Three Years of IEEE ComSoc Student Activities in UFPA, Brazil

By Brenda Vilas Boas - IEEE ComSoc UFPA Student Chapter Chair, Brazil

The UFPA Belém IEEE ComSoc Student Chapter, located in the North of Brazil, was founded in October 2015 as part of the UFPA Belém IEEE Student Branch. Igor Freire, an electrical engineering graduate student at the time, led the petition process and was the first chapter chair. Professor Aldebaro Klautau, an IEEE senior member, has been the chapter advisor since its founding. The petitioners of the IEEE Communication Society student branch were: Igor Antonio Auad Freire, Igor Mesquita de Almeida, Pedro dos Santos Batista, Leonardo Lira Ramalho, Diego de Azevedo Gomes, and Brenda Vilas Boas.

In November 2015, the UFPA Belém IEEE ComSoc Student Chapter hosted its first activity, co-sponsored by the UFPA Graduate Program in Electrical Engineering (PPGEE/UFPA). It was a seminar on Signal Processing for MIMO Systems and a workshop on Scientific Writing, both presented by Professor João Paulo Lustosa da Costa, an IEEE senior member, from Brasilia University (UnB).

The 2016 activities started with a keynote from Professor Vladimiro Miranda, an IEEE Fellow, from INESC System. The keynote was entitled “Cognitive Architectures: A Smart Grid Inspiration” and was co-hosted by the Telecommunications, Automation and Electronics Research and Development Center (LASSE). In August 2016, the UFPA Belém IEEE ComSoc Student Chapter received a visit from Professor Aurenice M. Oliveira, an IEEE Senior member, from Michigan Technological University, who gave a seminar on “Opportunities for Collaboration in Undergraduate and Graduate Studies at Michigan Tech.” The event was co-hosted by the Laboratory of Applied Electromagnetism (LEA). Following the same year, the chapter received an EPICS in IEEE grant from the IEEE Foundation to cooperate with LASSE in bridging the digital divide in the Amazon through the CELCOM project, a community network pilot that aims to provide GSM and Internet connectivity for isolated rural areas.

Professor Aurenice from Michigan Tech during her visit on 2017 presenting the seminar on “Enabling Autonomous Vehicles with Vehicular Communication Networks.”

In January 2017, the student chapter hosted a seminar on “Hyper-Spectral Image Analysis” which was presented by Tales Imbiriba, a post-doctorate student at Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), Brazil. The event was co-hosted by LASSE. Given the fruitful partnership established, Professor Aurenice M. Oliveira revisited our chapter in spring of 2017 to present a workshop entitled “Enabling Autonomous Vehicles with Vehicular Communication Networks.” In this same year, UFPA Belém IEEE ComSoc Student Chapter hosted the IEEE Day 2017 which was a roundtable event entitled “Technology for Sustainable Development of the Amazon” with representatives from the Science and Technology State government, research institutions (LASSE and Embrapa) and startups (Barco Hacker and Terras App Solutions). They participated by talking about their perspectives to develop the Amazon while keeping its biodiversity.

In February 2018, Brenda Vilas Boas, an electrical engineering master student, was appointed as the new student chapter chair. In April and May 2018, the UFPA Belém IEEE ComSoc Student Chapter organized a tutorial entitled “IEEE 802.11ay: Introduction to the 1st Standard for 100Gbps Wi-Fi.” The tutorial was presented by Dr. Claudio da Silva, a wireless engineer at Intel Corporation, a member of the connectivity standards group focused on the development of the IEEE 802.11ay, and an IEEE senior member. The tutorial took a total of eight hours, starting with an overview of IEEE 802.11ad as a building block to explain the evolution to the new standard, IEEE 802.11ay. The event was organized in partnership with the LASSE and IEEE Young Professionals Centro-Norte Brazil section. During the summer, Brenda participated in the Brazilian National Meeting of IEEE Student Branches (RNR 2018) representing the UFPA Belem chapter in the reunion of Brazilian IEEE Com- Soc Student Chapters. The chapter was awarded second place in the success cases, management and partnership category because of its EPICS in IEEE project, which is being developed since 2016 in partnership with LASSE and other institutions. In September 2018, the chapter organized a local event in preparation for the Brazilian Symposium on Telecommunications and Signal Processing (SBRT 2018) with talks on 5G, IoT, and a technical section with papers that were approved for the conference.