Professor Ayanoglu Named Conexant-Broadcom Endowed Chair

Professor Ender Ayanoglu was recently appointed the Conexant-Broadcom Endowed Chair in the Center for Pervasive Communications and Computing (CPCC). Ayanoglu, professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, currently serves as director of the CPCC.

An expert in communications technologies and former technical leader of the Wireless Access Business Unit of Cisco Systems, Inc., Ayanoglu works in the area of wireless, optical and broadband communications and networking, as well as multimedia. He holds more than a dozen patents in these research areas, including the original patents on 56K modems. He was named a fellow of the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) in 1998. His research publications have garnered numerous awards, including the IEEE Communications Society Stephen O. Rice Prize Paper Award in 1995 and Best Tutorial Paper Award in 1997.

Prior to joining Cisco, Ayanoglu spent 13 years working with Bell Laboratories, first as part of AT&T and then with Lucent Technologies. He holds a doctoral degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

The Conexant-Broadcom Endowed Chair was established to conduct research and develop communications curricula in subjects essential to the communications industry. The endowment is part of the $6 million gift from Broadcom Corp. and Conexant Systems, Inc. that formed the center in 2000.

In the following question and answer session, Ayanoglu maps out his vision for the CPCC.

Q: What is your technological roadmap for the CPCC?

A: The center is about next generation technologies that will integrate communications and computing. There is a consensus among technologists that we will see much more sophisticated communications equipment with more intelligence built-in than the simple devices such as cell phones, pagers, personal digital assistants and laptop computers we carry today. It is highly likely that there will be a single device that combines the capabilities of all of these devices. This device will have better computing performance and functionality, better battery power management and battery life, and a higher connectivity to both the telephony network as well as the Internet.

We also expect the Internet to continue to evolve and be equipped with broader bandwidth and new applications. Our homes will have networking capabilities, wired and wireless, that will enable not only computers and their peripherals, but also many other household items such as entertainment equipment -- stereo, TV, CD and DVD players, for example -- to interconnect. There are a large number of technology innovations ranging from increasing transmission rates to new networking protocols and software to new electronic, photonic, and microelectromechanical systems, that need to be invented and developed to make the vision of communications anytime, anywhere happen. We are building the center in this direction.

Q: What activities are currently underway?

A: The center now has three CPCC-sponsored faculty and we are in active search for two others. The center also has 30 affiliated faculty members, from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the School of Information and Computer Science, organized into seven groups according to research interest. We have developed a research inventory by means of faculty research white papers and are in the process of engaging with corporate, state and federal funding resources to pursue research projects encompassing our core focus areas.

In addition, the center has had a successful fellowship program that attracted top students into UCI's graduate programs in the intersection of the fields of communications and computing. We have initiated a number of new courses in communications, enhancing the UCI curriculum in this critical area in a major way. We also have a very active research seminar that hosts a speaker about every two weeks. We have had many pioneers of the field of communications give presentations on current research topics in the area. These talks have attracted a growing audience both from UCI and from local industry.

Q: What do you see happening over the course of the next three years?

A: The center will evolve to become an active piece of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Cal-(IT)2). We will be one of the first campus research organizations to move into the new Cal-(IT)2 building when it is completed.

Our donors and Governor Gray Davis had the vision of making UCI a premier research university in creating the CPCC and Cal-(IT)2. I see the Center for Pervasive Communications and Computing contributing in a major way to that vision.

To learn more about the CPCC, visit

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