Thursday, February 24, 2011

What A Year

Well, to say it has been a year since I posted does not begin to do justice to the events, the impact they have had on work, life, family, friends, and more.

In the past year we have seen the resignation of Eric Blossom as the leader of GnuRadio. This could have been a disaster for all of us. Eric is so capable. But it is clear he needed to move on for his own personal reasons to other challenges. He did.

As a result a bittersweet thing happened to me, my employer, and SDR and Cognitive Radio. In 2008, Center for Communications Research hired Thomas Rondeau, Ph.D. as a newly minted Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. Tom had been involved in GnuRadio and the SDR work being done at IDA/CCR and the Laboratory for Telecommunications Sciences for a while as a graduate student at VPI. His adviser, Charles Bostian, was a well known person in ECE communities and had been an employee of CCR's sponsor many years ago.

Tom began to have an immediate impact on my work. I was chairman of a summer long workshop at CCR for Software Defined Radio and Cognitive Radio being applied to the problems at my work. After his arrival, it was announced that Tom had won the best Ph.D. thesis for 2008 by the council of graduate schools in D.C. Tom's being hired was a real coup for IDA/CCR and all involved (I looked like a genius but mostly what I did was hoist a few beers with Tom!).

Tom Rondeau wins big award

But also in attendance at my workshop was Joe Mitola who coined the very terms we were working on for the summer in seminal papers, books, and a new Ph.D. thesis for himself. Joe is now an adjunct of CCR in Princeton and a senior executive at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Joe Mitola, Stevens superstar and friend

But by any opinion worth listening to, the most important relationship formed was with fred harris of San Diego State University. I walked up to fred at an SDR Forum meeting in Colorado and invited him to come to Princeton that summer. My life will never be the same.

fred harris, DSP super star and friend

Beginning that same summer, while my professional life at CCR was reaching its zenith, my personal life began a downward spiral. In this past year my marriage of 32 years ended. We are both okay and more kindly to each other now than we have probably ever been.

Where one door closes to an active person, others often open. My first girl friend was also divorced and still living in my home town. Her Aunt and I were in every single home room together since first grade! She told me Sharon was divorced shortly before Valentine's Day. I asked her to be my facebook friend and after a two week wait, she accepted. My legal separation became complete and she agreed to see me again. She is now my fiancé. Sharon Moore Davis, my first girl friend, will become Sharon Moore McGwier in 2011.

We had a our first date after nearly four decades in May. In September, she asked me to come and take her to Montgomery, AL to the red cross. She locked herself in a guest bed room and told me she needed privacy to work for an evening and that we would need to leave the next morning at 10 A.M.

By 3 P.M. that afternoon, she was N1SMM and I was already sure I was in love, but that did it for me. Two geeks in a pod.

On the professional front, one of several scenarios will happen in 2011. I will stay with Center for Communications Research. I will join Flex Radio Systems. I will join the faculty at Virginia Tech. I will do all three. The latter is my ideal choice.

On Software Radio, fred harris and I have several conference papers on the polyphase filter bank work we have been doing and which has been applied at the Laboratory for Telecommunications Sciences at U. Md. to projects it has run at (you guessed it) Flex Radio, and also Gnu Radio, and more. The work has resulted in tremendously capable software radios for doing Cognitive Radio work.

Laboratory for Telecommunications Sciences

I have been helping to build a deployable Cogntive Radio since last summer at Oak Ridge National Labs which is on contract to LTS for work which is supported by IDA CCR, my employer.


I was born in Lebanon, TN. Still have family in Tennessee and I love living between Knoxville and Oak Ridge, which I will continue to do until at least June 1.

Stay tuned here for more "exciting news" in the weeks to come.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Bob,
    good to hear from you again! It's so great to see guys like you contributing actively to OpenSource / Ham Radio projects and sharing there experience with others!
    I wish you all the best for your professional and personal future!

    73 Toby