Contacts among Utah’s School-age Population

In device-based localization, the subject of interest carries a device that could be tracked. WRENSys is an example, a system built for contact sensing. This system were motivated by the need to study how the flu spread in order to prevent future mass outbreak. This study was a collaboration with the CDC to study the school-aged population. The school-aged population is interesting because of their vulnerability to the flu. Mainly, long-exposure and close-proximity to one another during the school hours. Since we are conducting study during their school hours, we want to keep the interference to their study to the minimum level. This means we need a way to quickly deploy sensors at the beginning of each days and grabbing the data and preparing for the next day of deployment at the end of each day. WRENSys is what we came up with. I was part of a team of 5 members. I was responsible for fast mass programming of these devices. In the end, we were able to create more than 2000 WRENs in less than 6 months with 4 hardware iterations, with other deployments in between. At the peak, we deployed more than 1500 sensors at one high school. These deployment can be done with just 3 people.

In this joint work, I designed and implemented the subsystem for built-in large-scale mass programming, including hardware design, firmware and software. On top of mass programming subsystem, I was part of designing the WREN system, and deployment and data collecting logistics for other systems involved in the project.

[GitHub, Sensys ‘12 Demo, SenseApp ‘14]