IEEE Toronto Section


Archive for the ‘Communications’ Category

ComSoc Seminar: “Coding Near Shannon-Theoretic Limits in Control”

Sunday, March 18th, 2018

Friday, March 23rd at 11:00 a.m., Professor Victoria Kostina, California Institute of Technology, will be presenting an IEEE ComSoc seminar: “Coding Near Shannon-Theoretic Limits in Control”.

Day & Time: Friday, March 23, 2018
11:00 a.m. ‐ 12:00 p.m.

Speaker: Professor Victoria Kostina
California Institute of Technology

Location: Room GB221, Galbraith Building, University of Toronto
35 St George St, Toronto, ON M5S 1A4


Organizer: IEEE Toronto Communications Society

Abstract: We adopt a Shannon-theoretic view of remote stochastic linear control, showing coding theorems linking the amount of information passed through the feedback loop to several operational scenarios of interest. The controller aims to minimize a quadratic cost function in the state variables and control signal, known as the linear quadratic regulator (LQR), while communicating to the system via a rate-limited channel. For several channels of interest, namely, variable-length rate-limited noiseless channels, rate-limited packet drop channels, Gaussian channels, and biomolecular channels, we propose coding strategies that can approach these information-theoretic limits.

Based on joint works with B. Hassibi, A. Khina, A. Khisti, E.R. Gårding, G. M. Pettersson, Y. Nakahira, F. Xiao, J. C. Doyle.

Biography: Victoria Kostina joined Caltech as an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering in the fall of 2014. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Moscow institute of Physics and Technology (2004), where she was affiliated with the Institute for Information Transmission Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a Master’s degree from University of Ottawa (2006), and a PhD from Princeton University (2013). She is a recipient of the 2013 Princeton Electrical Engineering Best Dissertation Award, the 2015 Simons-Berkeley research fellowship, and the 2017 NSF CAREER award. Her research interests lie in information theory, theory of random processes, coding, wireless communications, and control.

ComSoc Tutorial: “Cooperative Self-Driving Vehicles”

Friday, November 17th, 2017

Tuesday, November 21st at 1:00 p.m., Shahrokh Valaee, Professor in the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto, will be presenting “ComSoc Tutorial: Cooperative Self-Driving Vehicles”.

Day & Time: Tuesday, November 21, 2017
1:00 p.m. ‐ 3:00 p.m.

Speaker: Shahrokh Valaee
Professor, Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto

Location: Room SF (B560) Basement
Sandford Fleming Building
10 King’s College Road, Toronto, M5S 3G8

Contact: Eman Hammad

Organizer: Communications Society

Abstract: We are witnessing the emergence of autonomous Vehicles, which intend to be an assistant to, or completely replace the driver. Unfortunately, we also notice accidents that such self-driving vehicles are involved in. Engineers wonder whether autonomous driving can provide a safe driving experience. In this talk, we will show that autonomous driving will indeed be the start of a new chapter for automobiles that will pave the path for the more advanced Connected Car technology. Autonomous vehicles use advance sensing to enhance safe driving. However, sensing quickly loses its effectiveness in high speeds, severe weather conditions, and non-line-of-sight. In a recent tragedy, a Tesla car could not detect a truck and crashed into it resulting in fatal accident. Most of such accidents can be prevented if wireless communication and networking is available for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication. But, what is the most appropriate communication technology that can be used in cars and also be attractive for future buyers? In this talk, we will review the techniques and challenges for cooperative communication in Connected Vehicles. We will discuss the IEEE1609 and IEEE802.11p suite of standards, and C-V2X. The talk will discuss the shortcoming of these technologies in addressing the most challenging problem of interference management in vehicular communication. We will show how the concept of pseudo-orthogonality, network coding and compressive sensing can reduce congestion on the wireless channel.

Biography: Shahrokh Valaee is a Professor in the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto. He is the founder and the Director of the Wireless and Internet Research Laboratory (WIRLab) at the University of Toronto. Professor Valaee is the Lead TPC Chair of PIMRC 2017, and has served as Networks Track Co-Chair of WCNC 2015, TPC Co-Chair of ICT 2014, Tutorial Chair of PIMRC2014, Co-Chair of the Wireless Networks Track of WPMC 2012, and the TPC chair of PIMRC 2011, among other conference chairing activities. He has served as an Editor of IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, and IEEE Signal Processing Letters, and as a guest editor for several journals including IEEE Wireless Communications Magazine, Wiley Journal on Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing, and EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing. He is currently serving as an Editor of Journal of Computer and System Science and the Area Editor of Localization and Location Based Services of Springer Encyclopedia of Wireless Networks. Professor Valaee is a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada. His research includes, vehicular networks, localization and tracking, and cellular systems.

