexa learn human activities from everyday sound? Wireless sensing techniques: liquid identification, presence detection, device-free tracking, FMCW, Doppler. Acoustic analytics: Time of flight, Angle of Arrival (AoA), beamforming in audio context

WearablesWearable Computing
Next generation of wearable devices: finger rings, ear-buds, smart clothing. Rings: Vibration and ultrasound, receiving vibrations (with IMU and microphone), body-channels. Hearables and earables: noise cancellation, bone conduction, motion to speech recovery, binaural sounds, energy optimization (wake-on-speech)

Smart HomesAutonomous Systems (Cars and Drones)
Core challenges in autonomous systems: sensing, computing, communications + actuation. Robotic wireless networks, 5G networks, cell-tower on flying drones, ray-tracing, channel optimization. Cars: LIDAR, RADAR, and vision, sensor fusion, relative map creation.

Smart HomesMobile Privacy and Security
Why personal, always-ON devices are a major challenge in security and privacy Side channel attacks, inference algorithms, hardware loopholes, sensor data leaks. Case studies: location privacy, password typing, Alexa attacks, IMU fingerprints, acoustic drone attack, clock leaks, etc.

Course Format

The initial course topics are taught in class. For later topics students are expected to read research papers about the topic, and answer a short quiz on Canvas. We will be discussing those papers, and students are expected to participate in the class with comments and thoughts about the work. The course will have 2 homeworks, 2 graded programming assignments (PAs), 1 midterm exam, and a final project.

About Instructor

Name: Ashutosh Dhekne. Please call me: Ashutosh (preferred), or Prof. Dhekne Pronouns: He/Him/His

Grading (Tentative)

Homework: 10%
Paper Reviews: 10%
Midterm: 25%

PA1 + PA2: 5% + 10%
Project: 40%

Course Calendar (Subject to Change, previous year)




Paper Reviews/ToDo/Deadlines

08/22/2022 (Mon)


08/24/2022 (Wed)

Project Ideas

Classroom discussion of the semester wide projects. Pick one or bring your own project 

08/29/2022 (Mon)

Linear Algebra Refresher 1

Simulteneous Equations, Column Spaces, Solutions, Eigen Values, Null Spaces 

HW1A Released

08/31/2022 (Wed)

Linear Algebra in Mobile Computing

Filters for Social Media, Transformations using linear algebra, Rotation Matrices

09/05/2022 (Mon)

No Class

No Class


Sensor Overview

Basics of Sensors in a Mobile Phone

PA1 released


Use of Mobile Sensors

WalkCompass, Driving quality, Pothole sensors 

Review: WalkCompas

09/14/2022 (Wed)

Signal Processing Refresher 1

Signal Composition

09/19/2022 (Mon)

Signal Processing Refresher 2

Signal Decomposition

09/21/2022 (Wed)

Signal Processing Refresher 3

Nyquist Rate, Time Domain to Fourier Domain


09/26/2022 (Mon)

Signals and Senses

Visit to Extension of Self Exhibition at Georgia Tech Library

To be confirmed

09/28/2022 (Wed)

Outdoor Localization

GPS - Theory, Practice, Applications

HW1 Due

Optional Reading: 

10/03/2022 (Mon)

Outdoor Localization

Differential GPS - Improving Accuracy

Review Only till Section 3 SafetyNet

10/05/2022 (Wed)

Indoor Localization

Initial Efforts, RSS, Fingerprinting

HW2 Released

Review: RADAR

10/10/2022 (Mon)

Indoor Localization

Inertial Sensors, Dead reckoning

  Read: UnLoc

 (Links to an external site.

10/12/2022 (Wed)

Indoor Localization

ToF, Ranging, Synthetic Aperture 

Review: TrackIO

Casual Reading: P2PLoc

10/17/2022 (Mon)

No Class

No Class

10/19/2022 (Wed)

Indoor Localization

TDoA, AoA, Beamforming, Phase explanation

PA1 Due, PA2 Released

10/24/2022 (Mon)

Fine-grained Tracking

Sensor Fusion for fine-grained localization

Review: ITrackU

10/26/2022 (Wed)

Indoor Localization

Large scale localization

Review: PnPLoc

10/31/2022 (Mon)

3D Orientation

Local and global reference frame, Fusion with location

Review: iBall (Links to an external site.)

11/02/2022 (Wed)

Body Movements Tracking

Arm Track

Read: ArmTrack

11/07/2022 (Mon)


Midterm Exam

11/9/2022 (Wed)

Side Channels (Attacks?)

 Smartwatch Snatching Password

Review: MoLe

11/14/2022 (Mon)

Side Channels (Attacks?)

Audio side channel.

Review: Backdoor

11/16/2022 (Wed)

Wireless Sensing

Liquid Identification

Review: LiquID (Links to an external site.)

11/21/2022 (Mon)

Wireless Sensing

See through wall

Review: WiViHW2 Due

11/23/2022 (Wed)

No Class

No Class

11/28/2022 (Mon)


IoT Projects, 

PA2 Due
 (Links to an external site.)

11/30/2022 (Wed)


IoT and Sustainability

12/05/2022 (Mon)


Kendeda Building Tour TBD

12/14/2022 Final Time

Poster/Demo Session

Final Project Demonstration