Cluster 8 -- The Internet of Things

  • Instructors:  Hooman Rashtian,  Rajeevan Amirtharajah 
  • Prerequisites: Programming Experience (strongly recommended), Physics class that includes Electricity & Magnetism, Algebra II, or Equivalent
  • Typical Field Trips: UC Davis Center for Nano-Micro Manufacturing, UC Davis Western Center for Agricultural Equipment


Internet-of-Things (IoT) refers to connecting all the things in the world around us to the internet and making them “smart.” The range of IoT devices is broad and can include homes, automobiles, farms, buildings, and wearable medical devices, just to name a few. On the Internet-of-Things, some of the “things” collect and send information, some receive information, and some do both. The information being sent and received is usually a physical parameter of the world around us, such as temperature, pressure, image, voice, velocity, humidity, etc. To collect such information, IoT devices utilize sensors that automatically measure physical parameters and convert them to electric voltages and/or currents which can then be processed more easily using circuits and computers. In a sense, sensors behave similarly to what our sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste do in helping us understand the world around us. The IoT devices also include a small computer which is considered the brain of the system and processes the information coming from the sensors. Eventually, the IoT devices act based on the processed information to control the outside world. 

This cluster provides hands-on experience in working with IoT systems and develops skills necessary for building wearable consumer devices, wearable healthcare devices, and residential IoT systems. Throughout the course of the program, in addition to attending daily lectures, students in this cluster complete a series of laboratory assignments followed by a final project of their choice in the undergraduate laboratories at the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department and the Engineering Student Design Center (ESDC) at UC Davis.