ComSoc Technical Seminar: Through-the-Earth Mine Communications Theory & Practice

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Thursday, November 16th at 4:00 p.m. Ekaterina Korolkova, senior teacher in the Siberian Federal University in the Department of Radio Electronics, will be presenting “ComSoc Technical Seminar: Through-the-Earth Mine Communications Theory & Practice”.

Day & Time: Thursday, November 16th, 2017
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Speaker: Ekaterina Korolkova
Senior Teacher, Department of Radio Electronics, Siberian Federal University
Lead Engineer in Research and Manufacturing Company “Iridium” (Russian Federation)

Location: Room ENG 460, Ryerson University
245 Church St, Toronto, ON M5B 1Z4

Contact: Eman Hammad

Organizer: IEEE Toronto Communication Society

Abstract: Safety is an important factor in the mining industry. Through-The-Earth technology can provide communication both in everyday usage and in a case of emergency. Developing the TTE communication systems raises a lot of questions about main system specifications such as a transmitting frequency, current and antenna geometry. This talk is about TTE system experiment in the Republic of Kazakhstan (“Irtishskaya mine”), researches in finding appropriate system specifications and antenna geometry, and finally the implementation of designed system in October 2017. Also we will speak about some propagation difficulties in the real mine and some engineering difficulties connected with mine electromagnetic environment.

In this talk we will represent experimental and numerical modeling results. We compare widely used loop antenna and grounded dipole antenna. One of the most interesting novel results is the influence of the antenna grounding depth to the signal level in the mine.

Biography: Ekaterina Korolkova is a senior teacher in the Siberian Federal University in the Department of Radio electronics teaching “Power supply of electrical systems”, “Networks and radio systems and information protection” and “Computer networks and Internet technologies”. Also she is a lead engineer in Research and Manufacturing Company “Iridium” which is designing radio electronics and doing research works in the field of seismic prospecting and seismic communications. She graduated from Irkutsk state university of railways in 2011 and for 5 years has been working in JSC “Russian Railways” projecting different telecommunication systems for the railways. In 2011-2015 completed Postgraduate studies in the field of system analysis, management and information processing. In 2013 had a title of “Engineer of a year 2013” nomination in “Youth engineering”. Now she is working on the designing the TTE mine communication system which in October 2017 was successfully implemented in the Republic of Kazakhstan in the mine “Irtishskiy”. Ekaterina’s research interests are in areas of mine and cell communication systems, radio electronics, signal propagation and through-the-earth communication systems.

Cyber Security of the Digital Substation: Hands-on Training

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

IEEE Toronto Industrial Relationships, Communication Society chapter and University of Toronto Electrical Engineering Department are excited to invite all interested to a two-days hands-on workshop on:

Cyber Security of the Digital Substation: Hands-on Training
Facilitated by Steel McCreery, Integration Application Specialist II Communications, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

Day & Time: Saturday & Sunday, October 21-22, 2017
4-hour workshop (10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.) on Saturday
6-hour workshop (9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) on Sunday

Location: Room BA 7180
Bahen Centre for Information Technology
40 St George St, Toronto, ON M5S 2E4

Cost: $10.00 + Tax (event is of limited capacity to 24 seats because of equipment limitations).
Register at

Requirements: Participants should bring their own laptop that has a 10/100 Base T Ethernet port and have administrator rights for their computer to configure the Ethernet port IP address.

Workshop Agenda: Saturday Oct. 21 (10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.) – Ethernet Fundamentals
This four hour session will focus on the practical aspects of implementing Ethernet-based LANs within the substation.
Topics include:
– OSI model
– Ethernet media and topologies commonly used within substations
– Ethernet hub operation and CSMA/CD
– Switch learning and operation
– SEL-2730M Managed 24-Port Ethernet Switch hardware overview and ordering options
– Hands-on lab exercises using the SEL-2730M Switches include:
– Login and account management
– Configuration of QoS (VLANs and priority)
– Configuration and testing of Rapid Spanning Tree protocol (RSTP)
– Time permitting the class will have a brief overview of the routing process: ( IPv4 addressing , DHCP , DNS, ARP, routing process)

Sunday Oct. 22 (9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) – Cyber security
In this session, participants will:
– Discover that sensible cybersecurity is not difficult.
– Learn how to set up a virtual private network (VPN) to provide confidential communications and maintain data integrity.
– Understand the importance of authentication.
– Configure firewall rules to prevent malicious traffic from entering or exiting private networks to protect cyber assets.
– Understand the role of syslog to report and collect device events.
– Learn the methods to secure both Ethernet and wireless communications.

