The IEEE ComSoc Women in Communications Engineering (WICE) committee participated in the 14th Latin-American Conference on Communications (LATINCOM) held from November 30, 2022, to December 2, 2022, in the wonderful city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. IEEE LATINCOM 2022 was organized by the IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc) - Latin America Region, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), and Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF).
The WICE Committee organized and conducted a technical session with two remarkable speakers, Dr. Damla Turgut, Charles Millican Professor of Computer Science at University of Central Florida, USA, who presented the topic “Increasing the participation of women and minorities in STEM at a long metropolitan university” and Dr. Gidy Florez Navarro, Senior Protocol R&D Engineer at SIDIA Instituto de Ciência e Tecnologia , Brazil, who presented the topic “Status and challenges for 5G deployments in Latin America.” This session was moderated by Dr. Yessica Sáez, a Full-Time Researcher Professor at Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá and member of the WICE board of directors.
Dr. Turgut talked about the University of Central Florida (UCF) as one of the largest public metropolitan universities in the U.S. She mentioned that “while the Computer Science department of UCF is also one of the largest departments in the country, the percentage of women and minorities remains low.” She explained how they have implemented a few best practices through external grants from various organizations, including the Center for Inclusive Computing at Northeastern University, NWCIT, and Google. In this talk, she discussed the past, current, and planned future efforts toward increasing the participation of women and minorities in computer science at UCF.
Dr. Florez, in the other hand, mentioned that 5G technology is in process of deployment in Latin American countries. Her presentation gave an introduction about the main 5G challenges and features involved, with an explanation of differences between 4G, 5G NSA, and 5G SA architectures and both 5G phases pre-requirements that must be presented to have a proper registration between radio base stations and UEs. Besides, a roadmap about Latin America deployment countries, 5G NSA/SA technologies, NR bands and ENDC most common combinations were presented, and some activities performed in the SIDIA laboratory for 5G KPIs and smartphone feature testing were shown. She concluded her talk with tips and suggestions about most needed skills are searched for to work as a 5G Protocol Engineer.
As of Dr. Sáez, in addition to organizing and moderating the WICE session, she gave a talk on the benefits of being a member of ComSoc and explained a little bit about WICE goals.