The Engineer's Impact - Fang (Fiona) Fang

Your inside look at faculty’s research and its effect on society

In this new Q&A series, we’ll feature Western Engineering faculty members to gain a succinct overview of their research, understand its impact on society, and discover intriguing little-known facts.

Meet Electrical and Computer Engineering Assistant Professor Fang (Fiona) Fang

fang-fangCan you describe your research?

My research mainly focuses on intelligent wireless communication networks, as well as edge computing networks. My research goal is to make the current communication system smart and intelligent, which will revolutionize current communication systems evolving from the traditional “connected things” to “connected intelligence”. This will involve the co-operation of various technologies, including intelligent wireless communications, machine learning/AI, data analytics and computation technologies, etc.

How does your research impact society in everyday life?

With the remarkable growth of device diversity and data volume, the sixth generation (6G) wireless network will become extremely complex and crowded due to limited spectrum, increasing connection density, and diverse service demands. The critical challenge in 6G is how to intelligently support a large number of devices with limited radio and computation resources. My research aims to address the fundamental issues in intelligent wireless communication in terms of energy efficiency, communication efficiency, privacy and security. For example, the smart radio environment via reconfigurable reflecting surface and edge AI enabled 6G networks will significantly reduce the energy cost and improve the intelligence and efficiency in 6G. These research programs will bring interdisciplinary impacts to communication technologies, AI and data analytics. The outcomes of the above research will facilitate the smart city implementation in Canada, where big cities like Toronto and Vancouver have already initiated efforts to. Meanwhile, the proposed technologies have strong potential to bring significant economic benefits to supporting organizations and into the Canadian communication technology market in the near future (5-10 years).

What’s an interesting, little-known fact related to your research?

Although machine learning/AI has been widely applied in wireless communication systems, Internet of Things/Everything (IoT/E), the joint design of ML algorithms and communication and computation resource optimization algorithms remains unsolvable and challenging.