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UMass Lowell Shares in $7.5M to Develop Future Mobile Internet

Research Will Lead to More Robust, Secure Mobile Network

Guanling Chen
Asst. Prof. Guanling Chen

By Edwin L. Aguirre

Asst. Prof. Guanling Chen of the Computer Science Department will be working with fellow researchers at Rutgers and other institutions across the country as part of a three-year National Science Foundation-funded project to build a more trustworthy and robust mobile Internet.

The Rutgers-led collaborative project, dubbed “MobilityFirst,” aims to design a “clean-slate” network architecture to accommodate the shift of Internet traffic to smart cellular phones, tablet computers and emerging mobile data services.

“The goal is to make mobile Internet more reliable, available and secure,” says Chen. “Namely, the technology will help reduce spam and phishing attacks. It will also better enable new applications, such as location-aware computing that allows people to find nearby merchants or get driving or public-transit directions even if they don’t know their location, while maintaining the users’ privacy.”

He says the mobile Internet of the future will support machine-to-machine communications, such as wearable devices that monitor one’s health and communicate with doctors and hospitals, or smart vehicles that alert other vehicles on the road to traffic congestion and send real-time commands to each other to avoid collisions.

“There are more than 4 billion mobile devices in use worldwide today, and experts predict that by 2015, these wireless devices will significantly outnumber wired devices on the Internet,” he says.

In addition to Chen, 15 investigators from Rutgers, UMass Amherst, University of Michigan, Duke University, University of North Carolina, MIT, University of Wisconsin and University of Nebraska are involved in MobilityFirst.

For its part, UMass Lowell will receive a total of $300,000 for the project, with Chen as principal investigator. He plans to hire two Ph.D. students to work with him.