Cyber-Physical Systems Education

Undergraduate and graduate education specializing in Cyber-Physical Systems.

Cyber-Physical Systems

Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) is an emerging engineering discipline focused on the interface between cyber and physical in the areas of smart health, smart cities, autonomous systems and hardware for IoT. The focus requires a forward thinking and interdisciplinary approach to education and research – both of which the University of Virginia is uniquely positioned to lead - through the Link Lab.

A recent National Academies Consensus Study Report authored by John A. Stankovic (Director, UVA LinkLab) James W. Sturges, and Jon Eisenberg, highlights the critical need for 21st Century Cyber-Physical System Education.

CPS Faculty

CPS at the University of Virginia includes students and faculty from six degree programs: Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Systems Engineering. One of the advantages to our CPS NRT program is the ability to utilize the CPS expertise and participation of over 40 Link Lab faculty.

CPS Research Areas of Focus

The CPS classes are designed to provide foundational knowledge and integrate with ongoing Link Lab research, which includes:

- Formal and model-based reasoning through all levels of design and operation
- Sensor design, including RF sensing, novel sensing devices, and application thereof
- RF and mixed-signal circuits
- Robotics, drones, and autonomous and connected vehicles
- Machine learning and signal processing as applied to cyber-physical systems
- Communications, and networking and applications to support the Internet of Things (IoT)
- Cyber-Physical Systems with humans in the loop; human-automation interaction
- Smart Cities
- Smart and Connected Health
- Internet of Things (IoT)

CPS Education Areas of Focus

Overall, the key technical principles that underlie a CPS education span both the physical side (physics, digital signal processing, embedded hardware such as sensors and actuators, control and hybrid systems, wireless communication and dynamic systems modeling) and the cyber side (networking, embedded systems programming, machine learning, model-based design and formal methods, privacy and security, real-time systems and software engineering).

Cyber-Physical Systems courses are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels in various departments.

CPS Core Courses

  • Comm, Testbeds & Policy

    This is a core Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) class. This course is designed to develop cross-competency in the technical, analytical and professional capabilities necessary for the emerging field of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). It provides convergence learning activities that are based around developing CPS test-beds and exploring the ethical, social and policy dimensions of CPS work. The course also introduces and emphasizes the importance of communication as a necessary skill.

    Course Name: CPS1 Communications, Testbeds & Policy


    Course Numbers: SYS 6581, CS 6501, CE 6500, ENGR 6559, MAE 6592

    Instructors: Tolu Odumosu and Brad Campbell

    Course is offered in Fall

  • Embedded Systems

    This is a core Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) class. Embedded systems are special-purpose computers that are often tightly coupled with electronic and physical components and must operate within real-time performance, battery, and size constraints.

    Course Name: CPS2: Advanced Embedded Systems


    Course Numbers: CS 6501 (19386) or ECE 6501 (19201)

    Instructor: Homa Alemzadeh

    Course is offered in Fall

  • Signal Processing, Machine Learning and Control

    This is a core Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) class. This course provides basic graduate level material in signal processing, machine learning, and feedback control. Knowledge in these areas is central to understanding and building CPS. However, the material is not presented in a traditional manner and does not replace deep domain expertise in these topics. Rather, the principles and skills taught highlight the intersection of the cyber and the physical and how they impact each other.

    Course Name: CPS3: Signal Processing, Machine Learning and Control


    Course Number: CS 6501 (12042)

    Instructor: Jack Stankovic

    Course is offered in Fall

  • Dynamical Systems

    This is a core Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) class. The course will focus on topics that are critical to CPS applications, e.g. pipe networks, lift/drag on vehicles, and relative reference frames in the context of autonomous vehicles and satellites, while avoiding topics that are specific only to advanced Mechanical Engineering, e.g. fluid instabilities and complex potential functions.

    Course Name: CPS4: Dynamical Systems


    Instructor: Osman Ozbulut

    Course Number: MAE 6592 (20543) / CE 6500 (20542)

    Spring 2021

    M/W 8:30am - 9:45am

  • Formal Methods, Safety, and Security

    This is a core Cyber Physical Systems class. Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are smart systems that include co-engineered interacting networks of physical and computational components. Examples of CPS include medical devices, cars, and robots. Increasingly, such systems are everywhere. It becomes more and more important to assure the safety and security of CPS, since many CPS applications are safety-critical and life-critical. This course will give you the required skills to formally analyze the CPS that are all around us, so that when you contribute to the design of CPS, you are able to understand important safety-critical aspects and feel confident designing and analyzing CPS system models.

