Speaker: Dr. Andrew C. Singer
Bio: Andrew C. Singer received the S.B., S.M., and Ph.D. degrees, all in electrical engineering and computer science, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 1996 to 1998, he was a Research Scientist at Sanders, A Lockheed Martin Company in Manchester, New Hampshire. Since 1998, he has been on the faculty of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he currently holds a Fox Family Professorship in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department. His research interests include signal processing and communication systems.
Title: Signal Processing-Based Technology Entrepreneurship: Chips, Algorithms, and Startups
Abstract: Technology commercialization and entrepreneurship is synonymous with engineering in wide array of contexts, from academic programs at universities, to funding programs at the National Science Foundation and the central role of engineering in the economic future of America as discussed by the National Engineering Forum. In this talk, I will discuss the role of engineering entrepreneurship and technology commercialization as a key driver to our economy and as a tremendous source of interesting problems and opportunities for the signal processing community. In the first half of the talk, I will draw on my experience as Director of the Technology Entrepreneur Center at the University of Illinois over the last decade, and discuss the evolution of technology entrepreneurship as a central focus of engineering programs at Illinois and across the country. In the second half of the talk, I will discuss how signal processing played a critical role in a number of startup companies, including my experience in two that emerged from my research group at Illinois. These include an optical semiconductor company that was the first to employ DSP-enhanced receivers for 10Gbps optical communications, leading to the world's fastest implementation of the Viterbi algorithm; and at the other end of the spectral extreme, an underwater acoustic communications company commercializing the first video-capable deep-sea wireless modems for the oil and gas industry. These two companies were driven by signal processing solutions to some of the most challenging digital communications channels on the planet.