Does Wireless and Mobile Networking Research Still Matter?

Dr. Dmitri Perkins, National Science Foundation

12:00pm Wed. Feb. 27, 2019, ITE325, UMBC

The miniaturization of radio and communication technologies has led to the widespread proliferation of wireless-enabled devices and to an explosion of mobile applications and services. Without question, wireless networking has become an enabling and critical component in practically every business sector. Wireless technologies and terms, such as, WiFi, Bluetooth, and broadband cellular are now embedded in our world and have become a part of society’s regular vocabulary. Given this ever-increasing success, one might be tempted to opine whether any core research challenges remain in the wireless and mobile networking domain.

In this talk, I will present the case that the answer is most certainly “yes” and that the promise of a truly ubiquitous Wireless Internet of Everything, capable of seamlessly interconnecting billions of devices, humans, intelligent systems, information sources, and enabling transformative applications (e.g., remote healthcare monitoring) still faces a plethora of inter-related challenges. These include, for example, exponential growth in mobile traffic, dynamic spectrum allocation, real-time management of network resources, design of intelligent radio technology, energy-efficient protocol designs, and network security/trust/privacy. I will highlight our most recent work on the topic of opportunistic wireless spectrum access, which focused on practical and implementable radio spectrum management frameworks and related spectrum sensing and sharing protocols, using today’s front-end communication technology. I will also discuss my vision for developing a sustainable and nationally recognized wireless networking research program, which includes emerging areas such as networked cyber-physical systems and mobile IoT.

Dr. Dmitri Perkins is currently a Program Director at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), where he leads the Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC) Program for the Directorate of Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE). In this role, Dr. Perkins provides oversight of 25 multi-university industry-focused research centers, spanning all areas of CISE research and comprising over 75 U.S. academic institutions, 5 international sites, and 225+ industry partners. Prior to joining the NSF in 2015, Dr. Perkins was the Hardy Edmiston Endowed Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he was the founding Director of the Wireless Systems and Performance Engineering Research (WiSPER) Laboratory. His core research interests include wireless and mobile communications, networking, and computing, with an emphasis on cognitive and adaptive protocols, formal design of experiments, performance engineering, dynamic resource and spectrum management, and security challenges. His research work spans multiple networking paradigms, including sensor/actuator networks, wireless broadband networks, multi-hop wireless networks, cognitive radio networks, and large-scale heterogeneous wireless systems. Dr. Perkins has published over 45 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers and is also the co-author of the book, Cognitive Radio Networks: From Theory to Practice. He received the NSF CAREER award in 2005 and was the recipient of the Outstanding Professor Award within the College of Sciences at the University of Louisiana in 2012. In 2013 and 2014, he was an ONR visiting research fellow at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), conducting research on dynamic spectrum awareness in heterogeneous wireless networks. Dr. Perkins has held leadership roles at the university and national levels. He was elected to serve as the Chair of the University Graduate Council and served a two-year term as Associate Dean of the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences at the University of Louisiana in 2012-2013. He has served on the technical program committee of numerous IEEE and ACM international conferences and served on advisory committees for Computer and Networks Systems (CNS) Division of the NSF. He is currently an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing. Dr. Perkins received the Ph.D. degree in computer science and engineering from Michigan State University in 2002 and the B.S. degree in computer science from Tuskegee University in 1995.