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IEEE touts NJIT professor for expertise in underwater acoustic communication

If you want to know more about underwater acoustic communication, ask NJIT Associate Professor Ali Abdi, PhD. A senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Abdi received, on May 10, 2010, the IEEE Region 1 Award for leadership and contributions in this area.

Underwater wireless communications is a rapidly growing field today used by both commercial and military operations for tasks ranging from monitoring environmental pollution to communication between divers. Its best virtue is its ability to maintain signal transmission from wireless submerged instruments or unmanned underwater vehicles. Scientific historians trace the idea of receiving information under water to Leonardo Da Vinci who supposedly said he could hear a distant ship by placing his ear on a tube inserted into the water.

The award was based on Abdi's research, supported by the National Science Foundation, which received US Patent No. 7,505,367 in 2009. The patent was entitled "System and Method for Using Acoustic Field Parameters for Communication."

This past April, Abdi co-organized a special session, "Acoustic Particle Velocity and Vector Fields: Signal Processing and Communication Applications," for the 159th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Baltimore, MD, 2010. Abdi has also been recognized by the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame in 2008 for this line of work.

Abdi's research focuses on digital communication and propagation modeling in underwater and terrestrial channels, channel estimation techniques, space-time processing and interference cancellation, blind modulation recognition, systems biology and molecular networks.

In 2008, Science Signaling published a cover article co-written by Abdi, about a computational biology method he developed with a research team. The team capitalized on the idea that complex diseases such as schizophrenia, major depression and cancer are not caused by one, but a multitude of dysfunctional genes. They developed a biologically-driven vulnerability assessment method. This novel algorithm is capable of calculating the vulnerability levels of all molecules in a network. Using a computer, they analyzed the vulnerability of several signaling networks. The research holds promise for finding molecules that contribute to human diseases and for identifying targets in drug development.


Contact: Sheyrl Weinstein
New Jersey Institute of Technology

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