Researcher launches program investigating the next generation of wireless comms

Infusion of federal funding supports high-risk, high-reward research in Xinwei Yu’s research group.

Katie Willis - 8 June 2021

Newly-announced federal funding will support a University of Alberta-led study in the development of new infrastructure for 5G wireless communications. 

“With the commercialization of 5G actively ongoing, our world is entering a new era,” said Xinwei Yu, associate professor in the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences. “We are at a critical point in our quest towards the ultimate integration of the virtual world with the physical. Such a time calls for big ideas and ambitious plans. I am very grateful to the Government of Canada for the chance to pursue such an ambitious research program.”

Yu has received funding from the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF), a federal research funding initiative. NFRF funding is designed to support high-risk, high-reward research.

Learn more about Yu’s research program. 

How will the funding support your research? What does this award mean for you?

This funding provides me with a great opportunity to expand my research horizons and fulfill my long-term ambition of connecting wireless communications with applied analysis. In particular, this funding will enable students and postdocs in our research team to enjoy reduced teaching duties and focus more on the project. 

The award means a lot to me. Without it I may not have the resources to pursue such an ambitious research project, as it could easily be deemed either too risky or too theoretical for almost all other funding programs. It is also a great encouragement for me to think big and take risks. 

What do you hope to achieve?

The proposed research will be the initial steps towards the long term goal of creating a mathematical framework for the next generation of wireless communications. 

First, we will create the blueprint for this framework. In particular, we will identify precise connections between future wireless communications theories and major fields in applied mathematics. The research program will lead to journal and conference publications. It will also train students and postdocs with knowledge and skills in math and engineering. We further hope that our results will attract both mathematicians and engineers into this fascinating new field.

How is the University of Alberta uniquely positioned to push this area of inquiry further?

The University of Alberta enjoys the unique advantage of having top experts in all related fields. Both the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering are among the strongest in Canada. The connection and synergy between mathematics and engineering could be further strengthened with the creation of the College of Natural and Applied Sciences this year. We expect to be able to get all the help and support necessary for the success of this research program.