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Center for Embedded Networked Sensing

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Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS)  (University of California-Los Angeles)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

Embedded Networked Sensing Systems promise to reveal previously unobservable phenomena widely impacting society by connecting the physical world to the Internet. CENS is a major research enterprise focused on developing wireless sensing systems and applying this revolutionary technology to critical scientific and societal pursuits.

In the same way that the development of the Internet transformed our ability to communicate, the ever decreasing size and cost of computing components is setting the stage for detection, processing, and communication technology to be embedded throughout the physical world and, thereby, fostering both a deeper understanding of the natural and built environment and, ultimately, enhancing our ability to design and control these complex systems.

By investigating fundamental properties of embedded networked sensing systems, developing new technologies, and exploring novel scientific and educational applications, CENS is a world leader in unleashing the tremendous potential these systems hold. The center’s current research portfolio encompasses projects across nine technology and applications areas, examples of which include techniques to identify chemical and biological pollutants; cameras and image analysis approaches that assist scientists in making biological observation; mobile phones and the ubiquitous wireless infrastructure for applications in public health, environmental protection, urban planning, and cultural expression.

Education & Outreach

CENS education focuses on integrating embedded network sensing (ENS) technology into learning opportunities for various communities, including middle and high school teachers and students, undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and researchers in data management and education. Together our programs are designed to provide national visibility to ENS to research communities, schools, and the public at large to enable maximization of the potential positive societal impacts through outreach and knowledge transfer activities. At CENS, education is intertwined with research and application development.

The goals of education at CENS are to advance the state of the art in inquiry-based science education in grades 6-12 through the development and use of interactive ENS systems; to increase the participation of under-represented students in undergraduate and graduate engineering research; to conduct education research that will directly inform CENS educational design work and advance basic theoretical knowledge of students' understanding of scientific inquiry; and to advance understanding of the intersections between education, cyberinfrastructure, and digital libraries.

To meet these goals, CENS has established several initiatives. The Inquiry Module Development initiative advances the state of the art in inquiry-based science education in grades 6-12 through the use of interactive ENS systems and research through the Educational Research on Student Learning initiative will directly inform CENS educational design work and advance basic theoretical knowledge of students’ understanding of scientific inquiry. CENS trains America’s next generation of science leaders by supporting undergraduates in science and engineering through a comprehensive summer internship program working directly with CENS technology, faculty, and graduate students and by increasing the participation of underrepresented minorities and women in undergraduate and graduate engineering research through its diversity program.

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  • robotic sensor is placed between treetops
A robotic sensor package is suspended between two treetops at the Wind River Canopy Crane Research Facility in Washington State.
Center for Embedded Networked Sensing, UCLA; Wind River Canopy Crane Research Facility, University of Washington

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