CRC Collaboration with Universities

Big data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, cloud computing … these are just some of the specialties of the co-op students working at the Communications Research Centre (CRC). Every semester, about 20 post-secondary students bring their expertise and their energy to the CRC – energy that is helping to fuel excitement around the Grand Challenge research being conducted here.

In the spirit of sharing its research findings, the CRC hosts an annual event that sees students presenting alongside their seasoned supervisors. And while the vibe of this "open house" is informal, the science is serious. Students speak to subjects such as simulating and analyzing propagation characteristics at 5G frequencies, creating 3D models to visualize spectrum, applying data analytics to predict spectrum availability, computing in the cloud to accelerate time to discovery, and more.

"These students are incredibly bright and bring a needed generational dynamic to the CRC as we forge ahead and continue to innovate," says CRC Vice-President Marc Levesque, who is executive champion of the CRC Student Program. "It's an honour to be a part of their success and to help cultivate Canada's next crop of highly qualified people. They are the future, and the CRC's focus is the future."

Showcasing student talent is not reserved for CRC's open house. In 2017, for example, students demonstrated their work to two ministers. The Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), the Honourable Navdeep Bains, visited the CRC campus in May 2017 for the launch of the Big Data Analytics Centre. Later in August, when the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, visited the campus, some students again had an opportunity to impress.

"Co-ops inject new energy, especially when we bring in graduate students for a couple of years who are working toward a PhD," says CRC Client Relations Manager Hazim Dawood. "We also get students to work on CRC projects, under supervision, in areas like big data analytics for dynamic spectrum allocation. It can be a huge boost to their careers."

Along with its Student Program, the CRC also promotes research at Canadian universities. At Carleton University, for example, students in the Data Science Master's program were given access to CRC-collected Spectrum Environment Awareness (SEA) big data along with a set of prescribed questions to explore. In addition to Carleton, CRC collaborators include Ryerson University, Simon Fraser University, the University of Toronto and the University of New Brunswick (UNB). CRC's recent co-op student contingent has come from UNB, the University of Waterloo, Carleton University, the University of Ottawa, Concordia University, Université de Sherbrooke, Sheridan College, Seneca College, Heritage College and La Cité.

The CRC typically has about 20 undergraduate students per semester as well as several graduate students. While most are in research, the CRC's corporate team also welcomes several students in programs such as information management and finance.

Contact us for more information on co-op opportunities with the CRC.

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