    Course Name: CPS5: Formal Methods, Safety, and Security


    Instructor: Lu Feng

    Course Number: CS 6501 (16625) / SYS 6582 (16237)

    Spring 2021

    M/W 5:00pm - 6:15pm

In-depth CPS courses

  • Spring 2021

    Spring 2021 In-Depth CPS Courses

    CS 8501 (16648) -Cyber Physical Systems and the Internet of Things - John (Jack) Stankovic - M/W 2:00pm - 3:15pm

    CS 6111 (19081) - Cloud Computing - Haiying Shen -T/Th 9:30 am - 10:45 am

    CE 6500 (19285) - Smart Cities and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) - Jonathan Goodall - T/Th 11:00am - 12:15pm

    CE 6500 (19286) - Remote Sensing for Environmental Engineers - Venkataraman Lakshmi- Day/Time TBD

    CE 6460 (19284) - Introduction to Integrated Transportation Systems Models - B. Brian Park - T/Th 12:30pm - 1:45pm

    ECE 5502 (16683) - Hardware-Software Security - Barry Johnson - Day/Time TBD

    ECE 6332 (16211) VLSI Design - Mircea Stan - T/Th 11:00am - 12:15pm

    ECE 6434 (19091) - Dependable Computing Systems - Homa Alemzadeh -T/Th 11:00am - 12:15pm

    ECE 6465 (16453) / SYS 6465 (16455) - Robots and Humans - Tariq Iqbal - T/Th 9:30am - 10:45am

    ECE 6502 (16215) - Advanced Digital Design Laboratory -Mircea Stan - T/Th 12:30pm - 1:45pm

    MAE 6592 (16432) – Wind Energy -Eric Loth -T/Th 11:00am - 12:15pm

    MAE 6592 (16831) - Robotic Autonomy - Tomonari Furukawa - We 10:00am - 12:30pm

    MAE 6720 (19041) - Computational Fluid Dynamics I - Haibo Dong - M/W 11:00am - 12:15pm

    SYS 6050 (15519) - Risk Analysis - James Lambert - Day/Time TBD

    SYS 6582 (20582) - Reinforcement Learning - Peter Beling - T/Th 3:30-4:45

  • Fall 2020


    CPS1: Communication, Test-Beds & Policy 12538 (ENGR 6559, CE 6500, CS 6501, MAE 6592, SYS 6581)

    Brad Campbell/Tolu Odumosu M/W 11:00am - 12:15pm

    CPS2: Advanced Embedded Computing Systems 19386 (CS 6501, ECE 6501)

    Homa Alemzadeh T/Th 11:00am - 12:15pm

    CPS3: Signal Processing, Machine Learning, and Control 12042 (CS 6501)

    John Stankovic T/Th 12:30pm - 1:45pm


    CE 5000 Management Large-Scale Construction Projects 12360 Arsalan Heydarian T/Th 2:00pm - 3:15pm

    CE 5400 Traffic Operations 11098 Brian Park T/Th 11:00am - 12:15pm

    CS 6501 Principles of Modeling for Cyber Physical Systems 11819 Madhur Behl T/Th 2:00pm - 3:15pm

    CS 6501 Cloud Computing 18798 Haiying Shen T/Th 9:30am - 10:45am

    CS 6501 Mobile and IoT Security 12239 Yuan Tian T/Th 9:30am - 10:45am

    CS 6501 Human-Computer Interaction 12350 Seongkook Heo M/W 5pm-6:15pm

    CS 6501 Autonomous Mobile Robots 19396 Nicola Bezzo Tu 5:00pm - 6:15pm and W 12:30pm - 1:45pm

    ECE 6501 Low Power Wireless Transceivers for IoT 19198 Steven Bowers T/Th 2:00pm - 3:15pm

    ECE 6501 Autonomous Mobile Robots 11919 Nicola Bezzo Tu 5:00pm - 6:15pm and W 12:30pm - 1:45pm

    MAE 6310 Fluid Mechanics I 19003 Daniel Quinn T/Th 2:00pm - 3:15pm

    MAE 6592 Modeling & Control of Manufacturing Processes 12357 Qing Chang T/Th 9:30am - 10:45am

