Best dissertation | ECE | Virginia Tech


Best dissertation

The Philosopher

In addition to his responsibility for system architecture, learning functions, and core AI abilities, Rondeau was known as "The Philosopher" on Charles Bostian's Cognitive radio team.


On a visit to the U.S. in November, Tom Rondeau stopped to capture network data outside the MANIAC Challenge competition. When comiled, the data will be available on the CTVR website.

Thomas Rondeau (BSEE '03, MSEE '06, Ph.D. '07) has been awarded the Virginia Tech 2007 Outstanding Dissertation Award for Sciences and Engineering for his dissertation, Application of Artificial Intelligence to Wireless Communications.

The Graduate School gives only two such awards each year; one in sciences and engineering, the other in humanities and social sciences. The awards are based on originality of the idea, contributions to the field, presentation of the ideas, and the quality of writing. Each department may nominate one dissertation per year for the award.

Rondeau's dissertation describes the theory, design, and implementation of a cognitive radio engine, the enabling technology of cognitive radio. "A cognitive radio," he writes, "is a wireless communications device capable of sensing the environment and making decisions on how to use the available radio resources to enable communications with a certain quality of service. The cognitive engine, the intelligent system behind the cognitive radio, combines sensing, learning, and optimization algorithms to control and adapt the radio system from the physical layer and up the communication stack."

His cognitive engine platform should allow easy development of new components and algorithms for the application, he says.


Rondeau became involved in ECE's wireless communications research while a sophomore and has been involved in cognitive radio development almost since its inception. His work has led to several patents in the technology. He currently holds a post-doctoral position with CTVR at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

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