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6G@UT Forum

Magnus Frodigh speaker at 6G@UT Forum 2023
Poster at 6G@UT Forum
Demo at 6G@UT Forum 2023

Date: April 11th 2024

The University of Texas at Austin, Mulva Auditorium

Registration is invite-only and requires your registration code.
Contact [email protected] for more information.


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​AI/ML in the 6G era

Welcome to the third annual 6G@UT Forum, hosted by 6G@UT and Ericsson!

Leaders from industry, academia, and government, share their ideas on 6G systems and consider the following questions:

  • How will Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) change 6G networks, devices, and applications?
  • What will be the biggest differences in the 6G network vs. today, and in what ways will it have a big impact?
  • Will Deep Learning algorithms and GPUs replace most current modem and networking functions? Which ones? Or is it mostly hype?
  • How will AI for 6G be standardized, or will it be mostly invisible from a standardization point of view?
  • What new industry players or technologies will we see in 6G?


Opening keynote

Erik Ekudden, CTO, Ericsson

Erik Ekudden

Chief Technology Officer, Ericsson

As Group CTO, Erik Ekudden is responsible for setting the direction of technology leadership for the Ericsson Group. In 2017 he was re-located to Kista, Sweden, after nearly seven-year at Ericsson in Santa Clara, California.

His experience from working with technology leadership globally will influence the strategic decisions and investments in mobility, distributed cloud, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things. This builds on his decades-long career in technology strategies and industry activities.

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Robert Soni

Robert Soni

Vice President, RAN Technology, AT&T

Rob Soni is the Vice president of AT&T. In this role, he is responsible for all aspects of AT&T’s RAN architecture and infrastructure technical road maps for hardware and software, including baseband units, radios, antennas, and all ancillary components. In addition, his team oversees certification and development for RAN hardware, software, and features. His team drives strategy and contributions to global standards and to technical industry and government organizations.

Prior to joining AT&T, he led RAN architecture at VMware, overseeing their cloud platform infrastructure technology, including product definition and portfolio strategy. Rob also held technical roles with Nokia Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent, and Lucent driving architecture, innovation and strategy for their entire wireless portfolio with a more recent particular focus on cloud RAN and 5G.

Through his many key roles on the product side driving cellular infrastructure, Rob has driven large and small teams to provide innovative solutions that have reached significant market penetration across 3G, 4G, and 5G networks in several large wireless operators worldwide. He has supported and developed technologies that significantly improved performance, increased resiliency, significantly decreased power consumption, and reduced total cost of ownership.

Rob holds a doctorate and master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor’s in science in electrical engineering from the University of Cincinnati. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife and three children.

Event speakers

Tommaso Balercia

Tommaso Balercia

Principal Architect, Nvidia

Tommaso Balercia is currently a principal engineer and the lead architect of the 5G/6G RAN digital twin at NVIDIA. He received his M.Sc (Hons.) degree in electrical engineering from the Universita’ Politechnica delle Marche (2007, Italy) and his Ph.D degree from the Technische Universität Braunschweig (2013, Germany). Prior to NVIDIA, he led the design of key receiver algorithms for Intel’s 5G modem SoC. His areas of interest cover digital signal processing, machine learning, and simulation technology.

Sanjay Shakkottai

Sanjay Shakkottai

Professor, UT Austin

Sanjay Shakkottai is a Professor and holds the Cockrell Family Chair in Engineering # 15 in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin.

Sanjay Shakkottai received his Ph.D. from the ECE Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2002. He is with The University of Texas at Austin, where he is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and holds the Cockrell Family Chair in Engineering #15. He received the NSF CAREER award in 2004 and was elected as an IEEE Fellow in 2014. He was a co-recipient of the IEEE Communications Society William R. Bennett Prize in 2021. His research interests lie at the intersection of algorithms for resource allocation, statistical learning and networks, with applications to wireless communication networks and online platforms.

