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6.898 Pervasive Computing


Pervasive Computing (H)

Spring 2003


Instructors: Prof. Anant Agarwal (agarwal@mit.edu) and Dr. Umar Saif (umar@mit.edu)

Staff: Cornelia Colyer (colyer@cag.lcs.mit.edu)


Time:  TTh 2:30-4:00 P.M.

Place: 36-156

Prerequisites: 6.004, 6.033



Course Description

Rapid advances in digital electronics have made computers faster, cheaper, and smaller. Similar progress in communications technology has provided users virtually unlimited bandwidth, anywhere and at any time. The resulting combination of virtually free computation and ubiquitous network access has fueled the new domain of pervasive computing. Much as the advancement of earlier technologies enabled pervasive access to water, gas, and electricity, it is now becoming increasingly practical to define similar environments for ubiquitous computation and communication.

Pervasive computing envisions environments richly lathered with computation, com­munication and networked devices, mobile users interacting with their environment using speech and vision, with secure access to personal or public data. Pervasive computing environments will not simply be stand-alone vehicles for number crunching, rather they will immerse their users in a triad of invisible computation, communication and devices, working in concert to satisfy user requirements according to the facilities available in the environment.

This course will study the mechanisms and environments of pervasive computing. Topics include computer and network architectures for pervasive computing, mobile computing mechanisms, human-computer interaction using speech and vision, pervasive software systems, location mechanisms, practical techniques for security and user-authentication, and experimental pervasive computing systems.

We will meet twice a week for a mixture of lectures and class discussions of assigned readings. Grades will be based on class participation and a course project. Each student will present one or more assigned papers and lead a class discussion. Projects can be performed individually or in groups. Enrollment may be limited.