21st Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering
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The Wonders of Technology May 4-7, 2008
Sheraton Fallsview
Niagara Falls
Ontario, Canada

Plenary 1: Theory, Algorithms, and Practice: A Way of Transforming University Research Results

Monday, May 5, 2008
8:15 a.m.
Oakes Ballroom

Presented by

Prof. En-hui Yang
Canada Research Chair in Co-operative Intelligent Systems
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada


As the world economy becomes tightly integrated, transformable research and innovation are more important than ever, and increasingly viewed as the driver of growth across all sectors of the economy. This in turn creates opportunities and challenges to universities and research institutions. Indeed, our society is now expecting more from universities and research institutions. To meet this higher expectation, the role of university professors and researchers should be expanded beyond its traditional one of teaching, research, and service to include the role of transforming research results. In this talk, we will present SlipStream Theorem---theory, algorithms, and practice: a way of transforming university research results---which was proved valid under certain circumstances. First, examples from information theory and multimedia data compression will be used to show that not all research results, whether applied or theoretic, are transformable. Then attributes of transformable research will be identified. Finally, based on the speaker’s experience with SlipStream Data Inc. (a company based in Waterloo, Ontario, co-founded by the speaker and his colleague, Dr. Ajit Singh, and acquired by Research In Motion in 2006), a complete process of transforming university research results from a concept to innovative products and to a market success, and from intellectual property management to execution will be demonstrated.

Presenter's Biography

EN-HUI YANG has been with the Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada since June 1997, where he is now a Professor and Canada Research Chair in information theory and multimedia compression. He is the founding director of the Leitch-University of Waterloo multimedia communications lab, and a co-founder of SlipStream Data Inc. (now a subsidiary of Research In Motion). He currently also serves as a general co-chair of the 2008 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory, the largest premier international conference on information theory in the world, and as an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, a leading premier international journal on information theory. He served, among many other roles, as a technical program vice-chair of the 2006 IEEEInternational Conference on Multimedia & Expo (ICME), the chair of the award committee for the 2004 Canadian Award in Telecommunications, a co-editor of the 2004 Special Issue of the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, a co-chair of the 2003 US National Science Foundation (NSF) workshop on the interface of Information Theory and Computer Science, and a co-chair of the 2003 Canadian Workshop on Information Theory. He also held a visiting professor position at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, from September 2003 to June 2004, positions of research associate and visiting scientist at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul, U.S.A., the University of Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany, and the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, U.S.A., from January 1993 to May 1997, and a faculty position (first as an assistant professor and then an associate professor) at Nankai University, Tianjin, China from 1991 to 1992. Dr. Yang is a recipient of several research awards including the 1992 Tianjin Science and Technology Promotion Award for Young Investigators, the 1992 third Science and Technology Promotion Award of Chinese Ministry of Education, the 2000 Ontario Premier's Research Excellence Award, Canada, the 2000 Marsland Award for Research Excellence, University of Waterloo, the 2002 Ontario Distinguished Researcher Award, the Inaugural (2007) Ontario Premier’s Catalyst Award for the Innovator of the Year, and the 2007 Manning Award of Distinction. Products based on his inventions and commercialized by SlipStream received the 2006 Ontario Global Traders Provincial Award and were deployed by over 2200 Service Providers in more than 50 countries, servicing millions of home and wireless subscribers worldwide every day. He is also a Fellow of IEEE.

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