A Note from San Diego for Year 2018: Again, Another Hectic and Impactful Year for the ComSoc San Diego Chapter!

By Liangping Ma - IEEE ComSoc San Diego Chapter Chair, InterDigital Inc., USA

San Diego is a popular city for hosting various conferences due to its mild weather, beautiful coastlines, and more importantly, its vibrant and welcoming technical communities.

On 23–27 July 2018, San Diego was the site of the IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo (ICME), one of the leading conferences on multimedia signal processing, computation, communication and applications. Local universities such as the University of California–San Diego and San Diego State University, and local companies such as Qualcomm and InterDigital, were among the key supporters of the conference.

This year’s theme was “Data-driven Media Computing,” with keynote speeches, tutorials, and many paper sessions and workshops featuring big data and machine learning applied to multimedia applications. Many excellent papers and demos were presented. Notably, the Diamond Best Paper Award went to Yunfei Chu, Chunyan Feng and Caili Guo of Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications for the paper “Social-guided Representation Learning for Images via Deep Heterogeneous Hypergraph Embedding.” More information about the conference can be found at http://www.icme2018.org/

As usual, the ComSoc chapter organized many high-quality technical at this year’s conference. One of them was about quantum information, a fascinating field with a potentially profound impact on the computing and communication industries. In recent years there has been a rapid increase in investment in this field from major industry players as well as governments.

To help IEEE members better understand the fundamentals and the state of the art of this field, we invited Prof. Massimo Franceschetti of the University of California–San Diego, an expert in the field, to give a three-hour talk on April 20th. The talk included a tutorial on quantum information theory, followed by a derivation of a quantum entropy bound for band-limited radiation in free space. The talk was met with enthusiasm from the attendees, who raised many interesting and sometimes deep questions. Many attendees are very happy to see these kinds of events.

Liangping Ma presenting a Distinguished Lecturer talk titled “5G - Technologies and Standards” on August 2nd, Huntsville, Alabama. Photo courtesy of Josh Langford.

Wireless communication technologies are experiencing a major transformation. To help students and professionals catch up with the latest developments, on 1 October the University of California–San Diego’s Qualcomm Institute (QI) and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department launched the first seminar series on communication theory and systems given by industry leaders (http://seminarseries.ucsd.edu/), free to all, subject to seating availability. This initiative is expected to greatly benefit the local communities, including IEEE ComSoc.

The fifth-generation (5G) cellular system is on the verge of commercial deployment, and there are huge demands from ComSoc members in many locations for talks on the subject. As a ComSoc Distinguished Lecturer, from June to August, I travelled to Canada and the U.S. to talk about 5G, visiting Calgary and Winnipeg in Canada; Pomona, California; Blacksburg, Virginia; and Auburn, Birmingham, and Huntsville, Alabama. My talks focused on core technologies illustrated with simple examples, and covered standards and commercialization. They were well received and the trips were enjoyable.

The IEEE ComSoc San Diego chapter is fortunate to have strong support from the local communities in bringing information and providing services to its members. In return, it strives to better serve the local communities and communities beyond San Diego.