Technical Aspects of International Communications and Information Policy or How I Spent my Sabbatical

Elsa Garmire, Sydney E. Junkins 1887 Professor of Engineering, Thayer School of Engineering

Friday, March 6, 2009, 3:30pm

Spanos Auditorium

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This seminar is part of the Jones Seminars on Science, Technology, and Society series

I spent my sabbatical year as Jefferson Science Fellow in the U. S. State Department's Office of International Communications and Information Policy. My role was to offer technical insights into important issues. These issues included: international agreements on allocating different frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum for different applications, especially broadband communications; resolving disagreements over allocated satellite orbits; ensuring the integrity of submarine fiber optic telecommunications cables; supporting the dominant American role in the internet; supporting other concerned parties on internet security and safety. In addition to our negotiating role, we also promoted expanding telecommunications in developing countries, which can offer huge economic, health and educational benefits. This talk will briefly describe the role that our office played and then will focus on spectrum allocation and the importance of mobile telecommunications in developing countries.

About the Speaker

Elsa Garmire is Sydney E. Jenkins 1887 Professor at Thayer. In 2007-2008 she served as Jefferson Science Fellow offering technical consultation on telecommunications to the U.S. Department of State (Bureau of Economics, Energy and Business). In that guise she was U.S. Delegate to the World Radio Conference in Geneva and to the OECD meeting on ICT (Information and Communications Technology) in Seoul. She participated in bilateral negotiations in Korea and China and helped organize a conference in Ghana on Broadband Telecommunications in the Developing World. Garmire came to Dartmouth in 1995 as Thayer School Dean. Before that she was Hogue Professor in Electrical Engineering at University of Southern California. Garmire received her A.B. at Harvard and her Ph.D. in Physics at M.I.T. and was a post-doc at Caltech. She has authored over 150 refereed research papers in lasers and optics, in collaboration with her 28 Ph.D. and 12 M.S. students, 12 post-doctoral fellows and 22 visiting scientists. She has been elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of IEEE, APS, OSA and SWE, as well as an honorary member of Phi Beta Kappa. Garmire was President of the OSA in 1993, having served on its board, as well as on the board of APS and the Lasers and Electro-Optics council of IEEE. She was a Fulbright Scholar to Australia and has been invited as visiting scientist to Great Britain, France, Brazil, Japan, China, Taiwan, Germany and South Africa.