Professor Erkip Opens IEEE Conference with Plenary Tracing the History of Cooperation in Wireless Networking

Elza Erkip, professor of electrical and computer engineering, delivered the opening talk at the IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory in Barcelona, Spain, last month. The conference is a leading global conference attended by academic researchers  and industry professionals working in various aspects of information theory, including wireless communications, compression, security and cryptography, Big Data analytics and more.

Erkip’s presentation, From 3T to 5G: Theory and Practice of Cooperation in Wireless Networks, tracked the remarkable progression of cooperative wireless communication technologies — starting with the 3-terminal networks of the 1970s, through the development and refinement of the relay channel, half duplex networks and ultimately, exploring the promise of 5G and full duplex cellular communications. Erkip described how many of the developments of the past 45 years, which demonstrate the benefits of cooperative communication in different wireless scenarios, have set the stage for the next generation of wireless communication.

Some of the more exciting developments Erkip discussed relate to her work developing millimeter-wave technologies for 5G, the forthcoming wireless networking protocols which promise the kind of lightning-fast transfer speeds that allow movie downloads in mere seconds and will make self-driving cars far more responsive. Erkip explained how small cells, rather than the large cells that comprise today’s networks, will relay information over short distances in the millimeter-wave spectrum. Erkip also discussed full duplex networking, which allows for radios that can transmit and receive in the same band, and its potential for doubling data rates when cellular base stations can cooperate in data transmission.

Erkip is also a faculty member at NYU Wireless, an interdisciplinary research center drawing students and faculty from the NYU community to develop theories and techniques to power the wireless networks and personal computing devices of the future. Erkip is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and was elected Vice President of the IEEE Information Theory Society in 2015. She is also a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award and was named “One of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” by Thomson Reuters.