    MAE 6592 Experimental Robotics 12597 Tomonari Furukawa W 10:00am - 12:30pm

    SYS 6005 Stochastic Modeling I 11190 Tariq Iqbal T/Th 9:30am - 10:45am

    SYS 6021 Statistical Modeling I 11632 Julianne Quinn/Laura Barnes M/W 2:00pm - 3:15pm

    SYS 6581 Autonomous Mobile Robots Nicola Bezzo Tu 5:00pm - 6:15pm and  W 12:30pm - 1:45pm

    SYS 6581 Modeling and Control of Manufacturing Processes 12386 Qing Chang T/Th 9:30am - 10:45am

    SYS 6581 Principles of Modeling for Cyber Physical Systems 12088 Madhur Behl T/Th 2:00pm - 3:15pm 

    SYS 6581 Mobile Sensing and Health 12385 Mahdi Boukhechba Th 3:30pm - 6:00pm

    SYS 6581 Introduction to Reinforcement Learning 18934 Peter Beling M/W 11:00am - 12:15pm

    SYS 6581 AI for Good 18935 Afsaneh Doryab T/Th 2:00pm - 3:15pm

  • Spring 2020

    In-Depth CPS Courses (Spring 2020)
    CS 8501 Cyber Physical Systems and the Internet of Things M/W 2:00-3:15 18896 (Jack Stankovic)

    CS 6456 Operating Systems M/W 9:30am - 10:45am 19969 (Brad Campbell)

    CS 6465 (ECE 6465, CS 6465, SYS 6465) - Robots and Humans T/Th 9:30 – 10:45 16205 (Joanne Dugan and Tariq Iqbal)

    CS 6501 Engineering Interactive Technologies M/W/F 1pm - 1:50pm 20298 (Seongkook Heo)

    SYS 6581 (CE 5500) Human Considerations In Smart Infrastructure W 2-4:30 18667 (Arsalan Heydarian)

    ECE 6332 VLSI Design T/Th 11-12:15 15905 (Mircea Stan)

    ECE 6502 Advanced Digital Design Laboratory T/Th 12:30-01:45  15911 (Mircea Stan)

    CE 6500 Forefronts of Civil Engineering Th 2:00 - 4:45 18679 (Venkataraman Lakshmi)

    SYS 6024 User Experience Design M/W 10:30-11:45 16041 (Greg Gerling)

    SYS 6050 Risk Analysis M/W 5-6:15 15160 (Jim Lambert)

    SYS 6582 Human Error in Complex Systems T/Th 3:30-4:45 16322 (Sara Riggs)

    MAE 6210 Analytical Dynamics M/W 2:00 - 3:15 15888 (Cindy Chang)

    MAE 6592 Robotic Autonomy Day/Time/Course Number (Tomo Furukawa)

    ECE 5502 - Hardware-Software Security T/Th 12:30pm - 1:45pm 19772 (Barry Johnson)
    *please note, this is a 5000 level course – make sure it satisfies your degree requirements

    Core CPS Courses (Spring 2020)
    CPS 4 - MAE 6592: Special Topics – Dynamical Systems
    T/Th 11am – 12:15pm 19448 (Quinn)

    CPS5 - CS 6501 (SYS 6582): Special Topics – Formal Methods, Safety, and Security
    M/W 5pm – 6:15pm (Feng) 18658

  • Fall 2019

    Below is a sample of some of the In-Depth CPS courses that were offered in Fall 2019.

    ECE 6501 Self powered system for the IoT - Ben Calhoun

    SYS 6581 / ECE 6501 / CS 6501 Autonomous Mobile Robots - Nicola Bezzo

    CE 6500 Remote Sensing for Environmental Engineers - Venkataraman Lakshmi

    CS 6501 / SYS 6582: Principles of Modeling for Cyber-Physical Systems - Madhur Behl

    CS 6501: CPS and Cloud Computing - Haiying Shen

    CS 6456: Operating Systems – Brad Campbell

    CS 8501: Mobile and IoT Security – Yuan Tian

    SYS 6021: Statistical Modeling I - Laura Barnes

    SYS 6581: Modeling and Control of Manufacturing Processes and Systems – Cindy Chang

    MAE 6592: Experimental Robotics - Tomonari Furukawa

    MAE 6720: Computational Fluid Dynamics – Haibo Dong