University of Utah

Welcome to the Sensing and Processing Across Networks (SPAN) lab! The SPAN lab is part of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Utah.

The SPAN lab develops inventions for wireless networks which improve their security, reliability, self-awareness, and sensing capabilities. Research applies statistical signal processing, networking, and radio propagation techniques. The innovations have application in localization and tracking, secret key generation for wireless networks, network design and deployment, modeling and analysis. The lab, directed by Neal Patwari, is a combination of the efforts of several graduate and undergraduate researchers.

SPAN Announcements and News

2011 IEEE Student Professional Awareness Conference, March 3 at 3 pm

The U of U Student Branch of the IEEE is hosting two accomplished engineers from the Salt Lake area to speak to students about entrepreneurship and provide advice on pursuing a graduate degree. The 2011 IEEE Student Professional Awareness Conference (SPAC) will take place on Thursday, 3 March 2011 at 3:00 - 4:00 pm in WEB 2250. A reception, with pizza and drinks, will follow the talks.

Rick White is Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and co-founder of Fusion-io, a local company listed by the Wall Street Journal as the number one venture capital-funded technology company of 2010. Prior to working with Fusion-io, Mr. White founded several technology companies that have sold for hundreds of millions of dollars. Mr. White will speak about entrepreneurship in engineering.

Osama Haddadin is an alumnus of the U of U who currently works as the Chief Technologist for Advanced Communications at L-3 Communications. He is an expert in the field of array signal processing with experience in geophysics and oil exploration, medical ultrasound imaging, and wireless communication. Dr. Haddadin will offer his perspective on the pursuit of a graduate degree for industry careers.

Students enrolled in the ECE Graduate Seminar course may count the SPAC toward the seminar attendance requirements.

Congratulations, Jessica and Piyush

Two SPAN Ph.D. students, Jessica Croft and Piyush Agrawal, completed and passed their Ph.D. proposal this month. Jessica Croft proposed on December 6th on her research topic, secret key generation from channel measurements. Piyush Agrawal proposed on December 13th on his topic, radio localization in sensor networks. Both had their research plans reviewed and approved by their committee members. Congratulations to both Jessica and Piyush!

Beware of Chancellor Darkskull!

Chancellor Darkskull
Check out this video of Chancellor Darkskull's graveyard. Legend has it that the Chancellor died a premature death under suspicious circumstances. His ghost escaped from the graveyard so many times to haunt local residents that he was finally imprisoned in a ghost-proof prison cell. But that hasn't stopped him from knowing who goes there (and where) in his graveyard. His ghostly senses are aided by radio tomographic imaging, a technology developed in the SPAN lab with the support of NSF grant #0748206, which goes to show that the new technology can have truly scary applications. Joey Wilson of Xandem and collaborators developed this haunted contraption and video.

Start planning your paper submission for SECON 2011

SECON 2011 Banner Image
Start planning your submission to SECON 2011, which will be held in Salt Lake City, 27-30 June 2011. The CFP is up and the paper submission deadline is 17 December 2010.

Proceedings of the IEEE sensor networks special issue now available

Title Slide Image
It's now out! After more than 18 months in planning, writing, and editing, the Special Issue on "Sensor Network Applications" of the Proceedings of the IEEE is out and available on IEEExplore. There are eleven articles on the current state of the art in sensor network research, including articles on technologies that are enabling sensor networks, and articles on the applications of sensor networks. The guest editors, Neal Patwari, Mingyan Liu, and Andreas Terzis, want to thank the many authors for their contributions, and the many volunteer reviewers for their time and effort. We hope you find it a good read!

Keynote slides posted

Title Slide Image Keynote lecture slides presented by Prof. Neal Patwari at the Fifth IEEE International Workshop on Practical Issues in Building Sensor Network Applications (SenseApp 2010) are now posted. The talk, "Building RF Sensor Networks", discussed the use of RF measurements in wireless networks for purposes of localization and security. The talk emphasized new results in received signal strength-based device-free localization.

Jessica Croft demonstrates RSS-based secret key establishment at Mobicom 2010

Nexus One Nexus OneAt Mobicom 2010 in Chicago, IL, Ph.D. Candidate Jessica Croft demonstrated the establishment of a shared secret keys on two Nexus One phones without the phones ever exchanging key data over the air. The two phones make measurements of the received signal strength (RSS) of the channel between them. The adaptive ranking-based uncorrelated bit extraction (ARUBE) method, first presented in a paper at the IPSN 2010 conference, is implemented and runs on Android. Jessica's work demonstrates the low computational complexity of the ARUBE method and will allow users to see how quickly secret key bits can be generated, and how reliably the secret keys agree. Jessica's demonstration occurred on Wednesday, September 22, 2010, in the poster and demo session.

NSF awards grant to investigate "Human and Probabilistic Context Awareness"

NSF Logo The National Science Foundation has awarded a $1 million grant to a collaborative team of researchers at the SPAN Lab, the University of Utah School of Computing, and Carnegie Mellon University's Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Institute. The grant, titled CPS: Medium: Collaborative Research: Enabling and Advancing Human and Probabilistic Context Awareness for Smart Facilities and Elder Care, will investigate the use of radio localization technologies to provide human context awareness to computing systems.

Seminar Announcement: Paul Cuff

Paul CuffProf. Paul Cuff, from Princeton University, will present the talk, "Information Theory for Secrecy and Control", on Friday Aug 27, at 1pm, in the ECE Conference Room (MEB 3235). His talk introduces a couple of novel viewpoints and results for control and secrecy in distributed systems. More information about the talk, including the abstract, is given on the seminar flyer.

Keynote lecture at SenseApp 2010

Prof. Neal Patwari will present the keynote lecture at the Fifth IEEE International Workshop on Practical Issues in Building Sensor Network Applications (SenseApp 2010), on 14 October 2010, in Denver, Colorado. The talk, "Building RF Sensor Networks", will discuss practical issues in building sensor networks which use RF measurements for purposes of localization and security. The talk will particularly emphasize new results in device-free localization.

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