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Bridging the physical gap between small mobiles – Interconnected Mobile Computing in Wireless Networks

Mobile computing has become an indispensable part of life. Ideally, a mobile device should have powerful capabilities in computation, communication and sensing, an everlasting battery lifetime and a wearable form factor, so as to be used anytime and anywhere. However in reality, various manufacturing limits make it infeasible to realize this objective, and trade-offs must be made.

Many devices are only suited for a specific scenario, and a user has to switch between devices for different applications. Further, the increasing complexity of mobile computing tasks may exceed the capability of any individual device, imposing a hard limit on the scalability of mobile computing systems.

Dr. Wei Gao of EECS envisions a fundamental shift: instead of being separately operated, multiple devices owned by one user should be fully interconnected by wireless networks, so they can complement each other via cooperative sharing of their hardware and software system resources. For example, when a user gets into a smart vehicle, his smartphone and smartwatch could automatically discover and obtain GPS reception from the vehicle to save local battery.

Dr. Gao has just been awarded $400,000 for his idea through the prestigious CAREER award program of the National Science Foundation.  He will develop new technologies in wireless networks and mobile systems that are vital to realizing the vision of IMC.  These technologies and engineering systems will be general and applicable to the entire spectrum of mobile devices, ranging from computational RFIDs and implantable medical devices, to smartphones and smart home appliances.


Faculty Highlight


Picture of Dr. Wei GaoDr. Wei Gao, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has received a National Science Foundation CAREER award for his proposal, “Interconnected Mobile Computing in Wireless Networks.”  The award will provide funding over the next five years for Dr. Gao to research multiple mobile devices, interconnected via wireless networks, complementing each other via cooperative resource sharing.

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