Wireless LAN Conference Thursday, Oct. 24 and Friday, Oct. 25

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

The Second IEEE Workshop on Wireless Local Area Networks will be held at WPI on Thursday, Oct. 24, and Friday, Oct. 25. The event is cosponsored by the IEEE's Boston Section and the Center for Wireless Information Network Studies in cooperation with the Wireless LAN Research Laboratory. Researchers, design engineers, computer scientists and representatives of major users of wireless LANs (such as campus and hospital network managers) from more than 10 different countries are expected to attend the workshop.

Thursday's program will feature a tutorial that will focus on trends in wireless LANs standards, products and applications. From 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., participants will tour the WPI Wireless LAN Testbed, which was established in 1995 by the university's Center for Wireless Information Studies, directed by Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Kaveh Pahlavan. Creation of the $263,000 testbed, whose heart is a wireless classroom in which the instructions on the board are transferred to students' laptops through the air, was partially supported with a $160,000 grant from the National Science Foundation's Academic Research Infrastructure Program. The tour will include demonstrations of the technology by WPI students."This testbed and the Wireless LAN Research Laboratory are helping WPI gain a reputation as a leading educational institution in one of the fastest growing sectors of the industry," says Pahlavan.

At 9 a.m. on Friday, President Edward Parrish will welcome participants to the technical program, which will include such topics as "Wideband Data in Europe," "Wireless LANs in Japan," and "Wireless LANs in Education, Health and Finance." Panel discussions will be held on such topics as the future of wireless LANs and interoperability.

"The first IEEE Workshop on Wireless LANs was held in 1991," says Pahlavan. "At that time the industry was in its infancy and a committee had recently been formed to develop a standard for Wireless LANs. Today the technology is relatively mature and has applications to a variety of business and academic settings. The key marketing challenge is the education of potential customers in the effective us of wireless LANs as a vehicle to enhance the capabilities of their networks. The workshop is an important technical forum in the system aspects of wireless LANs. It will demonstrate the capabilities of the existing technologies and provide a look into near-term future directions."