Tingfang Ji

Tingfang Ji

Head of the Flagship 5G Research Program, Qualcomm

Tingfang Ji joined Qualcomm in 2003 and is currently a Vice President of engineering in Wireless R&D. From 2003 to 2014, he made instrumental technical contributions toward the development of LTE and LTE-Advanced technology and served as a vice chairman of the radio working group (RAN4) of 3GPP. Since 2014 he has been responsible for the flagship Qualcomm 5G/6G research project, driving Qualcomm's 5G NR air interface design/standardization efforts, sub6 GHz multi-vendor pre-commercial 5G NR IODT/trials, experimental macro network developments, and pre-6G research. Since 2022, Tingfang has been chairing the technology working group of NextG Alliance to promote North American 6G technologies. Before joining Qualcomm, Tingfang was a member of the technical staff at Bell Labs. As an inventor, he has more than 600 granted US patents. Tingfang received his Ph.D. in E.E. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 2001 and a B.Sc. from Tsinghua University, Beijing.

Wei Yu, University of Toronto

Wei Yu

Professor, University of Toronto

Wei Yu is a Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto, where he holds a Canada Research Chair in Information Theory and Wireless Communications. He received the B.A.Sc. degree in computer engineering and mathematics from the University of Waterloo, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Prof. Wei Yu is a Fellow of IEEE and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. He received the IEEE Marconi Prize Paper Award in Wireless Communications in 2019, the IEEE Communications Society Award for Advances in Communication in 2019, the IEEE Signal Processing Society Best Paper Award in 2008, 2017 and 2021, and the IEEE Communications Society Best Tutorial Paper Award in 2015. Prof. Wei Yu served as the President of the IEEE Information Theory Society in 2021. He is a Clarivate Highly cited researcher (2023).


Austin Bonner

Austin Bonner

Assistant Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology for spectrum and telecom policy

As part of a growing tech team inside OSTP, Austin develops telecommunications policies that advance prosperity, security, environmental quality, and justice for all Americans.  Austin provides expertise and OSTP leadership in a variety of interagency processes and White House working groups on spectrum policy, communications security and reliability, and wireless innovation.

Austin joined OSTP from the Federal Communications Commission, where she served as Legal Advisor and Acting Chief of Staff to Commissioner Geoffrey Starks.  In that role, Austin helped shape new FCC programs designed to promote broadband access and affordability in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Emergency Broadband Benefit and the Affordable Connectivity Program.  She served as Commissioner Starks’s principal policy advisor on wireline and public safety issues and, later in her tenure, on media and consumer protection issues.  She also led Commissioner Starks’s media outreach efforts and acted as his primary liaison to the press.

Before joining the FCC, Austin practiced communications and appellate law at two leading D.C. law firms.  Her practice included regulatory challenges, constitutional law, and statutory interpretation, with a particular focus on complex technologies and telecommunications.  Austin also clerked for Judge D. Michael Fisher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Austin serves as an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, where she received her J.D. magna cum laude.  She earned a bachelor’s degree with high honors from the University of Texas at Austin.  When not working on telecom policy, Austin is, slowly, improving her French and ukulele skills and teaching two very rowdy goldendoodles to respect people’s personal space.

Ronnie Vasishta

Ronnie Vasishta

Senior Vice President, Telecom, Nvidia

Ronnie Vasishta is responsible for the telecom business, strategy and products at NVIDIA. Prior to joining the company in October 2020, Ronnie was at Intel Corporation, where he most recently served as vice president and general manager of the Network and Configurable Logic Division, Data Products Group. Ronnie led a team that managed Intel's programmable business with telecom OEMs and communication service providers across all networking markets. The group also set the strategic direction for compute acceleration solutions with a focus on 5G Core and RAN infrastructure, RAN virtualization, O-RAN and edge applications. Prior to joining Intel through acquisition, Ronnie was CEO of privately held eASIC Corporation. He also spent many years at LSI Logic, where he was eventually vice president of technical marketing after having served stints in wafer process engineering, design engineering, embedded processor marketing, product and strategic planning.

Tim O’Shea

Tim O’Shea

Founder and CTO, DeepSig

Tim O’Shea is the CTO and Co-Founder at DeepSig Inc in Arlington, VA and a Research Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech. He is a recognized pioneer in machine learning and data-driven approaches within the wireless physical layer to help improve baseband processing spectral efficiency, energy efficiency, and environmental awareness and automation in 5G Advanced and 6G. His research interests also include AI/ML applications in cryptocurrency, cybersecurity, generative applications, and other emerging verticals.

Kaushik Chowdury

Kaushik Chowdury

Professor, Northeastern University

Kaushik Roy Chowdhury is Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Northeastern University, Associate Director of the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things, and Faculty Fellow of the College of Engineering. He received his Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology in August 2009 and M.S. from the University of Cincinnati in 2006. He is a Fellow of the IEEE.

