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Sri Lanka winner of IEEE SP Cup 2021 at ICASSP 21 Conference in Canada

A team of undergraduate students 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. Many highly skilled teams participated in the competition with nearly 300 students from all over the world.
The 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 utilised in 6G wireless networks to direct wireless signals from a transmitter towards a receiver to improve the communication performance.
The Sri Lanka team members developed a novel and an efficient algorithm by leveraging various advanced statistical Signal Processing and mathematical optimisation techniques to achieve optimal configurations with low latency requirements for its real implementations to the world and were able to secure the first place in the final round.
Signal Processing, a branch of electrical engineering that models and analyses 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, optimisation, computational, modeling techniques, and algorithms for generating, transforming, transmitting and learning from signals. Last year’s recipient of this prestigious award was the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Israel. This remarkable accomplishment cements the capabilities of the Department of Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering, University of Moratuwa and hence further enhances its image within the signal processing community in the world.
Link to the video presentation of the Sri Lankan team:
https://youtu.be/oB2V-RE2qoI

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