The introduction of wireless networks and its handling of user mobility is perhaps one of the most significant developments of recent years in the rapidly converging areas of pervasive computing and telecommunications. With the introduction of 3G/4G mobile systems, self-organizing sensor and ad hoc networks and the ubiquitous nature of IP connectivity, the technology of mobile networking is likely to be a major growth area in the coming years. In recognition of the importance of this area, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of Michigan State University has established a research program in which the students specializing in Computer Networks area are trained on theoretical as well as practical aspects of the technology of computer networks.
Graduate program coursework at the M.S. and Ph.D. levels is taken in both the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Computer Science (CSE) Departments. Courses focus on advanced computer networks, mobile network protocols and systems, wireless communication, network security, embedded systems and on advanced algorithms for network protocol design.
Networking research in the ECE Department is structured around three overlapping themes: protocol design, hardware-software development and interdisciplinary network applications. Current research opportunities on wireless protocol research include energy-aware Medium Access Control (MAC) and routing for embedded sensor and Ad Hoc networks, traffic analysis based security mechanisms, multimedia and QoS support, self-organizing MAC, and cross-layer architectures. Research on protocol development deals with self-reorganizing hardware and embedded software design for adaptive network protocols. Challenging research problems exists in this area in the context of energy-constrained embedded applications such as wireless sensor networks. Another area is the design of cryptographic algorithms and network security protocols for the next generation internet, ad-hoc and sensor networks. On a more applied front, significant opportunities exist on a number of ongoing projects on developing interdisciplinary applications. These projects include Vehicle-to-Vehicle networking for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Wireless Sensor Networks for Environmental Monitoring and Networked Systems for Intrusion and Failure Detection of Large Linear Structures.
Computer Networking Researchers: