State of the Art in ICT
Set in the plush green campus of Rajshahi University, the International Conference on Electronics, Computer and Communication (ICECC 2008) had the perfect backdrop for 400 researchers academics, teachers and students from different universities and research institutes in Bangladesh and abroad to come and present more than 200 papers in a span of three days. In between 27-29th June, the 753 acres (3 square kilometres) campus of the second largest university in Bangladesh became host to professionals from industry and academia with papers being presented, invited lectures, cultural programmes and gala dinners.
On 1st May of this year, I received an email titled 'Notification of Acceptance' from the Convener of the conference, Dr. Md. Mozaffor Hossain notifying me of my paper being accepted for publication at the conference. It was titled A Study on Different Models for the Analysis of Rayleigh Fading Channels, based on my undergraduate thesis work at BRAC University. It was my first accepted paper, and naturally enough, I felt extremely delighted at the news. I started looking forward to the day when I would be presenting my paper in the conference. This would be my first trip to Rajshahi, a place widely known for its succulent mangoes and the serene beauty beside the river Padma. Soon enough, I submitted the camera-ready copy of my paper and registered myself for attending the conference.
On the early hours of 27th June, I arrived at the city of Rajshahi, after a long and tiring train journey. But I had little time to relax since the conference registration was due to start at eight sharp, and the inauguration session at nine. At 9 am, the three-day extravaganza started off in great style with dignitaries and specialists in the field arriving for the inaugural session. Bangladesh Electronic Society, Rajshahi organized this conference, and 400 researchers, including 40 eminent specialists and scientists from India, USA, Canada, UK, Japan, Nepal and South Korea had come to Rajshahi, a city of 727,000 in north-western Bangladesh to attend the conference.
'This international conference will be considered as a milestone for this country and its relevant sector to prepare national ICT Principles. It will also aid the government to prepare national ICT policies because the research papers which are being presented here are of a very high quality,' said Professor Nazrul Islam, Chairman of the University Grants Commission, Bangladesh in his speech as the Chief Guest in the inauguration programme at the Senate Bhaban of Rajshahi University (RU). He also mentioned that the present government is keen to invest on research related to Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Prof. Bozlul Mobin Chawdhury, Vice Chancellor of Independent University of Bangladesh was present as the special guest while Chairman of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission Dr. Shafiqul Islam Bhuiyan and Treasurer of RU Professor M. Mozammel Hoque were present as the guest of honour at the inaugural session. RU Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Mamnunul Keramat was present as the chief patron of the programme.
Convener of Bangladesh Electronics Society, Rajshahi, Professor Md. Mozaffor Hossain presided over the program.
Prof. Bozlul Mobin Chawdhury said that in the fast globalizing world, we as a nation, are getting more recognized as end-users of new inventions. But it is high time that we start inventing new technologies ourselves, and for that to happen, we have to work hard and would also need aid from the government and industries.
Prof. Mamnunul Keramat said that the time has come to create a revolution in the ICT sector; if we don't do that, our nation will fall behind others in the technology sector. The speaker also urged the government to make national strategy and plan according to the suggestion and papers of the conference.
Over the next few days, the researchers presented a range of papers in the field of electronics, computer science, telecommunications, ICT, VLSI (Very Large Scale Integrated circuits) and other related topics. I personally attended all of the invited talks and special sessions and the majority of the conference presentations.
To me, some of the papers seemed really interesting and plausible, if not necessary, in the context of Bangladesh.
Applications of Publicly Available Satellite Imagery for Planning Roads, and Monitoring Rivers, Deforestation, and Drainage, authored by Shahriar Khan, Associate Professor of the School of Engineering and Computer Science, Independent University, Bangladesh talks about how freely accessible satellite imagery available in websites such as Google Earth can help the government take important decisions about road planning and river monitoring and other similar purposes. In his presentation, Dr. Khan stated that compared to the usual practice of using a political map to make such decisions, publicly available interwoven satellite images would give the decision makers a better alternative with more precise and updated information. In the Q&A session, I asked him about how Google Earth's images maybe so useful, specially in context to Bangladesh, where the images are not quite so 'updated'. In reply to that, Dr. Khan explained that for the majority of the purposes, the layout of roads in urban areas, paths of river flow, and forests, do not change significantly over a period of a few years. So these interwoven satellite images are indeed quite useful and helpful.
There were also papers for efficient and automated license plate recognition, development of E-universities in Bangladesh and E-governance in the existing ones. There were also papers on digital encoding, Wi-Fi Network in Bangladesh, and various other topics.
On Day 2 of the Conference, I presented my paper A Study on Different Models for the Analysis of Rayleigh Fading Channels, which is an important aspect for electrical engineers involved in the planning and implementation of wireless communication services including, cell phone operators, satellite and terrestrial television channels, radio stations and wireless broadband internet service providers. The paper had been co-authored by me, my thesis partner Sajidul Alam and Dr. M A Matin, our thesis supervisor.
On 29th June, the last day of the conference, it was officially brought to an end at the Physics Gallery of Rajshahi University. Dean of Social Science of RU, Professor Abul Hashem was present as the chief guest. Director of Institute for Radio Science, India Professor O.P.N. Calla, Senior Deputy Director of National Physical Laboratory, India Professor Dr. P. Banarjee, Professor of Institute of Radio Physics and Electronics Professor Animesh Maitra, Professor B.C. Ray Scientist of National Physical Laboratory, India, Professor S. C. Garg and others also spoke in the occasion. The program was presided over by Professor Md. Mozaffor Hossain, Convener of Bangladesh Electronics Society, Rajshahi.
I also took the opportunity to visit the famous Varendra Museum, the shrine of Shah Mokhdum and the river Padma, which flows right beside the city of Rajshahi in the little free time I had during my short trip to this beautiful city. Soon enough though, it was time to return back to the busy and hectic life in Dhaka, and bidding goodbye to ICECC 2008 and Rajshahi.
The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is how some of the international and local participants expressed their feelings about, Rajshahi, the conference and about their visit to Bangladesh.
Professor, Institute of Radio Physics and Electronics
Director, S. K. Mitra Centre for Research in Space Environment
University of Calcutta
ICECC 2008 has been well organized as an international conference. Important topics in the areas of computer and communications were covered. There was the presence of quite a few international participants and I was quite impressed with the large number of young participants from different universities in Bangladesh. They presented their research papers with confidence at the conference.
University of Rajshahi has a beautiful sprawling campus with greenery all around. What impressed me most was the maintenance of the campus which I found quite clean. Not many universities in the Indian subcontinent have such a beautiful campus.
We were overwhelmed at the hospitality extended to us. Particularly, by the young faculty members who worked hard towards organizing the conference successfully. It was my first visit to Bangladesh. I also took this opportunity to visit my ancestral home in Jamirata Village in Sirajganj District. My wife accompanied me in this visit. We reached the village from Shahjadpur by van rickshaw and were charmed to see the countryside of Bangladesh. It was raining during our trip and we crossed a number of rivers and fields on the two sides of the road were under water. The surroundings were so scenic and serene. We were moved by the cordiality of the people of the Jamirata village who knew about our father's family (Maitras) and their involvement with the village. We went to the place where our father's family had their house, on a boat since the place is now under water. It was a wonderful experience to move through the water way. We were touched by the warm behaviour of the village people who were very happy to see us. I had a feeling of being back to my roots. I have found the peoples of Bangladesh are very cordial and friendly. It was a memorable experience for my wife and myself. I would like to come back to Bangladesh to see more places and spend some more time in my father's ancestral home.
Director of Institute for Radio Science, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
It was my first visit to Bangladesh and I would say that the best part of the ICECC 2008 was the Technical Sessions and the papers that were received for this conference. The Technical standard of the papers was very high. I think this ICECC was a very well organized conference. The overall Coordination between different aspects of the conference was excellent and the Technical contents were very good.
Regarding Rajshahi University all I can say is that it is one of the rare universities which has such a fine campus with greenery all over. The Campus gives a healthy atmosphere for the student community. The education standard is very high and the coeducation environment provides healthy growth for both boys and girls in the campus.
Dr. Rajat K. Pal
University of Calcutta
This was the first time I visited Bangladesh. I was invited as an Invited Speaker to deliver my speech in the conference. First of all I was just charmed to see the greens here in Rajshahi (charidike shudhu shobuj aar shobuj). The Rajshahi University campus is just excellent. It's very big and wonderful. The conference was nicely organized by Prof. Md. Mozaffor Hossain and his group, but a higher number of foreign participants were expected since it was an international conference. There was another drawback in the form of a relatively lower number of female / women researchers participating in the conference. Otherwise, the hospitality was very good from every corner of the organizers. They were very cordial and tha must be remembered.
On behalf of the organizing committee, I would like to thank every body, specially the journalists who have given coverage to the conference. The organizing committee have given their full effort to achieve success in ICECC2008. This ICT conference has given us an unique opportunity to share our scientific knowledge with each other from developed and developing countries. We hope that ICECC will again be organized in 2010 with the help of our friends from home and abroad. We thank all the guests, participants, delegates, journalists and invitees from home and abroad for coming to attend ICECC 2008.
(R) thedailystar.net 2008