Trainer Biography: Steel McCreery

Integration Application Specialist II Communications with Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories since May 2012. McCreery provides communications and automation applications engineering support to sales, consultants, utility and industrial customers in addition to SEL’s internal Engineering Services team.

Professional Experience Summary:
– Professional with thirty three years of applications experience in the areas of data communication, automation and training.
– Developed national and international training centres for GE Multilin, Siemens and Omron.
– The Sales Applications Engineer for Data Communications, Automation and Networking products.
– Extensive experience in the design and commissioning of control systems and communication networks for industrial and electrical power utility applications.

Molecular Communication in Mobile Systems

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Tuesday September 26, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. Professor Robert Schober, Institute for Digital Communications, will be presenting “Molecular Communication in Mobile Systems”.

Day & Time: Tuesday September 26, 2017
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Speaker: Professor Robert Schober
Institute for Digital Communications
Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany

Location: Room BA 2165
Bahen Centre for Information Technology
40 St George St, Toronto, ON M5S 2E4

Contact: Arin Minasian

Organizers: IEEE Communications Society

Event Link:

Abstract: Molecular communication (MC) is an emerging research area offering many interesting and challenging new research problems for communication engineers, biologists, chemists, and physicists. MC is widely considered to be an attractive option for communication between nanodevices such as (possibly artificial) cells and nanosensors. Possible applications of the resulting nanonetworks include targeted drug delivery, health monitoring, environmental monitoring, and “bottom-up” manufacturing.

In this talk, we give first a brief introduction to MC and nanonetworking. The main focus of the talk is on stochastic channel modelling for mobile MC systems where the transmitter and/or receiver are not fixed but move subject to diffusion and flow. Metrics such as the mean, autocorrelation function, and probability density function of the channel impulse response will be investigated and the notion of coherence time in MC is introduced. Subsequently, the implications of time-variant channels for MC system design are studied, and corresponding channel estimation and non-coherent detection schemes are developed. The talk concludes with a summary of potential topics for future work.

Biography: Robert Schober (S’98, M’01, SM’08, F’10) was born in Neuendettelsau, Germany, in 1971. He received the Diplom (Univ.) and the Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the Friedrich-AlexanderUniversity of Erlangen-Nurnberg (FAU), Germany, in 1997 and 2000, respectively. From May 2001 to April 2002 he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto, Canada, sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). From 2002-2011, he was a Professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada. Since January 2012 he is an Alexander von Humboldt Professor and the Chair for Digital Communication at FAU. His research interests fall into the broad areas of Communication Theory, Wireless Communications, and Statistical Signal Processing.

Dr. Schober received several awards for his work including the 2002 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Award of the German Science Foundation (DFG), the 2004 Innovations Award of the Vodafone Foundation for Research in Mobile Communications, the 2006 UBC Killam Research Prize, the 2007 Wilhelm Friedrich Bessel Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the 2008 Charles McDowell Award for Excellence in Research from UBC, a 2011 Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, and a 2012 NSERC E.W.R. Stacie Fellowship. In addition, he received several best paper awards. Dr. Schober is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada. From 2012-2015 he served as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Communications. He is currently the Chair of the Steering Committee of the new Communication Society (ComSoc) journal IEEE Transactions on Molecular, Biological and Multiscale Communication and serves on the Editorial Board of the Proceedings of the IEEE. Furthermore, he is a Member-at-Large of the Board of Governors and a Distinguished Lecturer of ComSoc.

Molecular Bringing Precision to Measurements for Millimeter-wave 5G Wireless: Conducted and free-field modulated-signal measurements

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Wednesday September 27, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. Dr. Kate A. Remley from Wireless Systems Group, NIST, will be presenting “Molecular Bringing Precision to Measurements for Millimeter-wave 5G Wireless: Conducted and free-field modulated-signal measurements”.

Day & Time: Wednesday September 27, 2017
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Light lunch will be served)

Speaker: Dr. Kate A. Remley
Wireless Systems Group, NIST

Location: Room BA 4287
Bahen Centre for Information Technology
40 St George St, Toronto, ON M5S 2E4

Contact: Arin Minasian

Organizers: IEEE Communications Society

Event Link:

Abstract: At millimeter-wave frequencies and for wide modulation bandwidths, the hardware performance of both modulated-signal sources and vector receivers becomes increasingly nonideal. These nonidealities make test and validation of devices, circuits and systems not only more important, but also more difficult. This is especially true because future systems will likely push the limits of modulation complexity and bandwidth to increase data throughput. We will discuss calibration and measurement techniques to correct millimeter-wave modulated-signal measurements illustrating that traditional assumptions at microwave frequencies may not be adequate at millimeter-wave frequencies.

