Communications & Signal Processing


Communications is as essential to modern society as electricity, providing both connectivity (cell phone, WiFi, Internet) and storage (hard drive, flash memory). The field of communications spans signal processing and error control coding for transceiver design, information theory to identify fundamental performance benchmarks, and the design of network protocols. Signal processing, which refers to hardware and software to produce, transform and analyze signals (e.g., radio waves, sound, image, video, EEG, MRI), is a fundamental tool in every discipline in engineering and the sciences. Sophisticated digital signal processing algorithms, the cost of implementing which has been driven down leveraging Moore's law, are at the core of an ever increasing number of devices, including communications devices (cell phones, WiFi), digital music/video players, televisions, GPS receivers, radar and sonar systems, and medical imaging and monitoring.

The communications and signal processing faculty at UCSB engage in cutting-edge research in communication theory and networking (with current focus on next generation wireless communication and sensor networks), novel compression techniques (for audio, image, and video), pattern recognition (e.g., in images and sound signals), image reconstruction (e.g., for radar, sonar, microscopy, medical devices), and image informatics (extracting and organizing information from images for biological research, diagnosis, surveillance, production monitoring). In addition, research is also directed at advancing core knowledge in CSP in areas such as information theory, estimation theory and harmonic analysis. Much of the research in the CSP group involves interdisciplinary scientific and industrial collaborations, and results in software and hardware prototypes. Close connections with industry are maintained through faculty interactions and student internships, leading to an understanding of emerging trends and bottlenecks in technology.

For more detailed descriptions of faculty research and activities, please follow the links to the various research centers, labs, and groups indicated on this page.

Communications and Signal Processing Research Activities

Communications and signal processing research areas include but are not limited to:

  • Signal processing for communication
  • Wireless communication networks
  • Wireless sensor networks
  • Signal and image acquisition
  • Signal storage, transmission, organization
  • Signal processing (reconstruction, compression, enhancement, (de)coding)
  • Image analysis (vision and bio-microscopy)
  • Information theory
  • Haptics, robotics, tactile sensors, signal and image acquisition (tactile), wearable computing, soft electronics
  • Cyber-physical systems
  • Smart cities
  • High-dimensional signal and information processing
  • Mathematical optimization