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10/20/2011 - 10/21/2011 | University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

A World of Ubiquitous Computing and Embedded Systems

At this joint German-Canadian workshop, researchers discussed new directions and solutions in IT security, signal processing, control and embedded systems.

The tremendous success of smartphones and the multitude of software applications available trigger a number of interesting research questions about the use of embedded sensors, signal processing methodologies, and the security of personal and technical data.

In a very engaging keynote speech, Prof. Albrecht Schmidt from the University of Stuttgart, Germany, spoke about challenges of ubiquitous computing and how human computer interaction has changed in the past 20 years. Drawing from the aspects of utility, usability, likeability and user experience of computer systems and products, Prof. Schmidt addressed how human understanding of privacy and personal space has shifted. He also talked about how digital products and services have moved beyond mobile communication functionalities to become a means of self-expression.

Throughout the day, two keynote addresses, nine lecture sessions and one panel discussion took place. From “Fast Model and Optimization Based Control on Lean Embedded Systems” (Prof. Martin Mönnigmann, RUB) to “Read My Lips: Audiovisual Speech Recognition for Human-Machine Interaction in Noisy Environments” (Prof. Dorothea Kolossa, RUB), 60 workshop participants exchanged their knowledge about challenges in embedded software design and real time applications.

At the ensuing panel discussion, which was moderated by ConRuhr Director Prof. Rolf Kinne, representatives of the University of Waterloo explained why corporate education is mandatory for all engineering students and how their close cooperation with Research in Motion (RIM) works. Pamela Moss from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Canada (NSERC) spoke about strategic project grants to facilitate research with industrial partners. Following the panel discussion, the German and Canadian researchers had the opportunity to present and discuss their work at a poster session. The next day, the four professors and five doctoral students from RUB, together with Prof. Kinne, visited the RIM offices, located near the University of Waterloo campus.

After returning to Germany, Prof. Martin, who was one of the main organizers of this workshop, was happy to report that RUB and University of Waterloo are preparing a memorandum of understanding for student and research exchange between the two universities.

ESSPRITS 2011 was initiated by the German Center for Research and Innovation and the German Embassy Ottawa, in close cooperation with the Academic Liaison Office of the Ruhr Universities (ConRuhr) in New York, and organized in conjunction with the University of Waterloo and the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. To view the program and poster abstracts, click here.

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