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Curriculum Innovation For Simulation And Design Of Wireless Communications Systems

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.135.1 - 1.135.11



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Paper Authors

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William H. Tranter

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Theodore S. Rappaport

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Jeffrey H. Reed

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Donna M. Krizman

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Brian D. Woerner

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1626


1 2 1 1 1 Theodore S. Rappaport , William H. Tranter , Jeffrey H. Reed , Brian D. Woerner , Donna M. Krizman 1 2 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University / University of Missouri - Rolla


The U. S. telecommunications industry is experiencing an unprecedented demand for trained electrical engineers with the expertise to design and deploy new wireless communications services, encompassing the high growth areas of cellular telephone, personal communications, paging services, and wireless local area networks. The project described in this paper teams electrical engineering faculty from Virginia Tech’s Mobile and Portable Radio Research Group (MPRG) and from the University of Missouri- Rolla to develop an innovative communications curriculum which draws from current research on radio signal propagation modeling, computer-aided design and simulation of wireless communication systems, and digital signal processing techniques to improve the performance and spectral efficiency of wireless modems.


Throughout the world, there is an unprecedented demand for trained engineers with knowledge and expertise in the communications and computer areas. The demand is particularly acute in wireless communications, which encompasses activities associated with the wireless revolution.1 Growth in all sectors of the wireless communications industry has been staggering, with growth rates on the order of 50% or more per year for the past four years. As a result, the wireless industry has had an extremely difficult time finding newly graduated engineers with sufficient academic backgrounds to make an immediate impact.

In March, 1995, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) concluded the largest single sale of public property in the history of the United States when $7.7 billion was paid by wireless service providers for the rights to use 60 MHz of personal communications systems (PCS) radio spectrum in the 1800/1900 MHz band. The winners of the auction are hiring aggressively, and the industry now faces an even greater shortage of young, trained technical experts who can make contributions in this rapidly growing field. New graduates who have been exposed to research and modern communications topics are urgently needed to develop and deploy new products.

As part of the NSF combined Research-Curriculum Development (CRCD) program, Virginia Tech and University of Missouri-Rolla faculty will develop a three-course sequence which integrates wireless communications concepts into the electrical engineering curriculum at the senior undergraduate and first-year graduate levels. Course 1 introduces digital and analog communication system design from a wireless perspective. Course 2 presents a hardware-based design experience on the implementation of wireless modems using digital signal processing technology. Course 3 is a graduate course covering simulation and computer-aided design concepts for wireless communication systems. All three courses emphasize design and the combination of fundamental concepts with current industry practice, while attempting to convey to the student the entrepreneurial spirit which permeates today’s wireless industry. The three electrical

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Tranter, W. H., & Rappaport, T. S., & Reed, J. H., & Krizman, D. M., & Woerner, B. D. (1996, June), Curriculum Innovation For Simulation And Design Of Wireless Communications Systems Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--5957

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