Victor Lawrence Speaks at UMD’s Clark School

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Dr. Victor Lawrence, a pioneer in data communications whose work helped pave the way for the high-speed internet, spoke at the A. James Clark School of Engineering on February 19 at a seminar organized by the civil and environmental engineering (CEE) department.

In his talk, Lawrence spoke about location awareness in 6G cellular networks and the future of connected autonomous vehicles.

Many networked applications, especially those involving the Internet of Things and the Beyond 5G ecosystem, rely on real-time, high-accuracy location awareness. Examples of such applications include autonomous vehicles, drones, augmented reality, and AI-equipped factories of the future. The coming years, Lawrence explained, will see the emergence of Localization of Things (LoT), a new paradigm referring to locating, tracking, and navigating collaborative and non-collaborative nodes, such as sensors, vehicles, and objects. Development of the LoT, in turn, goes hand in hand with the rise of 6G cellular networks.

Dr. Nii Attoh-Okine, chair of the UMD CEE department, said the seminar provided an opportunity to learn about transformative developments from a world renowned expert whose own work ushered in the internet revolution.

"Dr. Lawrence’s contributions have helped shape today’s technological landscape,” Attoh-Okine said. “Every day we use services and applications that would not have been possible without his ideas and inventions."

Lawrence has been recognized for those contributions with some of the most prestigious honors available to an engineer, including membership in the National Academy of Engineers (NAE) and the National Inventors’ Hall of Fame (NIHF).

He was the architect and lead engineer for AT&T’s first 2400 bit/s full-duplex modem for the PSTN, and developed the systems engineering requirements and testing plans for deployment in the AT&T, British Telecom, and NTT networks. Lawrence also led the successful tests over transatlantic links of British and U.S. networks. His application of digital signal processing to data communications in the late 1980s and early 1990s led to many significant advances, such as voice-band modems and DSL. Lawrence did the pioneering work and led the development of the “Studio Encoder” and the receiver chip-set for the Sirius Radio Satellite System.

He has co-authored five books: Introduction to Digital Filters, Tutorials on Modem Communications, Intelligent Broadband Multi- mediNetworks, Design and Engineering of Intelligent Communications Systems, and The Art of Scientific Innovation. Lawrence holds more than twenty U.S. and international patents.

In addition to membership in the NAE and NIHF, Lawrence is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and Bell Laboratories. He received the 2004 IEEE Award in International Communication, and was a co-recipient of the 1984 J. Harry Karp Best Paper Award and the 1981 Guillemin-Cauer Award. He shared the 1997 Emmy Award for HDTV Grand Alliance Standard with other Bell Laboratories employees.

Published March 14, 2024