RFID & Business Applications
Melcher Hall, Room 127
MTWTH 10:00am – 12.00pm
Instructor: Vlad Krotov
Room: MH 280L
Phone: office (713) 743-4735; cell (713) 498-5383
Office Hours: Before and after the class
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an emerging technology that holds the promise
to revolutionize supply chain management. Even though RFID has been around for
decades, it is only now that businesses are coming to realize potential improvements in
supply chain visibility and cost efficiencies that can be brought by RFID.
However, the impact of RFID technology may go beyond improvements in supply chain
efficiency. In his 1995 book titled “The Road Ahead”, Bill Gates talks about the concept
“information highway”. He envisions “information highway” as a ubiquitous network
with electronic devices being the only nodes in the network. RFID technology may be
taking the concept of information highway even further. With the help of RFID, people,
animals, physical objects (including electronic devices) may all become a part of a
network. This extended version of information highway may offer opportunities beyond
those envisioned by the Microsoft’s founder.
Of course, it may take time for this new type of network to emerge. At this point of time
RFID is still an emerging technology imposing a number of challenges on early adopters.
The primary objective of this course is to equip students with technical and managerial
knowledge which will help them to address challenges and take advantage of the
opportunities related to the RFID technology.
The course has two main components: conceptual and technical. The conceptual
component of the course intends to provide a thorough overview of the technology from
the managerial standpoint. As a part of the conceptual component of the course, we are
expecting to have a number of guest speakers from companies that work with RFID.
The technical component of the course is designed to help students to gain knowledge in
several areas. First of all, the course will cover technical issues surrounding RFID
technology, such as physics of RFID. Secondly, students will learn how to set up and
configure RFID hardware. Thirdly, students will learn how to develop simple RFID
applications using the RF Code’s Mantis Developer’s Kit.
The Department strictly enforces all prerequisites. Unfortunately, students without the
appropriate prerequisites may be dropped from the class roll. Those students with a
legitimate reason for not taking the necessary courses may contact the Department Chair,
Dr. Khumawala in MH 270. Instructors are not permitted to issue waivers for course
prerequisites. This course is an MIS elective.
Computer Literacy Expectations
Since the course will involve programming, students are expected to have basic
knowledge of a fourth generation programming language, preferably Visual Basic.
Contingent on the overall level of students’ expertise in programming, I may spend a
class or two introducing students to Visual Basic.
Grades in the class will be based upon the following distribution:
Grade Percentage Ranges
F Below 60%
Exam I: 25%
Exam II: 40%
Lab Assignments: 30%
Final grades will be rounded to the nearest percent using the “0.5 rule”. Grades for Exam
I and Exam II will not be rounded. Exam I & II grades will have 2 decimal point
precision (e.g. 78.12 %).
Exams: All exams multiple choice. Questions will come from lectures, reading
materials, guest speaker presentations, and lab assignments. Exam II will be semi-
comprehensive. It will focus on material covered after the Exam I, but will also include
questions on material covered before the Exam I.
Lab Assignments: You will have to complete 3 lab assignments using the RF Code
RFID Kit. Lab assignments are designed to equip students with hands-on experience with
RFID technology. Each lab assignment will be explained in class. Lab assignments are to
be completed in groups of three. The deadlines for completing the lab assignments will
be flexible. However, you have to complete all the lab assignments before the Exam II.
Quizzes: There will be several quizzes based on guest speaker presentations.
There are three ways to get extra credit (up to 7pts towards your final grade). The first
two are mutually exclusive. In other words, you have to decide which one of the two you
want to do – you cannot do both 1 and 2.
1. Write a research paper on a topic related to RFID. Please have you research topic
approved by me before you start writing the paper. Paper requirements: 8+ pages,
double-spaced, 1 inch margins, 12 pts Times New Roman font, properly cited
sources, original work. The paper has to be submitted no later then two days
(within 48 hours) after the final exam. (4pts)
2. Come up with a good, innovative idea for an RFID application. Goodness and
novelty are a matter of degree, so I will use my judgment in deciding how good
novel your idea is. Submit a write-up of the idea. It doesn’t matter how long the
write-up is (as long as I can understand your idea). (3pts)
3. After you complete your lab assignments, I will ask you to distribute 3pts among
your team members proportionally to each member’s contribution to the lab
There is no text book for this course. Reading slides and handouts should be sufficient to
prepare for exams. For each topic that we discuss in class I will have a number of
handouts either in electronic or hard copy formats. The white papers in electronic format
will be posted to our class web site. The white papers in hard copy format will be
distributed in class. If you miss a class, you can always pick up a handout from my drop
box, which is located to the right of my office door (r. 280L).
You will be provided with all the necessary software for the class.
Even though attendance is not mandatory, I strongly encourage you to attend every class.
I expect 100% attendance on the days when we have a guest speaker. Quizzes will be
administered on these days to encourage attendance.
• Eating and drinking. Eating and drinking are allowed, but please do not make too
• Cellular phones and beepers. Please put these devices in silent/vibrate mode.
Please try to refrain from returning calls or pages in class.
• Punctuality. Please make every effort to be on time.
The Center for Students with Disabilities provides a wide variety of academic support
services to all currently enrolled UH students who have any type of mental or physical
disability of either a temporary or permanent nature. These services include assistance
with course accommodations, adaptive equipment, individualized exam administration,
taped textbooks, wheelchair repair, library needs, registration, and handicapped parking
accessible housing and transportation, as well as many other needs. If you feel that you
may need assistance of this nature, you may wish to call the Center at (713) 743-5400. In
addition, you should let your instructor know about any special needs as soon as possible.
Academic Honesty Policy
College of Business Administration is proud of the high quality of students and our
academic programs. In efforts to maintain out high standards, it is important that you
complete you individual assignments on your own. Evidence of unauthorized cooperation
on assignments will result in severe penalties, including receiving an F for the course.
The CBA has a policy that requires all of its instructors to be evaluated by their students.
The results of these evaluations are important to provide feedback to instructors on how
their performance can be improved. In addition, these evaluations are carefully
considered in promotion, salary adjustment, and other important decisions. We openly
encourage our students to provide feedback to the instructors and the CBA through the
June 2 Introduction to the Class
June 3 Introduction to Auto-ID
June 4 Physics of RFID
June 5 RFID Tags
June 9 RFID System Design
Monday Interrogation Zones
June 10 Performing Site Analysis
Tuesday RFID Installation
June 11 RFID Peripherals
Wednesday Regulations and Standards
June 12 Monitoring and Troubleshooting RFID Systems
Thursday Midterm Exam Review
June 16 MIDTERM
June 17 RFID Middleware
Tuesday RFID Programming
June 18 RFID Programming
June 19 RFID and Supply Chain Management
Thursday RFID Programming
June 23 RFID Applications
Monday RFID Programming
June 24 RFID Privacy and Security
Tuesday RFID Programming
June 26 The Future of RFID
Wednesday RFID Programming
June 27 RFID Programming
June 30 RFID Programming
July 1 Final Exam Review
July 3 FINAL EXAM