Understanding Wireless: Technology, Economics, and Policy
About this courseSkip About this course
Interested in learning how mobile smartphones and tablets convert digital information to and from electromagnetic signals in the radio frequency (RF) spectrum? Curious how radio designers and spectrum regulators avoid harmful interference within a network or among different wireless services? Debating whether television (TV) band spectrum or cellular spectrum is more valuable to society? Want to build a radio transmitter and receiver, or develop a business plan for a wireless network deployment in your hometown? Then sign up for "Understanding Wireless" today!
This survey style course offers an opportunity to gain understanding of the technical, regulatory, and economic aspects of the mobile wireless revolution and its impact on society. The course is intended for a broad audience, from engineers to business majors to aspiring lawyers, but students will be most comfortable if they are not intimidated by early-college mathematics.
The instructors aim to expose the intricate physics, infrastructure, industry segments, markets, and radio frequency (RF) spectrum challenges behind today's popular smart phones and tablets, and to challenge students to participate in fueling the future growth of these technologies as well as their applications. The course will include such topics as the electrical transmission of information, the physical propagation of radio signals, the principles and challenges of sharing a common medium, standards and patents, spectrum licenses and auctions, privacy and security issues, and societal impact of wireless communication services and applications.
In addition to directed readings, video sessions, and learning exercises, students taking the course for a certificate will be required to take several quizzes and, in the last two weeks of the course, to develop a project selected from one of several options. We are excited to introduce you to the myriad aspects of the wireless revolution and to explore with you how wireless is changing today’s society.
The University of Notre Dame's Office of Digital Learning is sponsoring a final project competition for "Understanding Wireless" learners located in the United States and Canada. Qualified participants will design and submit a project plan to use wireless technology to improve their local community (town, school, local government, etc.), applying the knowledge and experience they have gained in the course.
Finalists will be chosen from the projects submitted according to the potential impact, feasibility, and creativity of the proposal. Students from the U.S. and Canada interested in partaking in this competition must enroll in the Verified Certificate. We regret that the competition is only available to students in the US and Canada at this time. Please note that edX is not involved with sponsoring or administering any aspect of this competition.
Three finalists will be flown to the Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Indiana to present their projects in person to the course faculty and a jury of industry experts in September or October of 2015. The winning finalist will receive a budget of $5000 to implement their design.
At a glance
What you'll learnSkip What you'll learn
- Identify the major historical and structural developments in the field of wireless communications
- Explore the challenges of wireless technologies present in spectrum allocation, privacy, and net neutrality
- Examine wireless technology through the lenses of economics, law, and engineering
- Explain how devices and applications relay information wirelessly