The Importance of Wireless Communications Research

Dennis Kekas, University Relations Liaison with IBM, demonstrates to former University President Curris the use of an IBM Thinkpad utilizing an IBM wireless local-area network at an FRI Review.

In a world of increasing mobility, there is a growing need for people to communicate with each other and have timely access to information regardless of the location of the individuals or the information. A phone call placed from a commuter train may close a business deal, remote access to medical records by a paramedic may save a life, or a request for reconnaissance updates by a soldier with a handheld device may affect the outcome of a battle. Each of these instances of mobile communications poses an engineering challenge that can be met only with an efficient, reliable, wireless communication network. The demand for wireless communication systems of increasing sophistication and ubiquity has led to the need for a better understanding of fundamental issues in communication theory and electromagnetics and their implications for the design of highly-capable wireless systems.