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New MSc Module in Internet of Things:

A great success!

An innovative, new, intensive week long taught MSc module in the popular topic area of the Internet of Things (IoT) ran at UCL from 29th February - 4th March 2016. The module proved to be very popular with 51 students attending and with guest speakers from IBM, Amey and Fujitsu.

The course is designed to provide an introduction to the IoT for postgraduate students or those with equivalent industry experience who already have a background in electronic engineering or a related subject, an understanding of basic networking and some coding experience. The module covered technology and business drivers of the IoT, typical IoT applications, trends, architectures, network protocols, wireless technologies, application programming and data analytics. A key characteristic of the course was a focus on hands-on activities including practical demonstrations and lab sessions. The course made use of ARM-based silicon in the IoT devices employed, following the joint press announcement at UCL in January 2015 (http://www.ee.ucl.ac.uk/undergraduate/newsarmiotjan2015). The course was assessed by means of group project including an individual written component.

Course Director, Dr Clive Poole said "The course is designed to give the students a solid grounding of the key technologies involved and how they are integrated to form complete IoT systems. We also aim to give students an understanding of how the internet of things fits within the wider context of the ICT industry, and the economy at large".
Student feedback was very positive with achievement of objectives, course material and instructors' knowledge all rated on average 82% or above in a student survey. Here are some student comments on the most useful aspects included:

"We covered the whole framework of IoT."

"Deep analysis of the complete IoT ecosystem"

"The practical part was most useful: using sensors, how to connect real sensors with IBM Bluemix and using Node-Red"

"IoT implementation and how it helps peoples' lives"

"I enjoyed the workshop and using case studies to see different applications of IoT"

"I knew about sensors, cloud analytics from the internet - this course achieved the objectives by stitching them all together"

"I am impressed. Please do not change the style of IoT teaching. Excellent coverage"

Course Lecturer Dr Ryan Grammenos said "Taking into account that this was the first year in which the course was run, the results were excellent with 82% of students indicating that the course objectives were fully met and that the course material was of a high quality. The most invaluable aspect of the course was the practical element with almost 50% of the module being lab based. The course walked students through the entire IoT stack from the sensors, through to connectivity and into the cloud for data analytics and application development. A variety of devices and tools were demonstrated and used throughout the course and lab sessions. These were sourced from a number of vendors many of whom are close industrial partners to UCL, such as ARM, Texas Instruments and IBM. The course was further enriched with talks from guest speakers working in different industries including Fujitsu and Amey. These talks were highly appreciated by students. Towards the end of the course, students were grouped into teams and had 24 hours to prepare a mini project proposal in the area of the Internet of Things. Subsequently, they had to realise this proposal taking into account all layers of the IoT stack and produce a video demonstration of their work, as well as group and individual reports describing each student's contribution to the project. The assessors were impressed by the enthusiasm of the students who put in considerable effort to produce innovative IoT applications within a restricted timeframe."

The next module will run from 27th Feb - 3rd March 2017. The module can be taken standalone as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for those in industry or as part of a full MSc degree programme, over a period of 1 year full time or up to 5 years part-time. For more information, contact MSc Administrator, Rhiannon Lloyd (communications@ee.ucl.ac.uk)

iotmodule2016

Amey's Dr Darminder Singh Ghataoura gives a guest lecture.