Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation

The purpose of this course is to make the student fluent with the context, concepts and key content of the technologies that are driving what is collectively known as “Digital Transformation” (DT), and more specifically, focus on the industrial impact of DT, as captured under the term “Industry 4.0” (I4.0). While DT is having a broad impact across industries, societies, and even personal lives, this course will focus on modern manufacturing and its rapid evolution. In other words, we will be discussing how DT, an inherently information-centric concept, touches our physical world. This topic is quite important: for millennia we have improved our circumstances by managing our material surroundings: tools, shelter, supplies, land. Access to information is meant to enhance our efficiency in doing so, and dwindling resources, impeding climate change, and geopolitical strife are now stressing our planet. But this will not be a course in sociology, economics or geopolitics. Rather, it will be an engineering course, taught in these contexts. The course will be organized in seven modules, as listed below.


Costas J. Spanos is the Andrew S. Grove Distinguished Professor of EECS at UC Berkeley, where he has previously served as EECS Department Chair and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Engineering. He currently serves as the Director of CITRIS and the Banatao Institute. He is also the Founding Director and CEO of the Berkeley Education Alliance for Research in Singapore (BEARS), and the Lead Investigator of a large research program on smart buildings based in California and Singapore. His research focuses on Sensing, Data Analytics, Modeling and Machine Learning, with broad applications in semiconductor technologies and cyber-physical systems. He has published more than 400 papers, 15 patents, and a textbook, and he has supervid more than 50 Ph.D. recipients. Professor Spanos was elected Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers for contributions and leadership in semiconductor manufacturing, he has won several Best Paper awards, and was recognized with the Distinguished Berkeley Faculty Mentor Award.

Program Offerings (as individual modules or complete package)

Module 1 – Historical context

A summary of the various industrial revolutions to date, with examples from various industries, specifically highlighting their key technological and knowledge elements, and their social and economic implications.

Module 2 – The Internet of Things (IoT)

A description of the evolution and the major architectures of IoT devices and networks, with an emphasis on industrial protocols and applications.

Module 3 – Big Data

The evolution of cloud architectures, and of industrial data-driven decision making. We will cover subjects ranging from hypothesis-driven queries to opportunistic data analytics, while dealing with issues such as data inhomogeneity, poor labeling and the curse of dimensionality.

Module 4 – Communications

The .com bust gave us cheap global communications that became the backbone of today’s “free” Internet. This was complemented by the explosion of universal mobile technologies, and new communication opportunities, such as 5G, with deep industrial implications.

Module 5 – AI and Machine Learning

This will be presented as a natural evolution at the convergence of efficient computing, cheap storage and abundance of data. We will go through a primer of the most important concepts, and we will focus on industrial application examples in design, control, diagnosis and supply chain management.

Module 6 – Industry 4.0

How all of the above come together to revolutionize the art of production. In this module we will go deeper into the platform technology paradigm and explain its impact on the various production chains. We will touch subjects including global (and even virtual) supply chains, and we discuss more detailed examples drawn from today’s semiconductor manufacturing lines. We will also discuss the virtual manufacturing concept in managing energy in the built environment.

Module 7 – The Future

The impact of DT in Health, Sustainability, the Future of Work and the future of workplace Diversity. We will also discuss how upcoming, disruptive IT approaches may lead to future transformations.