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Northeastern University Launches the Institute for the Wireless IoT

The internet of things is a concept that is used in many different contexts. At Northeastern University, researchers are envisioning the internet of things in the context of a much more interconnected world.


It’s the interface that allows people to connect the physical world with the cyber world, using autonomous wireless networks, systems, and devices that tackle some of the world’s most important problems, said Tommaso Melodia, Northeastern’s William Lincoln Smith Chair Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.


To seize the potential of the wireless spectrum, Northeastern launched the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things on Friday, Oct. 14th at the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex. The new institute will drive advances to change the way people are connected worldwide.


“The internet of things is a number of different things, but it is certainly new ways to perceive the physical environment,” said Melodia, who is the director of the new institute. “The work we do is on the autonomous wireless network systems of tomorrow, innovating on certain challenging areas where wireless connectivity is an important issue.”

The new institute will combine a diverse set of expertise in sensors, energy harvesting, communications and networking, data analytics, and artificial intelligence, from more than 100 Northeastern researchers who study topics ranging from cybersecurity to marine science. These researchers will also collaborate with other universities, industry, and government entities. It’s what the next generation of wireless technologies will need.


“What is unique is that we’re trying to bring all this expertise together and apply it to a number of technological challenges in a number of areas,” said Melodia. “Including smart cities and communities, smart oceans, connected vehicles and drones, the internet of medical things, and industrial automation or industry 4.0.”


With this expertise, the institute will drive innovation in systems networks and artificial intelligence to transform the way society is connected, said David Luzzi, senior vice provost for research and vice president of Northeastern’s Innovation Campus. Although the idea of digitizing and connecting the world is still a work in progress, he said, there is a tremendous amount of research that needs to be done.


“These researchers are putting the university on their back and running to the future,” saod Luzzi. “This is all about an interdisciplinary and differentiated approach to go into the future, which is our genetic code and hallmark at Northeastern.”

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