The objectives of the Center are two-fold: research and education. In the research area, the Center seeks to contribute to the solution of problems of national significance by pushing the limits in the application of wireless communications technologies through advancement of the understanding of issues spanning wireless technologies, networking infrastructure, economics, and regulation. In the education area, the Center seeks to educate top quality graduates (at the bachelors, masters and doctoral level) equipped to deal with broad problems in the braod field of electrical communications with more emphasis in the area of computer communications networks, both wireless and otherwise.
The Center has developed considerable expertise in the design and analysis of wireless communications systems, including networks, through its interactions with industry. In particular, the Center has provided technical and research support to industry, and its personnel have also participated in the deployment of wireless personal communication systems.
The Center's research orientation is organized around the idea that effective research in the wireless communications area is best carried out by developing and applying a synergistic four-part approach involving analytical modeling, continuous-time and discrete-event simulation, laboratory and field measurement, and system prototyping. Much of the research to date has been carried out in cooperation with an industrial partner, and both students and faculty have benefited enormously from this partnership. The Center continues to develop additional capabilities and to form new partnerships.
Areas of active research at this time include forth-generation cellular system design, cross-layer protocol design for wireless communication networks, sensor-centric networking for manufacturing enterprises, protocol design and analysis for multimedia services over ad hoc networks, and intelligent sensor network design.
Master of Science in Engineering Science-Telecommunications. A typical program includes graduate-level courses in telecommunications such as digital communications, wireless communications systems, probability modeling, coding for information transmission, communication networking protocols, local area networks, satellite communications, and current issues in communications. A limited portion of the required course work is also drawn from the Economics, Computer Science, Operations Management, and Mathematics departments.
The twenty-four semester hours of course work are complemented by the successful completion of a masters thesis for which six semester-hours of University credits are awarded. This then satisfies the thirty-semester hour requirements for the Masters of Engineering Science degree.
Master's Thesis. Many students have obtained significant experimental results and have put those results into perspective using some type of analytical approach. This research has been closely tied to real-world problems encountered by communications companies while developing and deploying real systems. Many students have had significant interaction with communications professionals and hands-on experience with real systems.
Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Science. An interdisciplinary degree program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Science is also available. The general guidelines for that degree are prescribed by the School of Engineering.
In addition to the significant computing facilities of the University, from microcomputers to supercomputers, the Center provides a production laboratory and a research laboratory for its students and faculty. The production laboratory is equipped with PowerPC- and Pentium-based machines having gigabyte hard drives, CD ROM drives, a Zip drive, and a large variety of software, including graphics packages, MatLab, C++, LaTeX, and standard word-processing packages. The laboratory has a Sun Microsystems SPARC20 with standard UNIX software and the simulation package SPW and a collection of Linux machines for doing experimental work, including, but not limited to, QoS routing and traffic shaping.