Emerging Technologies

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This Course Guide has been taken from the most recent presentation of the course. It would be useful for reference purposes but please note that there may be updates for the following presentation.


Emerging Technologies

Welcome to ELEC S313 Emerging Technologies.

ELEC S313 is a 10-credit, higher-level compulsory course for the BSc in Communications Technology, BSc (Hons) in Communications Technology, and BSc (Hons) in Communications Technology with Management. It is designed as a capstone course for these Communications Technology programmes. It is also suitable for professionals seeking to remain up to date in their knowledge of emerging communications technologies.

This Course Guide will help you to get the most out of the course. Read through it and refer back to it first if you have any queries. Begin by reviewing the course aims and outcomes in the next section. Good luck with your studies.

Course aims

Broadband transmission, wireless data communications and Internet technologies are 21st-century developments powering technical and societal change in both developing and developed countries. Therefore, ELEC S313 aims to:

  1. Provide you with an overview of emerging technologies in the contexts of broadband transmission, wireless data communications and Internet technology.
  2. Explain how emerging technologies affect and help shape today's communications marketplace.
  3. Project how emerging technologies are likely to change the communications landscape in the future.
  4. Stimulate your thinking about the practical applications of available and emerging technological opportunities.
  5. Introduce the ways in which emerging technologies apply in Hong Kong or worldwide.

Course learning outcomes

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Discuss and analyse the latest technologies in broadband communications, wireless communications and Internet access.
  2. Analyse how the new Internet technologies affect the development of modern e-commerce and e-business.
  3. Analyse different techniques and technologies required for the development of wireless and mobile communications.
  4. Discuss the recent development of fibre-optic communication and next generation Internet protocols in current and emerging broadband communications.
  5. Identify and evaluate challenges and opportunities concerning the applications of the latest communications technologies.

Suggested prerequisites

You should be familiar with entry-level communications material in courses such as ELEC S211 Fundamentals of Communications Technology, ELEC S212 Network Programming and Design and some advanced courses like ELEC S311 Wireless Communications or ELEC S332 Computer Networks.

To complete this course, you are required to read the study units and online readings on the Internet.

Each unit contains self-assessment exercises, and at points in the course you are required to submit assignments or attend seminars for assessment purposes. At the end of the course there will be a final examination.

The course should take you about 40 weeks in total to complete. Below you will find listed all components of the course, what you have to do and how you should allocate your time for each unit in order to complete the course successfully on time.


Course materials

This course consists of ten study units, which can be divided into three blocks: Internet technologies, wireless communications, and broadband communications. The study units are mainly delivered in online form, and will be enriched with multimedia components. There will be reference books and supplementary readings for each topic in the course.


Course organization

The first unit introduces the main emerging technologies covered in the course. After this introductory unit, the Internet and e-business technologies are discussed in Units 2–4. Next, wireless and mobile communications technologies are explained in Units 5–7. Finally, broadband communications technologies are covered in Units 8–10.

The following table shows the topics in each study unit, the corresponding study weeks, and the distribution of tutor-marked assignments.


1Overview of emerging communications technologies3Assignment 1
Block 1 Internet technologies and applications
2Grid, cloud and utility computing3 
3Web 2.0 and beyond3Assignment 2
4Future computing interfaces4 
Block 2 Wireless technologies and applications
5The future mode of mobile computing3 
6Geographic information systems (GISs) and digital maps4 
7Next-generation mobile technologies4Assignment 3
Block 3 Broadband technologies and applications
8Optical communication networks4 
9Next-generation Internet protocols4 
10Multimedia communications over IP networks4Assignment 4


Teaching and learning

The 10 self-instructional units, which constitute the main method employed in the course to help students achieve the learning outcomes, will be delivered in Web version and enriched with multimedia components such as video, voice-over presentation and animation. There will also be supplementary online readings on each topic. All the course materials and relevant resources will be placed on the Online Learning Environment (OLE). No print materials/CD-ROM will be provided.

For additional support, there will be 10 face-to-face tutorial sessions and 12 surgery sessions.


Online Learning Environment

You are required to have access to the OLE in order to work through the ELEC S313 online course materials. You will also be referred to other URLs for further readings.