Biography: Kate A. Remley (S’92-M’99-SM’06-F’13) was born in Ann Arbor, MI. She received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Oregon State University, Corvallis, in 1999. From 1983 to 1992, she was a Broadcast Engineer in Eugene, OR, serving as Chief Engineer of an AM/FM broadcast station from 1989-1991. In 1999, she joined the RF Technology Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Boulder, CO, as an Electronics Engineer. She is currently the leader of the Metrology for Wireless Systems Group at NIST, where her research activities include development of calibrated measurements for microwave and millimeter-wave wireless systems, characterizing the link between nonlinear circuits and system performance, and developing standardized test methods for RF equipment used by the public-safety community.

Dr. Remley was the recipient of the Department of Commerce Bronze and Silver Medals, an ARFTG Best Paper Award, and is a member of the Oregon State University Academy of Distinguished Engineers. She was the Chair of the MTT-11 Technical Committee on Microwave Measurements from 2008 – 2010 and the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Microwave Magazine from 2009 – 2011, and is the Chair of the MTT Fellow Nominating Committee.

Industrial Relations and Toronto ComSoc Chapter: Site Visit G&W/Survalent

Monday, July 24th, 2017

Note: This event has been rescheduled from the original date. The new day and time is Thursday, October 12, 2017.

IEEE Toronto is thrilled to present a tour of the Manufacturing Facility of G&W Canada and Survalent in Brampton. This event is a joint event between IEEE Toronto Industrial Relations and Toronto ComSoc Chapter.

Day & Time: Thursday, October 12, 2017
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Location: 7965 Heritage Rd, Brampton, ON L6Y 0B3

Contact: Maryam Alsomahi

Organizers: Industrial Relations, Communication Society Chapter


Abstract: G&W Electric has been a global supplier of electric power equipment since 1905. Our product offerings include overhead and underground distribution switches, Lazer® Automation solutions, reclosers, distribution and transmission cable accessories, and current limiting system protection devices. Combining cutting-edge design and manufacturing technology with world-class ISO certified quality systems; G&W specializes in custom solutions to meet specific customer requirements.

So whether you are searching for cable terminations and joints, simple manual switching, automation for smart grid applications, or the latest in renewable energy solutions, join G&W for a tour of their SF6 and Solid Dielectric manufacturing process.

Fees & Notes:
$10 for non-IEEE members and free for IEEE members.
1. Attendees are required to bring their own safety shoes and glasses. However, G&W can loan glasses and toe caps for those who don’t have them. For safety purposes, attendees are not allowed to wear shorts or open shoes.
2. Please add a note if you are able to drive/carpool or if you need a ride.

IEEE ComSoc Distinguished Lecture: Topology Preserving Maps: A Localization-Free Approach for 2-D and 3-D IoT Subnets

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

Tuesday June 13, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. Prof. Anura Jayasumana, Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Communications Society, will be presenting a distinguished lecture “Topology Preserving Maps: A Localization-Free Approach for 2-D and 3-D IoT Subnets”. Note refreshments begin at 2:00 p.m.

Day & Time: Tuesday June 13, 2017
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Refreshments
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Lecture

Speaker: Prof. Anura Jayasumana
Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO 80523 USA

Location: Room BA 2135
40 St. George Street
Toronto, ON M5S 2E4

Contact: Eman Hammad

Event Link:

Abstract: Driven by higher potency and lower cost/size of devices capable of sensing, actuating, processing and communicating, the Internet of Things and of Everything promises to dramatically increase our ability to embed intelligence in the surroundings. Subnets of simple devices such as RFIDs and tiny sensors/actuators deployed in massive numbers in 2D and complex 3D spaces will be a key aspect of this emerging infrastructure. Most techniques for self-organization, routing and tracking in such networks rely on distances and localization in the physical domain. While geographic coordinates fit well with our intuitions into physical spaces, their use is not feasible in complex environments. Protocols based on geographical coordinates do not scale well to 3D either. We present a novel localization-free coordinate system, the Topology Coordinates (TC). Interestingly, geographic features such as voids and shapes are preserved in the resulting Topology-Preserving Maps (TPMs) of 2-D and 3-D networks. Ability to specify virtual cardinal directions and angles in networks is a radical change from the traditional approaches. A novel self-learning algorithm is presented to provide network awareness to individual nodes, a step toward large-scale evolving sensor networks. Application of TCs to social networking will be illustrated.