Prof. Chowdhury was a finalist for the 2023 US Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists. He was also the winner of the U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2017, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Young Faculty Award in 2017, the Office of Naval Research Director of Research Early Career Award in 2016, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award in 2015. He is the recipient of best paper awards at IEEE GLOBECOM'19, DySPAN'19, INFOCOM'17, ICC'13,'12,'09, and ICNC'13.

Danijela Cabric

Danijela Cabric

Professor, University of California, Los Angeles

Danijela Cabric is a Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her M.S. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2001 and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2007, both in Electrical Engineering. In 2008, she joined UCLA as an Assistant Professor, where she heads Cognitive Reconfigurable Embedded Systems lab.

Her current research projects include novel radio architectures, signal processing, communications, machine learning and networking techniques for spectrum sharing, 5G millimeter-wave, massive MIMO and IoT systems. She served as a principal investigator in the three large cross-disciplinary multi-university centers including SRC/JUMP ComSenTer and CONIX, and NSF SpectrumX.

Prof. Cabric was a recipient of the Samueli Fellowship in 2008, the Okawa Foundation Research Grant in 2009, Hellman Fellowship in 2012 and the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award in 2012, and the Qualcomm Faculty Award in 2020 and 2021. She is an IEEE Fellow.



Sridhar Rajagopal

Sridhar Rajagopal

Senior Vice President, Mavenir

With over 20 years of experience in wireless technologies, Sridhar is currently a Senior Vice President, Access Technologies at Mavenir, a leading provider of cloud-native software for mobile networks. In this cross-functional role, he supports the development and delivery of innovative and cost-effective RAN/RIC/Radio systems and solutions, leveraging open interfaces, virtualization, and cloud-native technologies.

His expertise covers a wide range of areas, including radios, processors, accelerators, signal processing, algorithms, standards, platforms, dimensioning, transport, and open RAN. He is also a technical expert towards customer and partner engagements, understanding their needs, challenges, and opportunities, and providing them with tailored and optimized solutions. Previously, he has worked with two technology startups, various wireless technologies, wireless standardization, and patent consultation and litigation. He is passionate about advancing the state-of-the-art in wireless communications and enabling the next generation of mobile networks.

Sundeep Rangan

Sundeep Rangan

Professor New York University Tandon; Associate Director NYU Wireless

Sundeep Rangan received the B.A.Sc. at the University of Waterloo, Canada and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, all in Electrical Engineering. He has held postdoctoral appointments at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Bell Labs.

In 2000, he co-founded (with four others) Flarion Technologies, a spin off of Bell Labs, that developed Flash OFDM, one of the first cellular OFDM data systems and pre-cursor to 4G systems including LTE and WiMAX. In 2006, Flarion was acquired by Qualcomm Technologies where Dr. Rangan was a Director of Engineering involved in OFDM infrastructure products. He joined the ECE department at NYU Tandon (formerly NYU Polytechnic) in 2010. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and Director of NYU WIRELESS, an academic-industry research center researching next-generation wireless systems.  His research interests are in wireless communications, signal processing, information theory and control theory.

Event hosts

Jeff Andrews

Professor Jeff Andrews

Director, 6G@UT; Professor, The University of Texas at Austin

Jeffrey Andrews is the Truchard Family Endowed Chair in Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin where is Director of 6G@UT. He received the B.S. in Engineering with High Distinction from Harvey Mudd College, and the M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Dr. Andrews is an IEEE Fellow and ISI Highly Cited Researcher and has been co-recipient of 15 best paper awards as well as the 2015 Terman Award, the NSF CAREER Award, the 2021 Gordon Lepley Memorial Teaching Award, the 2021 IEEE ComSoc Joe LoCicero Service Award, the IEEE ComSoc Wireless Communications Technical Committee Recognition Award, and the 2019 IEEE Kiyo Tomiyasu technical field award. His former students include five IEEE Fellows, 12 professors at top universities in the USA, Asia, and Europe, and industry leaders on LTE and 5G systems, on which they collectively hold over one thousand US patents.

