Department of Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering

ENTC

ENTC TEAM FROM UOM WON THE FIRST PLACE IN THE IEEE SP CUP 2021 COMPETITION IN THE ICASSP 21 CONFERENCE

A team of undergraduate students (Team T- Cubed) from the Department of Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering (ENTC) under the supervision of Dr. Prathapasinghe Dharmawansa from ENTC, University of Moratuwa, won the first place in the IEEE Signal Processing Cup (SP Cup) 2021 competition at the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP) 2021 conference. ICASSP is the annual flagship conference of the IEEE Signal Processing Society which is the world’s premier association for signal processing engineers, academics, and industry professionals. This year it was held from the 6th to 11th of June 2021, virtually in Toronto, Canada. The IEEE SP Cup competition is the most prestigious competition in signal processing for undergraduate students. About 50 teams participated in the competition with nearly 300 students from all over the world.

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Caption: The winning team comprises of four students from the second year and four students from the third year of the Department of Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering (ENTC): Amashi Niwarthana, Harindu Jayarathne, Kithmini Herath, Pamuditha Somarathne, Ramith Hettiarachchi, Tharindu Samarakoon, Tharindu Wickremasinghe, Thieshanthan Arulmolivarman. The team was supervised by Dr. Prathapasinghe Dharmawansa.

This year's challenge was to develop a control algorithm to configure the behavior of an Intelligent Reflecting Surface (IRS) for wireless communications. An intelligent reflecting surface is a two-dimensional array of metamaterial whose interaction with electromagnetic waves can be controlled. This might be utilized in 6G wireless networks to direct wireless signals from a transmitter towards a receiver to improve the communication performance.

The Team T - Cubed developed a novel and efficient algorithm by leveraging various statistical signal processing and mathematical optimization techniques to achieve optimal configurations with low latency requirements for real world implementations and was able to secure first place in the final round.

Signal Processing, a branch of electrical engineering that models and analyzes data representations of physical events, is at the heart of the modern digital world. For instance, the technology we use, and even rely on, in our daily lives-computers, radios, videos, cell phones-is enabled by signal processing. It uses advanced mathematical, statistical, optimization, computational, modeling techniques, and algorithms for generating, transforming, transmitting, and learning from signals. Last year’s (i.e., 2020) recipient of this prestigious award was the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Therefore, this remarkable accomplishment cements the capabilities of the Department of Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering, UOM and hence further enhances its image within the signal processing community in the world.