Silver Jubilee of the Signal Processing Chapter, IEEE Singapore Section

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News and Resources for Members of the IEEE Signal Processing Society

Silver Jubilee of the Signal Processing Chapter, IEEE Singapore Section

by Woon Siong Gan, founding chairman of the Signal Processing Chapter

The Signal Processing Chapter of the IEEE Singapore Section was founded by me in 1989 with over twenty petitioners. It was established first as a special interest group in 1988 and subsequently in 1989 it was upgraded to the chapter status. The motivation for  me founding the chapter was due to my intention to introduce signal processing methods from IEEE such as statistical signal processing and other signal processing modalities into processing of acoustical signals such as noise and vibration signals. At that time, the signal processing theories and methodologies used in IEEE were more sophisticated than those used in acoustics. Signal processing is quite a basic and fundamental study of intensive mathematical contents. It covers with a very broad area as signal carries information and is a means of communication. At that time, I did not foresee such an explosion in its significance and role as today due to the digital revolution with application to digital multimedia.

In the 1970s there was the concept of computer and communication advocated by the NEC of Japan. This means the computer and communication will eventually merge into one object  which is true today with the mobile phone taking the role of computer as well as a means of communication. My interest at that time was in fundamental research which I feel will have a longer lasting power compared with applied research which is tuned to suit for a particular industry. An example is time reversal acoustics which is a fundamental study. It has applications in nondestructive testing,in medical ultrasound imaging, in underwater acoustical imaging and in seismic imaging. Even if one of these applications dying out which is quite unlikely, the fundamental principle of time reversal acoustics will still be upheld.

At that time in the 1980s, I had the vision to establish a research institute on the fundamental studies of signal processing which can be a branch of applied mathematics. Today, multimedia signal processing which is used in digital multimedia is the theory and application of digital signal processing (DSP). The application of DSP are pervasive and include multimedia systems, cellular communication, adaptive network management, radar, pattern recognition, medical signal processing, financial data forecasting, artificial intelligence, decision making, control system and search engine. The theory of digital signal processing (DSP) will include (1) basic digital signal processing such as sampling and quantization, Fourier analysis and synthesis, Z-transform and digital filters, (2) model-based statistical signal processing such as probability and information model, Bayesian inference, Wiener filter, adaptive filter, linear prediction hidden Markov models and independent component analysis. Applications of signal processing in multimedia are in speech, music  and telecommunication including topics of speech and music processing, echo cancellation, deconvolution and channel equalization and mobile communication signal processing, anatomy and psychoacoustics of hearing loss and the design of MP3 music coders.

The signal processing chapter in Singapore has come a long way for the last twentyfive years. The chapter has been quite active organizing seminars, workshops from visiting scientists and visits to research centres related to signal processing and organizing international conferences.

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