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  1. 1. DISC4397/7397 RFID Programming Summer 2007 Melcher Hall, Room 130 MTWTH 12:00 - 2:00pm Contact Information Instructor: Lakshmi Goel Room: MH 280K Email: Phone: w. (713) 743-4734 Office Hours: M-Th 2pm-3pm Web: Course Overview 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. 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 ( Finally, the course will teach students how to work with real-world RFID middleware from Shipcom Wireless, Inc. Prerequisites 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, Dennis Adams in MH 270.
  2. 2. 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, it is advantageous for a student 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 few classes introducing students to Visual Basic. Grading Grades in the class will be based upon the following distribution: Grade Percentage Ranges A 93-100% A- 90-92% B+ 87-89% B 83-86% B- 80-82% C+ 77-79% C 73-76% C- 70-72% D 60-69% F Below 60% Course evaluation EXAMS (40%) Exam I – Midterm 20% Exam II – Final 20% COURSEWORK (60%) Lab Assignments 10% Quizzes/Assignments 30% Research Project 20% Exams Exam 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.
  3. 3. Lab Assignments Lab assignments are designed to equip students with hands-on experience with RFID technology using the RF Code RFID Kit. Each lab assignment will be explained in class. Lab assignments are to be completed in groups of three. Research Project You will have to submit 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. You will also need to give a 20 minute presentation on your research to the class. Evaluations will be based on your idea, content, writing, thoroughness, and the evaluation of your peers. Extra credit (up to 10%) will be assigned if the project is fully or partially implemented. Quizzes, Assignments There will be quizzes throughout the semester. Students who are absent on the day of the quiz will receive a zero for that quiz. Assignments will typically require short reports or papers to be submitted electronically. Correct source citation and good writing are essential for assignments. Course Materials There is no text book for this course. All materials required to prepare for the exam will be provided in class. All material (manuals, software, guides, extra reading material) needed to complete the coursework will be provided in class. Attendance 100% attendance in class is strongly recommended. Attending guest lectures, quizzes, and exams on the dates specified is mandatory. Disabilities The C. T. Bauer College of Business would like to help students who have disabilities achieve their highest potential. To this end, in order to receive academic accommodations, students must register with the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) (telephone 713-743-5400), and present approved accommodation documentation to their instructor in a timely manner. Academic Honesty Policy The University of Houston Academic Honesty Policy is strictly enforced by the C. T. Bauer College of Business. No violations of this policy will be tolerated in this course. A discussion of the policy is included in the University of Houston Student Handbook, Students are expected to be familiar with this policy. Plagiarism will be dealt with stringently. Teaching Evaluations 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
  4. 4. 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 evaluation process. Tentative Schedule Date Topic th May 29 Introduction May 30th Intro to Auto-ID technologies May 31st RFID Basics, Principles June 1st Guest Speaker – Smart Dust June 4th Quiz, RFID Principles June 5th RFID in Retail June 6th Guest Speaker – RFID in Supply Chain June 7th Quiz, Exam I Review June 11th Lab June 12th Lab th June 13 EXAM I June 14th Lab, Research Project June 18th Lab, Research Project June 19th RFID Deployment June 20th Applications, Middleware June 21st Standards, Privacy & Security June 25th Research Project June 26th Research Project June 27th Class Presentations June 28th Project Due June 29th -- June 30th Exam II Note: The schedule is subject to change anytime during the semester. Schedule for quizzes and assignments will be announced in class.