Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Xiong Receives NSF CAREER Award for Work on Long-Range Wireless Sensing

Jie Xiong
Jie Xiong

$600,000 grant will fund exploration of the use of LoRa to detect disaster survivors 

Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) Assistant Professor Jie Xiong has been granted a CAREER funding award of over $600,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the continuation of his project, Wide Area Wireless Sensing: Theories and Applications.

Xiong’s research focuses on the improvement of a ubiquitous technology in daily life—sensors, which are embedded in a diverse range of systems such as smartphones, wearables, gaming devices, medical equipment and automobiles. Wireless sensing, an emerging alternative to conventional sensors, uses wireless signals to sense human beings and the surrounding environment using contact-free and sensor-free methods, which can be especially beneficial for pandemic and disaster response. The technology also promises to benefit a large spectrum of disciplines including elderly care, human-computer interaction, and environment monitoring. However, as Xiong explains in his proposal, current wireless sensing techniques suffer from limited sensing ranges and are negatively impacted by objects in real-world environments.

Xiong's project aims to develop fundamental theories to help people understand the underlying mechanism of long-range wireless sensing, and to apply those theories to overcome the limitations of the field, moving wide-area wireless sensing close to widespread adoption.

“With these proposed methods, I am aiming to revolutionize wireless sensing and enable many new sensing applications,” explains Xiong. “These applications could range from soil moisture sensing for water conservation to the detection of disaster survivors—even if they are in a coma—through long-range, through-wall respiration sensing."

At the conclusion of this long-term research, Xiong intends to release his hardware designs and source codes to the public to benefit and encourage further research. 

Assistant Professor Jie Xiong currently works as a researcher at the Center for Smart and Connected Society. He joined CICS in January 2018 after earning his doctorate in computer science from University College London in 2015. Xiong is the recipient of a Google European Doctoral Fellowship and a British Computer Society Distinguished Dissertation Award runner-up. Before joining UMass Amherst, he worked as an assistant professor at Singapore Management University.

The CAREER Award is one of NSF's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research.