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Author Spotlight

An interview with one of our esteemed authors—

John Dian

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Dr. F. John Dian is the author of Fundamentals of Internet of Things: For Students and Professionals and is faculty in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Vancouver, Canada. He received his Ph.D. degree from Concordia University, Canada, in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Dian has extensive experience in designing and implementing telecommunication systems and IoT networks. He holds a certificate in business analytics from Harvard Business School, USA, and co-chairs the center of excellence in analytics at BCIT. He has received numerous awards for his outstanding teaching and research, and has been an invited speaker at many forums and conferences. Dr. Dian is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and an active member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC). He is the author of several books such as IoT Use Cases and Technologies, Cellular IoT for Practitioners, and Physical System Modelling Using MATLAB®.

What is your background?

My background is in electrical and computer engineering, with an emphasis on Internet of things technology. My research interests include Internet of Things, signal processing, analytics, and telecommunication systems. While I genuinely enjoy what I do as an academic and am passionate about preparing engineering students for success in the workplace, I have also stayed connected to the industry. I have realized that staying closely connected to the industrial world is a wonderful way to keep myself abreast of the most recent developments in emerging technologies. 

What are the most profound changes you have seen in your field across your career?

In the last four decades, the field of electrical and computer engineering has undergone incredible changes, and throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to participate in the development of numerous new technologies. Computer/VLSI, the Internet, mobile communication, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence are some examples of these technologies that have all dramatically altered people’s lives. 

 What motivated you to write Fundamentals of Internet of Things: For Students and Professionals? 

Internet of Things is a fascinating technology which enables the power of the Internet and analytics to be provided to physical objects. I have been performing research in the area of Internet of Things for years and as I was working with my students and talking to my peers, I realized that most schools are not preparing students for the era of Internet of Things. I also realized that there are many misconceptions about IoT technology. I believe that students should be provided with the knowledge and skill sets to design, develop, and implement IoT solutions, and managers should be trained to take advantage of the opportunities that IoT can provide their organizations. I observed a gap between the training materials available to students and what is actually required. That gap was what I was seeking to fill by writing this book, or at least I wanted to make an initial effort to provide students, and professionals with a resource that has been designed with students and instructors in mind.

 Who is the primary audience for Fundamentals of Internet of Things: For Students and Professionals?

The primary audience for this textbook is undergraduate engineering students, with the secondary audience consisting of IoT practitioners, network architects, software and hardware engineers, consultants, managers, and entrepreneurs.

What are the key challenges this audience faces? 

In the era of any new technology, training becomes one of the crucial tasks that prepares the workforce with the knowledge and skill sets that they need to design, implement, deploy, and test the new technology. Leaders and decision makers must be trained to be able to make appropriate decisions on how and when to implement a new technology in order to take advantage of the opportunities that it can provide to their organizations. Customers of a new technology also need to be trained to know what to expect from that technology and how to use it. IoT, as a new technology, is not an exception. However, the number of resources available to students in order to study this technology in an academic sense is limited. This is the first comprehensive textbook created specifically for undergraduate students, as far as I know.

How does your book solve this need/challenge? 

This textbook has been prepared with instructors and students in mind. It presents a clear, comprehensive introduction to IoT. The textbook emphasizes the fundamentals of IoT including applications, use cases, existing connectivity schemes, protocols, analytics, security, solution development, and cloud connection.

 What unique features do you think make the book stand out in the market?

Fundamentals of Internet of Things: For Students and Professionals teaches the principles of IoT systems. It employs a systematic approach to explain IoT architecture models and their layers. The textbook is arranged based on various layers of an architecture model. For readers who are unfamiliar with the concept of data communication and networks, the first chapter of this book covers the fundamentals of data communication and networks. This textbook contains simple explanations of complex concepts, more than 300 exercise problems and advanced exercise questions, provided solutions for the exercise problems, and 10 practical IoT projects.

 Can you provide a brief summary of your book?

This textbook discusses the entire IoT value chain. The book begins with many examples of IoT use cases to show readers how IoT can be applied to various IoT verticals. The concept of smart sensors is then described, as well as their applications in the IoT ecosystem. Because internet connectivity is an essential part of any IoT system, the book explores wired and wireless connectivity schemes including cellular IoT in the 4G and 5G eras. IoT protocols, analytics, as well as IoT security and privacy are important topics that are explained in this book with simple explanations.  The last chapter of this book is dedicated to IoT solution development.  IoT is one of the most rapidly evolving technologies today, and there is no better guide to this rapidly expanding sector than Fundamentals of Internet of Things (IoT) for Students and Professionals. 

 Where can we find you online?

I welcome the opportunity to connect with professionals, researchers, and educators. My LinkedIn profile can be found here:

You can also visit my web page at: