Oct 31, 2005 (12:10 PM EST)
RFID Classes Hit Business Schools

Read the Original Article at InformationWeek

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University of California Irvine Extension said on Monday it has opened enrollment for it's first certificate program in radio frequency identification technology, joining a handful of business schools across the country taking an academic interest in RFID. Classes at UCI begin in January.

Five courses totaling 150 hours are required to complete the program. The first two classes are being offered in the winter quarter and the remaining three in the spring. "The classes are based on business processes, rather than the technology," said Stefano Stefan, assistant director for the Business Management Legal and IT program.

Solving Business Problems with Radio Frequency Identification Technology Devices is the first class being offered next year. The class provides a technology overview and how it can fit into the business environment. RFID Technology: Principals and Practices, also is being offered in the winter.

This is the only "techie" class, although it's designed for people who don't have a background in engineering or physics, Stefan said. It will cover RFID technology and physics that can affect deployments such as tag or reader placement

Other universities and technology vendors do offer what Stefan calls "boot-camp type" classes that focus on the technology or one class in a larger program. These classes tend to focus on engineering and little about evaluating whether or not to replace bar code technology for RFID, for example. "We want to teach our students how to approach the question whether or not RFID is a good technology to replace another already in place," he said.

UCI Extension is not the only southern California university to offer classes in RFID technology. The University of California, Los Angeles has classes within its engineering department. Rajit Gadh, a professor at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science at the UCLA, also is the department head for the Wireless Internet for Mobile Enterprise Consortium, also known as WINMEC.