Connect U: FIU offers students specialized training in smart devices

(WSVN) - We take for granted that our smartphone can communicate with our car and even our house, and it takes special computer experts to make that happen. 7’s Lorena Estrada shows us how students at Florida International University are getting special training to make these devices talk to each other.

Professor: “Alexa, tell us a joke.”

Alexa: “Why was the math teacher such a good dancer? She had algorithm.”

From entertainment…

Student: “Siri, how many miles to Chicago.”

To voice-controlled internet searches, smart devices have become an essential part of our lives.

Selcuk Uluagac, Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, FIU: “Smart bulbs, smart switches, smart plugs, Alexa, smart home speaker systems. They’re all invading our homes.”

But for those devices to work, they have to talk to each other through the internet.

Computer experts call that communication the “Internet of Things” or “I.O.T.”

Kemal Akkaya, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, FIU: “They use I.O.T. devices in energy systems. They use them in transportation, they use them in agriculture, use it in medical devices.”

It’s projected more than 20 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020, so it’s critical to find people who are trained to keep them running.

Kemal Akkaya: “There’s a lot of companies getting into this business, but we’re not producing enough graduates.”

So FIU created a brand-new degree for the “Internet of Things.” The university is the only one in the U.S. offering this specialized training for undergraduates.

Selcuk Uluagac: “This degree will empower them with the state-of-the-art technologies.”

Rebecca Dupuis enrolled at FIU as a computer science major last year before the new I.O.T. degree was announced. Now, she is adding a second degree in I.O.T. to her résumé.

Rebecca Dupuis: “I was happy and excited. Definitely being trained specifically in I.O.T. is going to give me this advantage when it comes to going into the workforce.”

Students not only learn how to build hardware and software for I.O.T. devices. There is a special security lab where the focus is keeping all of the information shared between your devices safe.

Kemal Akkaya: “Our programs are kind of a bridge between the industry side, where there are a lot of companies investing in I.O.T. They need the workforce, and we have that workforce here.”

Students enrolled in the program are pretty sure they made a “smart” choice.

Rebecca Dupuis: “It’s really where we’re headed towards in the future, so I wanted to be able to learn as much in that domain specifically.”

And Rebecca’s excited to see where this unique degree takes her.

The full I.O.T. degree program will be offered online and on campus in spring of 2018.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Internet of Things
https://internetofthings.fiu.edu/

CyberCorps website
https://cybercorps-sfs.fiu.edu/

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