Elena Fersman

Elena Fersman

Head of AI Accelerator, Ericsson

Elena Fersman is a Vice President and Head of Global AI Accelerator at Ericsson. She is responsible for a distributed team based in USA, Sweden, India and Canada. Elena is a docent and an adjunct professor in Cyber-Physical Systems specialized in Automation at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. She holds a PhD in Computer Science from Uppsala University, an MBA from St. Petersburg Polytechnic University and did a postdoc at the University Paris-Saclay. At Ericsson, she had various positions ranging from product management to research leadership. Elena is a member of the Board of Directors of RISE Research Institutes of Sweden and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. Elena has co-authored over 50 patent families.

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Professor Todd Humphreys

Professor Todd Humphreys

WNCG Director, UT Austin

Dr. Humphreys specializes in the application of optimal detection and estimation techniques to problems in satellite navigation, autonomous systems, and signal processing. He directs the Radionavigation Laboratory and is associate director of UT SAVES. His recent focus has been on assured perception for autonomous systems, including navigation, timing, and collision avoidance, and on centimeter-accurate location for the mass market.

Dr. Humphreys is also on the graduate study committee of the UT Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a faculty member of the Wireless Networking and Communications Group (WNCG). He received the UT Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award in 2012, the NSF Career Award in 2015, the Institute of Navigation Thurlow Award in 2015, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE, via National Science Foundation) in 2019. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Navigation and of the Royal Institute of Navigation. Dr. Humphreys joined the faculty of the Cockrell School of Engineering in Fall 2009.

Panel Moderators

Hyeji Kim

Hyeji Kim

Assistant Professor, UT Austin

Hyeji Kim is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a Fellow of the Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Chair in Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin.

She received her Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 2016. She worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 2016 to 2018, after which she served as a researcher at Samsung AI Research Cambridge until 2020.

Mischa Dohler

Mischa Dohler

Vice President of Emerging Technologies, Ericsson

Mischa Dohler is now VP Emerging Technologies at Ericsson Inc. in Silicon Valley, working on cutting-edge topics of 6G, Metaverse, XR, Quantum and Blockchain. He serves on the Technical Advisory Committee of the FCC and on the Spectrum Advisory Board of Ofcom.

He is a Fellow of the IEEE, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET); and a Distinguished Member of Harvard Square Leaders Excellence. He is a serial entrepreneur with 5 companies; composer & pianist with 5 albums on Spotify/iTunes; and fluent in several languages. He has had ample coverage by national and international press and media, and is featured on Amazon Prime.

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8:45 AM Opening remarks Welcome and introduction to the Forum and 6G@UT Dr Elena Fersman, Head of AI Accelerator, Ericsson
Professor Jeff Andrews, Director, 6G@UT
9:00 AM Opening keynote

On the way to 6G


Erik Ekudden, CTO Ericsson
9:45 AM Talk

Aerial Digital Twin for 6G RAN


Tommaso Balercia, Principal Architect, Nvidia
10.15 AM Coffee Break
10:45 AM Talk Towards a toolkit for configuration management in cellular networks Professor Sanjay Shakkottai, UT Austin
11:15 AM Panel

6G CTO panel


Mischa Dohler, Vice President, Emerging Technologies, Ericsson

Austin Bonner, White House Deputy CTO
Ronnie Vasishta, SVP Telecoms, Nvidia
Danijela Cabric, Professor, UCLA
Erik Ekudden, CTO Ericsson

12.15 PM Lunch
1:00 PM Poster and demo session 6G@UT researchers present their work on a broad array of topics. 
2:00 PM Keynote

Moving to ‘NextG’ - Transitioning to a new ‘CICD’ model


Robert Soni, Vice President, RAN Technology, AT&T
2:45 PM Talk

How machine learning will revolutionize 6G system design: Air interface, devices, and network operations


Tingfang Ji, VP of Engineering, Qualcomm
3:15 PM   PM Coffee Break  
3.35 PM Talk

Learning for Communications and Sensing


Professor Wei Yu, University of Toronto
4:00 PM Panel Will ML Transform 6G? 

Professor Hyeji Kim, UT Austin

Professor Kaushik Chowdury, Northeastern University
Tim O'Shea, Founder and CTO, DeepSig
Sridhar Rajagopal, Senior VP, Mavenir    
Sundeep Rangan, Professor, NYU

5.00 PM   Forum Reception: Refreshments and Discussions continue

Past events