Skip to the content of the web site.

Monday, June 18, 2012

  • Two-way wireless breakthrough announced
  • Turing documentary to be screened
  • Monday's notes
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Two-way wireless breakthrough announced

a news release from the media relations office

Groundbreaking two-way wireless technology resulting in vastly superior voice and data services has been developed by a University of Waterloo engineering research team led by Amir K. Khandani, the Canada Research Chair in Wireless Systems.

The new technology enables wireless signals to be sent and received at the same time on a single radio channel frequency. "This means wireless companies can increase the bandwidth of voice and data services by at least a factor of two by sending and receiving at the same time, and potentially by a much higher factor through better adaptive transmission and user management in existing networks," said Khandani, a Waterloo electrical and computer engineering professor.

Current wireless systems suffer from shortcomings similar to old walkie-talkies that don’t allow users to talk and listen on the same frequency at the same time. That's because the strength of the transmission overwhelms any incoming signal on the same frequency.

“Wireless is in desperate need of a breakthrough, and two-way comes at the right time," Khandani added. "The cost in hardware and signal processing complexities and antenna size is very low and virtually the same as current one-way systems. Two-way wireless systems will also have a profound impact on wireless networks in terms of quality of service and efficiency.”

The wireless advancement also opens the possibility to have ultra-secure transmission. “This can be done in ways that are much superior to current encryption techniques that are not truly secret, just hard to guess," said Khandani.

His research group is well known for introducing breakthrough ideas in wireless industry. In 2006, it came up with the idea of Interference Alignment, which radically changed the mindset about interference management, and it is now a mainstream in academic and industry research. Khandani predicts two-way wireless will reshape the future of the wireless industry, which is under overwhelming pressure for higher data rates.

The Waterloo Engineering research breakthrough is based on technology patented by Khandani in 2006 and issued in 2010, with many more innovations since then. He added that further details about the two-way technology development and a short history of other contributions in this area are available as a video clip.

The video clip also introduces many new applications for two-way technology such as methods for interference management, security enhancement, and a unique approach to wireless connectivity called media-based, which is created by embedding data in transmission media rather than in the transmitted RF signal. Media-based approach offers significant benefits compared to traditional MIMO systems even with a smaller number of antennas.

Next steps requires industry involvement by including two-way in forthcoming standards to enable wide spread implementation.

Khandani said the breakthrough would not be possible without the financial support from different federal and provincial sponsoring agencies, including the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. “This support makes Canada, and in particular Ontario, a research paradise."

Back to top

Turing documentary to be screened

by Colin Hunter, Institute for Quantum Computing

A century after the birth of the late Alan Turing, the Institute for Quantum Computing will honour the "father of computer science" by screening a new documentary about his remarkable and tragic life on Thursday, June 21.

CODEBREAKER is a new docudrama that aired on British television last year to glowing reviews. The film sheds light on the man whose genius helped turn the tide of World War 2 and set in motion the digital revolution.

It is widely believed that Turing, by breaking the Nazis' Naval Enigma code, helped shorten the Second World War by two years, saving millions of lives. As the founding father of computer science and artificial intelligence, Turing envisioned and helped to pioneer the Information Age in which we now live.

"Turing should be a household name like Einstein," says Patrick Sammon, executive producer and creator of CODEBREAKER. "His amazing story is one that people should know about."

Instead of being celebrated as a genius and pioneer during his time, Turing instead faced harsh persecution for his homosexuality. In 1952, the British government forced him to undergo chemical castration as punishment, which led to his despair and eventual suicide in 1954 at 41 years old.

Told through a mix of documentary interviews and dramatized re-enactments of Turing's psychotherapy sessions, the film paints a vivid portrait of Turing's life and legacy. CODEBREAKER has been lauded as "powerful" and "imaginative," and The Times (UK) described the film as "an overdue and thoroughly honourable telling this dreadful story."

"I hope this film will show people who much of a genius Turing was, and how much he contributed to our modern world," says Sammon.

IQC will host two free screenings of CODEBREAKER on June 21 — an early show at 6:30 p.m. and later one at 8 p.m.

Both screenings will be followed by a Q&A session with IQC researchers whose quantum information research owes a debt to the trailblazing work of Turing.

The screening is free, educational and open to the public, but advance registration is strongly recommended to ensure a spot.

