Umair Khan, PhD
Home: Karachi, Pakistan
PhD Candidate, May 2014
Reasons for choosing WPI:
When I was an undergrad student I had subscribed to a weekly newsletter that featured the most interesting publications in the field of wireless networks. I couldn't help but notice that most of these papers were either from or cited the Center of Wireless Information Networks (CWINS) at WPI. I researched into it, and found out that the Director of CWINS, Prof. Pahlavan was one of the founding fathers of the Wireless LAN technology. It was then that I decided that I will do my graduate research at CWINS, WPI.
Describe how WPI's philosophy of Theory and Practice, as well as working with teams, have been beneficial to you during your time at WPI:
I have been a Teaching Assistant in the ECE department at WPI for over two and a half years now, and have taught both lab based classes and theoretical ones. I think designing and debugging the labs helped me polish my own troubleshooting skills; while teaching theory at help sessions made my own basic concepts much stronger.
What you consider to be WPI's greatest strengths, and things that make you proud to be a WPI student:
I think the most unique quality of WPI is how the curriculum focuses more on hands on experience than just learning the theory behind these systems. Practicing what we learn gives us the hang of coming up with solutions if our circuits do not function the way they are intended to. Hence it is the combination of theory and practice that makes me feel proud to be a member of the WPI ECE community.
Describe any research projects you are involved with at WPI:
I have been involved with the Body Area Networks project being conducted at CWINS since January 2010 and have my name on a total of twelve publications stemmed from this project.
Name any faculty members you are working with:
I have worked with Prof. Kaveh Pahlavan and Prof. Sergey Makarov on the Body Area Networks project.
What you hope to do when you graduate:
After completing my PhD, I hope to get a couple of years of industry experience, before I come back into academia. The eventual goal is to become a full-time professor as a means of giving back to the ECE community.
Groups or extracurricular activities in which you participate at WPI:
In my free time I play the guitar, and have performed at various events at WPI; including Diya, an annual event organized by the Indian Student Organization, as well as the IEEE Spark Party here in the ECE department.
Academic or professional awards you have received:
I have been awarded the IEEE Community Service Award for the Graduate Student two years in a row, in 2011 and 2012. I have also received the HKN Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award in 2012.