Asia-Pacific IEEE Comsoc Summer School 2017 in Lahore, Pakistan

By Kashif Bashir - Chair, IEEE ComSoc Lahore Section, Pakistan

The IEEE ComSoc Lahore Section, in collaboration with the Al-Khawarizmi Institute of Computer Science (KICS), University of Engineering and Technology Lahore and Fast National University Lahore, organized the four-day “Asia Pacific IEEE ComSoc Summer School 2017.”

Other collaborators are HEC Pakistan, IEEE UET and IEEE FAST. It was very inspirational for all who attended, particularly for the young engineers in Pakistan who very actively participated in the event. The summer school program was designed for new graduates, M.S. and Ph.D. students so they could advance their knowledge and research activities. The IEEE ComSoc Summer School has its historical background as well, as it first started two years ago in 2015 in Italy.

COMSOC Speakers on Technical Visit to Punjab Safe City Authority. From left to right: Dr Mahtab Alam, Mr. Kashif Bashir, Mr. Akbar Nasir Khan, Mr. Faisal K Sheikh, Dr. Amjad Hussain, Hussain Mahdi, Mr. Mehran Memon, Dr. Ali Hammad Akbar.

The opening ceremony of the IEEE ComSoc Summer School 2017 took place at FAST NU Lahore from 11–14 July 2017. The event began with a video message by Prof. Dr. Vincenzo Piuri, who is a full professor at the University of Milan, Italy. Dr. Piuri said it was his honor to address the participants of the IEEE ComSoc Summer School 2017. He mentioned that the event was a unique opportunity to learn new trends in communication technology since it provided a sharing experience for all. Dr. Vincenzo then said that events like this allowed all of us to improve and facilitate the citizens. He revealed that technology empowerment was benefiting not only Pakistan but also other countries. Dr. Piuri in the end congratulated the IEEE ComSoc Lahore Section, KICS-UET and FAST-NU for conducting this event in Pakistan.

Prof. Fazal Ahmad Khalid, Vice Chancellor of the University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, was the honorable chief guest. Prof. Khalid said that IEEE ComSoc was a good initiative and would surely bring lucrative results. He also mentioned that it would be beneficial for both industry and academia. He appreciated the technological advancements in the country and emphasized the efforts and contributions of our students who were active participants in smart world and smart technologies. Other guests included Prof. Dr. Waqar Mahmood, Director KICS UET and Sultan Qaboos IT Chair, Prof. Dr. Noor Muhammad Shaikh, GC University Lahore, Dr. Sayyed Aaun Abbas and Dr. Tariq Jadoon, LUMS, and the Chair of the IEEE ComSoc Lahore Section, Mr. Kashif Bashir.

This year the IEEE ComSoc Summer School 2017 attracted 65 research participants from nine universities in Pakistan. There were 14 speakers, including five from abroad and nine from national universities. International speakers were from China, Saudi Arabia, Estonia, Ireland and Malaysia; national speakers were from LUMS, COMSATS Lahore, UET Lahore and Mehran University Jamshoro.

Prof. Dr. Waqar Mahmood Director KICS UET receiving souvenir form Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Fazal Ahmad Khalid. From Left: Prof. Dr Waqar Mahmood, Prof. Dr. Fazal Ahmad Khalid, Dr. Amjad Hussain, Mr. Kashif Bashir.

A number of talks coupled with speeches by the guests were seen at this year’s summer school. Featured speakers were Dr. Mohamed-Slim Alouini, Dr. Momin Uppal, Dr. Zartash Uzmi, Dr. Ghalib Shah, Dr. M. Majid Butt, Dr. Faisal K. Shaikh, Dr. Ubaid ullah Fiaz, Dr. Muhammad Tahir, Dr. Sobia Baig, Dr. Hussain Mahdi, Dr. Waqar Baig, Mr. He Gang and Dr. Muhammad Mahtab Alam. The topics included, among others, Internet Censorship Research, USAID Fulbright and other scholarship opportunities abroad, Smart Grid Communication technology, FM Radio Broadcast Using RTL Software, Internet of Things, Polar Codes, Shared Spectrum Access, 5G Wireless Communication Networks, Wireless Acoustic Sensor Network. Paper presentations were also presented. A panel discussion on the topic of how to elevate research in Pakistan was also a major highlight of the event.

Two visits were also arranged. The first visit was to the best eye-candy locales in the city of Lahore. Second, the participants were taken on a technical tour of Punjab Safe City Headquarters, where they were briefed by Mr. Akbar Nasir Khan, Chief Operating Officer and Project Director PPIC3. He also showed how the city was monitored by hundreds of cameras and how all the emergency services are integrated into a single hotline.

The chief guest of the closing ceremony was Engr. Jawed Salim Qureshi, Chairman of the Pakistan Engineering Council. He said that the Pakistan Engineering Council was closely working with the government and industry for the betterment and future of the students who were appointed as interns. Mr. Jawed Salim Qureshi also said that Pakistani engineers had been doing great not only in Pakistan but also across the world to prove their mettle. He said that the formula of success was being a champion. Mr. Akbar Nasir Khan, Chief Operating Officer of the Punjab Safe City Authority, said that what he learned from his education was leadership and it was what took you to the heights of success. Mr. Edward Zhang, Vice President Huawei Technologies China, spoke about the CPEC and Huawei’s ICT contribution in Pakistan. Prof. Dr. Fazal Ahmed Khalid, Vice Chancellor UET Lahore, expressed appreciation for the efforts of the Chair of the IEEE ComSoc Lahore Section (Kashif Bashir) and volunteers for organizing this mega event between KICSUET and FAST NU successfully.

Other guests were Prof. Dr. Waqar Mahmood, Director of KICS UET Lahore; Prof. Dr. Suhail Aftab Qureshi, Dean of EE at UET Lahore; Prof. Dr. Amjad Hussain, Director of FAST NU Lahore; Mr. Kashif Bashir, Chair of the IEEE ComSoc Lahore Section, and Mr. Usman Munawar, Secretary of the IEEE Lahore Section. The guests were given souvenirs and shields, while the participants and the event organizers were given certificates.

Group photo at the Opening Ceremony Day 1: all guests with Participants of COMSOC Summer School 2017.