Biography: Anura Jayasumana is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Colorado State University, where he also holds a joint appointment in Computer Science. He is the Associate Director of Information Sciences & Technology Center at Colorado State. He is a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Communications Society. His research interests span high-speed networking to wireless sensor networking, and anomaly detection to DDoS defense. He has served extensively as a consultant to industry ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies. He received the B.Sc. degree from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Michigan State University. Prof. Jayasumana has supervised 20+ Ph.D. and 50+ M.S. students, holds two patents, and is the co-author over 250 papers. He is the recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Mountain States Council of the American Electronics Association.

Robust Beamforming Design: A New Approach

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

Wednesday June 7, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. Mostafa Medra, PhD. Candidate, will be presenting “Robust Beamforming Design: A New Approach”.

Day & Time: Wednesday June 7, 2017
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Speaker: Mostafa Medra, PhD. Candidate
Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering
McMaster University

Location: Room BA 2145
40 St. George Street
Toronto, ON M5S 2E4

Contact: Eman Hammad

Event Link:

Abstract: Due to the increasing demand for higher data rates, spatial multiplexing received a lot of attention. The ability of a base station to do beamforming so that it can serve multiple users at the same time slot and frequency can provide significantly higher rates. When the channel state information is assumed to be perfectly known at the transmitter, designs as the zeroforcing, regularized zero-forcing and maximum ratio transmission can be applied. Those conventional methods are typically of low complexity. In reality the channel state information is estimated and estimation errors are inevitable. Many beamforming designs tried to incorporate the channel uncertainty model into the design problem. While those robust designs normally work better than the conventional designs, their computational complexity is usually much higher. Today we will provide a new approach to dealing with robust beamforming design that is of low- complexity and performs significantly better than both conventional and current robust methods.

Biography: Mostafa Medra (S’06-M’16) received the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees, both in Electrical Engineering, from Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt in 2009 and 2013, respectively. Since the fall of 2013, he has been working towards his Ph.D. degree at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He held a research position with the Spirtonic research team in 2012-2013, working on digital signal processing for non-destructive testing using ultrasonic waves. His current research interests include MIMO communications, optimization, wireless communications and signal processing.

IEEE Toronto ComSoc: Watson IOT Platform Hands-On Workshop

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

Thursday May 4, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. Gayathri Srinivasan, IBM Business Development Executive, will be presenting “IEEE Toronto ComSoc: Watson IOT Platform Hands-On Workshop”.

Day & Time: Thursday May 4, 2017
1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Speaker: Gayathri Srinivasan
Business Development Executive
IBM Watson Internet of Things Academic Initiative

Location: Galbraith Building, Room Number: GB202
University of Toronto, 35 St George St
Toronto, ON M5S 1A4

Contact: Eman Hammad

Organizers: IEEE Toronto ComSoc

Register: Register for free at

Abstract: The IEEE Toronto Section and University of Toronto – ECE are inviting all interested IEEE members and other engineers, technologists and students to our FIRST hands-on workshop: Watson IoT Platform hands-on.

Workshop agenda:
1. Presentation: IoT Overview
2. IBM Bluemix overview
3. IoT Starter app using Watson IoT boilerplate on Bluemix
4. Work with simulated devices/sensors
5. Learn the basics of Node-Red application development environment
6. Learn to create dashboards
7. Real-time-insights: Use sensor value thresholds to determine actions and text alerts
8. Use Watson APIs (Watson text to speech & Language Translation) capabilities for the alert
9. Explore weather insights
10. Learn to add additional nodes to the node-red environment including dashboard
11. General Q&A

Biography: Gaya Magie is a Business Development Executive leading the IBM Watson Internet of Things Academic Initiative. Gaya collaborates with educational institutions world wide to help faculty and students build IoT skills leveraging IBM resources and platforms available for academia. Gaya has been with IBM since 2001 and has over 18 years of industry experience across various aspects of the business, including development, support, project management, product management, partner relations and sales. In 1996, Gaya received her Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Madurai Kamaraj University in India. Gaya pursued her higher education in the US and in 1998, received a Master’s degree in Computer and Electrical Engineering from West Virginia University. As an IBM employee and continuing to pursue her higher education, Gaya received her Master’s in Business Administration in Global Management.