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ECE professor and former student win 2007 IEEE ComSoc prize

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By Lauren Eichmann, ECE Illinois
May 31, 2007

  • Prof. P.R. Kumar and former PhD student Arvind Giridhar will receive the 2007 Fred W. Ellersick Prize for their paper on in-network computation in wireless sensor networks.
  • he Fred W. Ellersick Prize is given annually to the best original article published in a Communications Society magazine in the past year.
  • Kumar and Giridhar will receive a plaque and honorarium of up to $500 each, and be recognized for their achievement at the IEEE International Conference on Communications 2007 to be held June 24-28 at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre.
P. R. Kumar
P. R. Kumar

P.R. Kumar, Franklin Woeltge Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and his former Ph.D. student Arvind Giridhar, will receive the 2007 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Communications Society Fred W. Ellersick Prize for their paper on in-network computation in wireless sensor networks.

The Fred W. Ellersick Prize is given annually to the best original article published in a Communications Society magazine in the past year. Kumar and Giridhar’s work was “judged as the best paper published in 2006 in any of the IEEE Communications Society magazines, which include the IEEE Communications Magazine, IEEE Network Magazine, IEEE Wireless Communications Magazine, and IEEE Surveys and Tutorials,” said  Roberto de Marca, IEEE ComSoc awards chair.

Kumar and Giridhar will receive a plaque and honorarium of up to $500 each, and be recognized for their achievement at the IEEE International Conference on Communications 2007 to be held June 24-28 at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) in Glasgow, Scotland. Although both were invited to the conference as guests of ComSoc, neither will be able to attend.     

Arvind Giridhar
Arvind Giridhar

Giridhar, who received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, in 2000, completed his master’s at Illinois in 2002 and recently finished his Ph.D., also at Illinois. He is currently employed by the Goldman Sachs investment bank in New York. Giridhar said his first reaction was one of surprise upon hearing about his recognition.

“Most work published in the IEEE Communications Magazine is typically of an expository or tutorial nature. The challenge my advisor and I faced in writing this paper was that there wasn't, and isn't, a comprehensive body of work on this topic, but rather many scattered threads of work which weren't very well connected,” Giridhar said. “I'm certainly glad, and somewhat pleasantly surprised, that it's been well received.”

Kumar said he was equally as surprised because he was not aware that such a prize existed. “I am glad to hear of this award since it is positive feedback from our peers, from out of the blue, that what my student and I were thinking about somehow has some merit,” said Kumar.

“For academics who often engage in research through one-on-one discussions with their students, usually without a lot of external input, it is always reassuring to get such feedback,” he said. “Of course, it is an honor, but all awards should be taken with an appropriate grain of salt.”

The mission of the IEEE Communications Society is to promote the “advancement of science, technology and applications in communications and related disciplines” and “foster presentation and exchange of information among its members and the technical community throughout the world,” according to its Web site.

Editor's note: media inquiries should be directed to Brad Petersen, Director of Communications, at bradp@illinois.edu or (217) 244-6376.

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