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IEEE Signal Processing Society Blog

The SPS blog aims to raise awareness about signal processing and Society-related topics to a general interest audience in an engaging, informal, and non-technical way. If you're interested in contributing to the SPS blog, please contact the SPS Blog Team at for more information.

E.T. Still Can’t Phone Home, But Signal Processing Solves Many Technology Challenges

Pete Wyckoff

Pete Wyckoff, Signal Processing Consultant & IEEE Member

In 1982, E.T. was stranded on Earth and his fate depended upon phoning home using a Texas Instruments Speak & Spell – a child’s toy – precariously wired to a Columbian coffee can and a dingy turntable record player, which appeared to be playing a circular saw rather than an actual record. The Speak & Spell was a contemporary marvel built upon years of engineering research into speech synthesis. Computers could talk to us in 1982; nonetheless phoning a distant galaxy with such a makeshift contraption presented a few obstacles. Although challenges prevail – for good reasons – signal processing and systems engineering help to overcome many of the barriers.

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Modern Communications: Signal Processing’s Vital Role in Connecting Communities

Waheed U. Bajwa and Hamid Krim

Waheed U. Bajwa, Dept. of ECE, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ
Hamid Krim, Dept. of ECE, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Whether they know it or not, almost everyone in both the developed and developing worlds benefits from daily advances in signal processing. Our information age centers our activities around two key themes: ubiquitous connectivity and online social networking. And these themes are, in turn and not surprisingly, front and center themes in signal processing.

Signal Processing and Communications

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Data Treasure Hunters: Science Expanding to New Frontiers

Wade Trappe

This change is already happening, and it will be dramatic and exciting! It will completely change how most of us think about data, and how we tackle science and engineering problems. With it will come a flood of new discoveries—advances in the sciences and in new technologies—that were never before possible. What is this revolution? How did we get here? Where is it going, and how is signal processing involved?

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