The OLE Discussion Board will be used for Q&A, discussion and sharing with your fellow students, tutor and your Course Coordinator. Students can also make use of the OLE to submit assignments.

For details about the OLE and how to access it, please refer to the Online Learning Environment User Guide.


Assignment File

The OLE will contain the Assignment File for ELEC S313. In this file you will find all the details of work you must submit to your tutor for marking. The marks you obtain for these assignments will count towards the final marks you obtain for this course. Further information on assignments will be found in the online Assignment File itself and later in this Course Guide in the section on assessment.


Course Schedule

The Course schedule included on the OLE gives you the important dates for this year for the completion of assignments and attending tutorials. You should guard against falling behind in your work.

The course assessment will consist of continuous assessment and a final examination, each worth 50% of the total course score.

There will be four assignments, all of which will be required and counted towards the continuous assessment grade.

Continuous assessment (required assignment × 4: 12.5% × 4 = 50%)

Assignment 1: This is project work that you should be preparing throughout the course. You need to submit a proposal and an initial design solution related to a real-life case study. The project theme will be released to you at the start of the course, and you need to submit your work during the last week of study. This assignment aims to assess learning outcomes 1 and 5.

Assignment 2: For this assignment, you have to study Units 2–4 and answer a number of questions related to Web 2.0, cloud computing, grid computing and other emerging Internet technologies. This assignment aims to assess learning outcome 2.

Assignment 3: This assignment covers your study of Units 5–7; you will need to discuss and evaluate several issues related to current technologies and standards in wireless and mobile communications. This assignment aims to assess learning outcome 3.

Assignment 4: Based on your study of Units 8–10, you have to answer several questions related to recent advances in broadband communications. This assignment aims to assess learning outcome 4.

Examination (50%)

The three-hour final examination will test your knowledge and understanding in various fields in emerging communication technologies. The examination paper will consist of compulsory short questions and long questions, with options – the latter being analytical in nature, demanding that you use your critical thinking skills in applying and evaluating the latest communications and internet technologies. The examination paper will assess outcomes 1 to 5.

ELEC S313 is designed as the capstone course for the BSc / BSc(Hons) programmes in Communications Technology. The course focuses on the following three areas of the emerging technologies: broadband communications, wireless data communications and Internet applications. At the end of the course you should have gained up-to-date knowledge in these three areas.

The course team wishes you success with this capstone course, and hopes you will find it both intellectually challenging and interesting. As most of you will complete your BSc in Communications Technology upon completing ELEC S313, we wish you every success in the future.

Prof. Bebo White
Prof. Bebo White is a Departmental Associate (Emeritus) at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, the high-energy physics and basic energy science facility at Stanford University. In addition, he holds faculty positions at the University of San Francisco and the University of Hong Kong. He is a managing editor of Journal of Web Engineering and the program chair of the IADIS International Conference WWW/Internet. He is also a member of International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee (IW3C2) and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. He serves on the steering committee of the International Society for Web Engineering, the executive committee in ACM SIGWEB, the advisory board of the Web History Center, and the editorial review board of the Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Recently he has been designated a Web Science Ambassador by the Web Science Research Initiative (http://www.webscience.org). Additional information, including research interests, speaking engagements, and publications can be found at http://www.bebowhite.com.


Mr Wu received his MSc degree in Computer Science and BEng degree in Information Engineering from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has been working in the IT field for almost 15 years, specializing in networking and application development, and has earned a number of professional certifications in the areas of computer networking, IT security, Linux, etc. Currently, his work focuses on network infrastructure support, mobile/wireless applications and IT security. He is also serving as a part-time tutor at HKMU.


Mr Jacky MAK
Mr Mak received his MSc degree in Computer Science from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and BSc (Hons) degree (1st Class) in Applied Computing from Hong Kong Metropolitan University. He has worked intensively on website development, infrastructure design, and systems and network administration since 1996. Currently, he is working for a listed media company, overseeing a number of web, application, database, and video streaming systems. He is also a part-time tutor at HKMU. Mr Mak holds a number of professional certifications from Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Novell, and the Linux Professional Institute.