Ericsson Endowed Chair Awarded to Larry Milstein
It was no accident that organizers of January's IEEE Radio and Wireless Symposium workshop on the future of wireless technologies picked Jacobs School electrical and computer engineering professor Laurence Milstein to be the only U.S. academic on the panel. He doesn't take sides in the great debate over whether 802.11-type systems or 3G cellular networks hold the most promise for broadband wireless. Instead, he urged workshop attendees to focus on a hot area called ‘cooperative communication'." That is where different users in a network may use their devices both as terminals and as relays for other users," says Milstein. "Something like that could be an ultimate form of cooperation or convergence, by allowing extensive sharing of bandwidth across standards."
An expert in digital communication theory, Milstein now holds the Ericsson Endowed Chair in Wireless Communication Access Techniques. The new chair, announced in November, is the twenty-first at the Jacobs School and one of two endowed chairs and two faculty fellowships to be provided by Ericsson through its commitment to Calit2.
Milstein joined the UCSD faculty in 1976, and has advised more than 50 Ph.D. students to date. Many of those students have gone on to play critical roles in the migration of communications systems from analog to digital in both industry and academic research.
Ericsson engineer Stefan Parkvall is a former postdoctoral researcher in Milstein's lab. "Larry has significantly contributed to wireless communication, in particular the areas of CDMA and interference suppressing receivers," says Parkvall. "The theoretical foundation in this area is critical for Ericsson to provide high-performance cellular networks, and interference handling will become increasingly important in future systems as the user data rate increases."
The founding director of UCSD's Center for Wireless Communications, Milstein is shifting his research focus from CDMA to other areas "that hold immense promise," he says. Those new areas include ultra wideband communications; multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) systems; orthogonal frequency division modulation (OFDM), a spread-spectrum technique that distributes data over a large number of carriers that are spaced apart at precise frequencies; cognitive radio; and, yes, cooperative communication.