IEEE Global Communications Conference
8–10 December 2020 // In-person (Taipei, Taiwan)
7-11 December 2020 // Virtual
Communications for Human and Machine Intelligence

Keynote Speakers

Besides technical paper presentations, the workshop will feature two keynote talks on reconfigurable intelligent surfaces for wireless communications. 

Keynote 1 by Dr. Merouane Debbah - Huawei France R&D

Title:  Electromagnetic Information Theory

Abstract:  In this talk, we will discuss this new avenue of research, with the willingness to unify wireless communication theory and electromagnetic theory, something that has never been achieved since the landmark work of Gabor. In particular, it is known that major advances in Wireless Communications are made by re-questioning the model assumptions and we will discuss how  the incorporation of neglected physics  has a chance of yielding breakthroughs.

Mérouane Debbah (IEEE Fellow) entered the Ecole Normale Suprieure de Cachan (France) in 1996 where he received his M.Sc and Ph.D. degrees respectively. He worked for Motorola Labs (Saclay, France) from 1999-2002 and the Vienna Research Center for Telecommunications (Vienna, Austria) until 2003. From 2003 to 2007, he joined the Mobile Communications department of the Institut Eurecom (Sophia Antipolis, France) as an Assistant Professor. Since 2007, he is a Full Professor at CentraleSupelec (Gif- sur-Yvette, France). From 2007 to 2014, he was director of the Alcatel-Lucent Chair on Flexible Radio. Since 2014, he is Vice-President of the Huawei France R&D center and director of the Mathematical and Algorithmic Sciences Lab. His research interests are in information theory, signal processing and wireless communications. He is an Associate Editor in Chief of the JOURNAL RANDOM MATRIX: THEORY AND APPLICATIONS and was an associate and senior area editor for IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON SIGNAL PROCESSING respectively in 2011-2013 and 2013-2014. Mérouane Debbah is a recipient of the ERC grant MORE (Advanced Mathematical Tools for Complex Network Engineering). He is a WWRF fellow and a member of the academic senate of Paris-Saclay. He is the recipient of the Mario Boella award in 2005, the 2007 IEEE GLOBECOM best paper award, the Wi-Opt 2009 best paper award, the 2010 Newcom++ best paper award, the WUN CogCom Best Paper 2012 and 2013 Award, the 2014 WCNC best paper award as well as the Valuetools 2007, Valuetools 2008, CrownCom2009 , Valuetools 2012 and SAM 2014 best student paper awards. In 2011, he received the IEEE Glavieux Prize Award and in 2012, the Qualcomm Innovation Prize Award.

Keynote 2 by Dr. Rui Zhang - National University of Singapore

Title:  Towards Smart and Reconfigurable Wireless Environment with Intelligent Reflecting Surfaces: A Communications Perspective

Abstract:  Intelligent Reflecting Surface (IRS) / Reconfigurable Intelligent Surface (RIS) has recently emerged as the new wireless communication frontier with the goal of achieving smart and reconfigurable radio propagation environment via passive and tunable signal reflections. Featured by orders-of-magnitude lower hardware and energy cost than traditional active arrays and yet superior beamforming performance as well as other new functionalities, IRS is expected to be a new driving technology for future B5G/6G wireless networks, especially for enabling them to migrate to higher frequency bands (mmWave/THz). Moreover, IRS will fundamentally transform today’s wireless networks with active nodes solely to a new IRS-aided hybrid network comprising both active and passive components co-working in an intelligent way, so as to achieve a sustainable capacity growth with low and affordable cost in the future. In this talk, we will provide an overview of IRS, including its motivations, promising applications in wireless networks, communication basics, new design challenges and their state-of-the-art solutions (particularly from a communications perspective). Important directions worthy of further investigation will also be discussed. 

Rui Zhang (IEEE Fellow) received the Ph.D. degree from Stanford University in electrical engineering in 2007. He is now a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore. His current research interests include wireless power transfer, UAV communication, and reconfigurable MIMO. He has published over 400 papers, which have been cited more than 38,000 times. He has been listed as a Highly Cited Researcher by Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Analytics since 2015. His works have received several IEEE awards, including the IEEE Marconi Prize Paper Award in Wireless Communications (in both 2015 and 2020), the IEEE Communications Society Heinrich Hertz Prize Paper Award (in both 2017 and 2020), the IEEE Signal Processing Society Best Paper Award, Young Author Best Paper Award and Donald G. Fink Overview Paper Award. He has served as an Editor for several IEEE journals, including TWC, TCOM, JSAC, TSP, TGCN, etc., and as TPC co-chair or organizing committee member for over 30 international conferences. He is an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer of IEEE Communications Society and IEEE Signal Processing Society.