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Educating Innovators of Future Internet of Things
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Computer Science.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Computer Science.
2013 (English)In: 2013 Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE 2013): Oklahoma City, Olöahoma, USA, 23-26 October 2013, Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Communications Society, 2013, 1352-1358 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Clouds, Communicating Machines, Social Networking, Big Data, innovative web-services are the buzz words that currently ramp up the interest in computer science education amongst potential students. The current trend in CS education is to introduce an innovation component into the content of undergraduate and graduate courses facilitating out of the box thinking. In the fall of 2012 the content of three undergraduate courses running in parallel at Luleå University of Technology were aligned in the theoretical and practical parts projecting the individual contents to a holistic scenario of the Internet of Things. The practical goal of the trial was to provide skills of developing innovative, cutting-edge IT solutions. The trial courses were: Wireless sensor networks, Distributed applications, and Network programming. The first two courses are given on the fourth year while the later course is given on the second year of the CS program. The theoretical content of three courses allowed creating a scenario covering the whole technology chain of the Internet of Things: gathering and communicating sensory data; scalable and distributed processing of big data; value-added, human relevant network services. In the practical part students in the three courses (total 60) acted as start-up companies in the respective technology domain. These ``start-ups'' were assigned a task to deliver a common holistic system given time, performance and budget constrains. This task required students in a particular course to constantly communicate to other students outside the course's boundaries. Through these activities students were trained on skills for industrial level development and integration of complex IT systems. On a technical side all courses were conducted using Amazon Web Services as a common computing platform. This choice allowed us to draw interesting conclusions about students work load, the degree of their actual involvement in the learning process as well as economical costs. In the sensor network course a pedagogy-oriented, close-to-reality, real-time simulation environment was used to substantially facilitate experimentation with large quantities of communicating sensors. Using AWS as a platform for the other two courses gave students a possibility of experimenting with hundreds of servers while training the skills in developing commercial scale software. As a result of evaluations in the respective courses we conjecture that the goal of the trial is successfully achieved. The innovative component was highly valued by the majority of students. Most of the students confirmed that exposing them to the ``big picture'' and product-based learning substantially increased their involvement and motivation in the learning process. On the technical side several non-conventional applications of the theoretical content were observed in all three courses. One of the successful resulting systems featured a unique integration of real-time sensory data with a popular social network. The full article will describe the details of the courses' structure along with the associated logistical and technical challenges. We present the illustrative achievements as well as the analysis of students' feedback. The article will be concluded with the discussion of learned positive and negative lessons put in the context of recent theories in CS education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Communications Society, 2013. 1352-1358 p.
, Frontiers in Education Conference. Conference Proceedings, ISSN 1539-4565
Research subject
Dependable Communication and Computation Systems
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-32664DOI: 10.1109/FIE.2013.6685053Local ID: 7384c2d1-b4e3-4282-8227-c7a0a6d5a2eaOAI: diva2:1005898
Annual Frontiers in Education Conference : 23/10/2013 - 26/10/2013
Godkänd; 2014; 20130618 (lauril)Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30Bibliographically approved

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