IEEE is honoring three engineers this year who have contributed to advances in wireless communications and networking. One is receiving a medal, and two are being recognized with IEEE Technical Field Awards. The annual awards are presented for contributions or leadership in IEEE fields of interest.
IEEE Life Fellow Robert Brodersen, professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, is receiving this year’s IEEE Edison Medal. He is being recognized “for contributions to integrated systems for wired and wireless communications, including wireless connectivity of personal devices.”
Brodersen has been at the forefront of introducing innovative technologies that alter the wireless landscape. His work, which focuses on using standard low-cost CMOS technologies for integrated systems, has enabled higher data rates, increased energy efficiency, and better spectrum utilization—all important to wireless devices.
In the early 1990s he developed the Infopad, a wireless tablet that predated Apple’s iPad by almost two decades. The Infopad demonstrated the potential of cloud computing, broadband wireless connectivity, and low-power mobile computing. Brodersen was one of the first researchers to show that improving energy efficiency in mobile devices was critical to the continued scaling of digital circuitry.
IEEE Fellow Leandros Tassiulas, professor of electrical engineering at the Yale Institute for Network Science, is receiving the IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award. Tassiulas is being cited “for contributions to the scheduling and stability analysis of networks.”
Tassiulas wrote the max-weight algorithm for achieving maximum throughput in communications systems and the back-pressure routing algorithm for end-to-end data traffic forwarding. His maximum connected queue algorithm introduced the concept of opportunistic scheduling, which became an essential component of many wireless standards. Together, those three algorithms provide the basis for cross-layer network design in today’s wireless networks.
IEEE Fellow Yonina Eldar, a professor of electrical engineering at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa, is being honored with the IEEE Kiyo Tomiyasu Award. She is being recognized “for the development of theory and implementation of sub-Nyquist sampling with applications to radar, communications, and ultrasound.”
Eldar discovered a faster, more efficient way to process data transmitted by wideband signals. In 2010 she and her graduate students found a way around the Nyquist sampling theorem, which states that to digitally process a continuous-time signal, it must be sampled at a rate that is twice the maximum analog frequency. The team built a hardware prototype that can interpret the signals used in applications such as radar systems and medical imaging by taking a smaller-than-normal number of data samples while still producing high-resolution images. Her work has led to the development of portable ultrasound machines and better wireless capabilities for cognitive radio transmission and reception.
Read about the rest of the innovators who are receiving IEEE’s top awards this year.