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UCLA Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS)

Scientific user

Center for Embedded Networked Sensing
UCLA 3563 Boelter Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1596

Organization's Description:

Embedded Networked Sensing Systems promise to reveal previously unobservable phenomena widely impacting society by connecting the physical world to the Internet.

UCLA’s Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS) is a major research enterprise focused on developing wireless sensing systems and applying this revolutionary technology to critical scientific and societal pursuits. In the same way that the development of the Internet transformed our ability to communicate, the ever decreasing size and cost of computing components is setting the stage for detection, processing, and communication technology to be embedded throughout the physical world and, thereby, fostering both a deeper understanding of the natural and built environment and, ultimately, enhancing our ability to design and control these complex systems.

By investigating fundamental properties of embedded networked sensing systems, developing new technologies, and exploring novel scientific and educational applications, CENS is a world leader in unleashing the tremendous potential these systems hold.

The center is a multidisciplinary collaboration among faculty, staff, and students from a wide spectrum of fields including Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Biology, Statistics, Education and Information Sciences, Urban Planning, and Theater, Film, and Television. CENS was established in 2002 as a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center and is a partnership of UCLA, UC Riverside, UC Merced, USC, and Caltech.

The center’s current research portfolio encompasses projects across nine technology and applications areas, examples of which include:

  • Development and deployment of new measurement tools and techniques to identify the sources and fates of chemical and biological pollutants in natural, urban, and agricultural watersheds and coastal zones.
  • Developing cameras and image analysis approaches that assist scientists in making biological observations. Together the camera and analysis systems comprise a new type of biosensor that takes measurements otherwise unobservable to humans.
  • Harnessing the technological power of mobile phones and the ubiquitous wireless infrastructure for applications in areas as diverse as public health, environmental protection, urban planning, and cultural expression, each of which is influenced by independent personal behaviors adding up in space in time.


Phone: 310 206-2476
Fax: 310 206-3053