Back to top

Monday's notes

Those of you who make use of Seagram Drive while driving to or from campus may have noticed the recent lack of access to through traffic lately. That's right, construction season has sprung, and Seagram Drive is now closed from Lester Street to University Avenue, effective June 4, until August 31 for "road reconstruction." There is little in the way of advance signage on the entry streets (Albert and University). The road is open to local traffic only, but Waterloo Park and the various parking lots are still accessible.

Dr. Arthur J. Carty, Executive Director of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology will be honoured tonight at Roy Thompson Hall when he receives the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal in celebration of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's life service and in recognition of significant achievement. Dr. Carty is among several honourees who will receive medals, presented by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario David C. Onley and His Excellency the Governor General of Canada David Johnston.

This is the second honour in as many weeks for Carty, who received an honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Western Ontario for his contributions to science and innovation in Canada on Thursday, June 14.

Back to top

Link of the day

Declaration of War, 1812

When and where

The Institute for Computer Research presents Professor Amir Khandani, RIM-NSERC Industrial Research Chair, Canada Research Chair
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo, “Shaping the Future of Wireless: Two-way Connectivity,” Monday, June 18, 2:00 p.m. DC 1302.

University senate Monday, June 18, 3:30, Needles Hall room 3001.

UWRC tour of EV3, Tuesday, June 19, 12:00 p.m., EV3 foyer. Register by emailing Liz at eskibicki

25-Year Club Reception, Tuesday, June 19, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Physical Activities Complex.

Systems Design Engineering presents Dr. Subash Bhatnagar, Honorary Professor of Information Systems, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, "Information Technology and Development: Challenges and Opportunities in India," Wednesday, June 20, 10:30 a.m., E5 6111.

UWRC Book Club, "In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin" by Erik Larson, Wednesday, June 20, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Prof. Xiaojing Zhou, Centre for Organic Electronics, University of Newcastle, Australia, "Poly-3-hexylthiophene (P3HT) Based Organic Photovoltaic Cells and Thin Film Transistors", Wednesday, June 20 at 2:30 p.m., C2-361.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, June 21, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Student Life Centre lower level.

Retirement celebration for Joanne Holzinger, Thursday, June 21, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EV1 347.

English Department event featuring Roland Greene, Professor of English, Stanford University, "What was Genre Criticism?", Friday, June 22, HH 280.

Pension information session, Tuesday, June 26, 12:45 p.m., RCH 301.

Pension information session, Tuesday, June 26, 2:15 p.m., RCH 301.

Pension information session, Tuesday, June 26, 5:45 p.m., RCH 307.

James Ford commemoration event, Thursday, June 27, 10:00 a.m., E6 2024.

UWRC presents What's Your Hang Up? featuring Annette Trudelle, certified interior decorator, Wednesday, June 27, 12:00 p.m., NH 1116. Register by emailing uwrc@

Canada Day holiday observed Monday, July 2, classes cancelled, university offices and most services closed.

Waterloo Residences presents the 2012 Make Your Mark Student Staff Conference for Housing and Residences’ and the University Colleges’ student staff and volunteers. Saturday, July 7. Details.

PhD Oral Defences

Psychology. Grayden Solman, "Perceptuomotor incoordination during manually-assisted search." Supervisor, Daniel Smilek. On deposit in the Faculty of Arts Graduate Office, PAS 2434. Oral defence Wednesday, June 27, 10:00 a.m., PAS 3026.

Biology. Jin Duan, "Sequence Analysis of the Genome of the Plant Growth-Promoting Bacterium Pseudomonas putida UW4." Supervisors, Bernard Glick, John Heikkila. On deposit in the Faculty of Science graduate office, ESC 254A. Oral defence Wednesday, June 27, 10:00 a.m.

Earth and Environmental Sciences. Peeter Pehme, "New Approaches to the Collection and Interpretation of High Sensitivity Temperature Logs for Detection of Groundwater Flow in Fracture Rock." Supervisors, John Cherry, Anthony Endres. On deposit in the Faculty of Science Graduate Office, ESC 254A. Oral defence Wednesday, June 27, 1:00 p.m., EIT 2053.

Physics and Astronomy. Francesco Caravelli, "Quantum Pre-geometry Models for Quantum Gravity." Supervisor, Lee Smolin. On deposit in the Faculty of Science Graduate Office, ESC 254-A. Oral defence Friday, June 29, 9:00 a.m., PHY 352.

Friday's Daily Bulletin