Fifth Annual IEEE North Jersey Advanced Communications Symposium, Fall 2017

By Amit Patel - IEEE North Jersey Section Communications Society Chapter Chair

The 2017 IEEE North Jersey Advanced Communications Symposium (NJACS) was held at the Babbio Center, Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, NJ, on Saturday, September 23, 2017. The symposium consisted of four keynote presentations and a parallel poster session contest with nearly a dozen student posters from universities in the region. The symposium was well attended with 105 participants from the NY/NJ metro-area.

NJACS symposium participants in the auditorium.

The symposium started at 9:30 am when the registration desk opened, participants got together for refreshments, and the posters were set up. The program started at 10:00 am with opening remarks from the Symposium Chair, Stevens Professor and Department Chair, Dr. Yu-Dong Yao. He introduced Dr. Jean Zu, the new Dean of the Schaefer School of Engineering and Science, who welcomed participants and expressed Stevens’ commitment to hosting events such as ACS. Additional welcoming remarks were given by Dr. Adriaan van Wijngaarden, from Nokia Bell Labs, and final acknowledgments and thanks to the many technical and financial supporters were given by Mr. Amit Patel, IEEE North Jersey Section ComSoc Chapter Chair. Co-sponsors of the event included the IEEE North Jersey Section, ComSoc Chapter, which received additional financial support from the IEEE Communications Society, and its Vehicular Technology and Computer Chapters.

Dr. Yao then gave program remarks and introduced this year’s theme: “A Day of Deep Learning.” The morning program began with Prof. Rensheng Wang (Stevens) giving the first lecture on “Deep Learning: Autoencoder.” This was followed by Prof. Hai Phan (NJIT), who presented a lecture on “Differential Privacy Preservation in Deep Learning.” During the lunch break, there was time for discussions with the participants, speakers and the poster presenters. Poster judges also reviewed the materials and student presentations.

NJACS keynote speaker Dr. Chun-Nam Yu.

The afternoon program started with a lecture on “Convolutional Neural Networks for Figure Extraction in Historical Bell Labs Records” by Dr. Chun-Nam Yu (Nokia Bell Labs). This presentation was followed by a lecture on “Adversarial Perturbations in Deep Neural Networks: Attack and Defense” by Mr. Huaxia Wang (Stevens/ Bell Labs). Abstract summaries and speaker biographies for all presentations can be found at the event web site:

In the closing remarks following the technical program, symposium chair Dr. Yao introduced the Poster Committee Chair, Hannah Zhao (FDU), who announced the winners of the poster competition. The symposium’s Poster Committee had invited students and postdocs during the months prior to the symposium to prepare a poster presentation on recent research work and cutting edge developing technologies for this year’s theme. Undergraduates, Master students, Ph.D. students and postdocs were all encouraged to participate. The symposium’s Poster Committee accepted a number of high-quality posters from several local universities. The poster topics ranged from applications of machine learning for image analysis and communications resource allocation to addressing medical image based disease diagnosis. The poster session provided student researchers direct interactions with faculty, industry researchers and regional IEEE officers and volunteers. It served as an excellent platform and opportunity to network for future collaborative research and career advancement. The posters were on display all day and special exhibition times were scheduled for all attendees. The poster committee, chaired by Hannah Zhao and further consisting of judges Adrian van Wijngaarden, Newman Wilson (Jersey Coast ComSoc Chapter Chair), and Stephen and Paul Wilkowski, evaluated the posters. The chair emphasized that all posters had been of an extremely high quality and demonstrated the wide range of subject matter and domains to which machine and deep learning was being applied. After a rigorous review process, the following three posters were selected to receive best poster awards:

First Place: Hanyu Jiang and Narayan Ganesan, “A GPU-based Parallel Framework for Accelerating Genomic Sequence Analysis.”

Second Place: Yuan Jiang, “Bayesian Learning for Adaptive Signal Detection.”

Third Place: Thomas Bender and Mark Del Rosario, “Satellite Image Classification: The Human Occupation of Earth.”

The first, second, and third place winners received prizes of $300, $200, and $100, respectively (one prize per winning poster). All poster presenters received participation certificates.

In his closing remarks, Dr. Yao thanked Stevens Institute of Technology for hosting the symposium and for the use of the Babbio Center, which provided an excellent venue for the symposium. Additional thanks went to all co-organizers and volunteers for their hard work that made the symposium a success including, Michael Newell, Registration Chair; Hong Man, Local Arrangements; and Bennet Meyer, CEU coordinator. Please contact the organizing committee or volunteers for any additional follow up questions or feedback on the event.