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NEC Student Research Fellowship Program

Everything you need to know about the program

The NEC Student Research Fellowship Program provides grants for PhD and postdoctoral research in information and communication technology. A senior research scientist will be assigned to your funded project to help achieve its research objectives.

Grant research topics for 2021

Beyond 5G and 6G
- Secure, beyond 5G systems
- Smart edge systems
- Smart/reconfigurable intelligent surfaces
- Virtualized mobile network systems
- Wireless sensing

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
 - Discrete-continuous learning
 - Explainable AI
 - Graph-based and geometric deep learning
 - Information extraction
 - Knowledge-intensive NLP

Privacy and Security
 - Adversarial learning or privacy-preserving machine learning
 - Distributed systems security and privacy
 - Formal methods and policy compliance checkers
 - TEE security
 - Privacy enhancing technologies

Software Systems
 - Programming models, languages and compilers
 - Program synthesis for high-performance computing
 - Scalable monitoring for cloud and edge-cloud systems
 - Software for heterogeneous systems

NEC student and postdoc research grant recipients for 2021

    NEC Laboratories conducts advanced theoretical and applied technology research to help realize new technology for the betterment of all.  

    In 2021, NEC student and postdoc fellows are undertaking research in the areas of machine learning, beyond 5G cellular networks, security, operating systems and hardware virtualization. Their work has the strong potential to advance research in key areas of their respective disciplines including network slicing, acceleration of graph neural networks and hardware virtualization.

    This year, our fellows represent leading universities and research institutions from Austria, France, Spain and the United States.

    Visit their profiles to learn more!

    Sergi Abadal

    University

    Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

    Location

    Barcelona, Spain

    Academic background

    Sergi received his Bachelors of Science in Telecommunication Engineering in 2010 and Masters (Hons) in 2011. He completed his PhD in Computer Architecture (Hons) from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in 2016. Sergi has been a visiting researcher at the University of Illinois, Georgia Institute of Technology and the Foundation for Research and Technology (FORTH) in Greece.  

    Research interests & NEC grant initiatives

    “My current research interests are in the areas of chip-scale communications and next-generation computer architectures. My NEC fellowship project proposes iGNNspector, a framework for the acceleration of Graph Neural Networks (GNN), whose unique graph-driven structure renders their computation challenging. I will investigate how to apply graph profiling to speed up the processing of GNNs with software and hardware techniques.”   

    Stella Bitchebe

    University

    École normale supérieure de Lyon

    Location

    Lyon, France

    Academic background

    Stella received her engineering degree from Polytechnique school of Yaounde, Cameroon in 2018, and first came to France for her end-of-course internship at the Institut de Recherche en Informatique de Toulouse (IRIT) in France. She obtained her PhD position with the University of Nice at the I3S Laboratory under the supervision of Professor Alain Tchana.  Stella is currently working at the Laboratoire de l'Informatique du Parallélisme (LIP) at École normale supérieure de Lyon (ENS Lyon) where she is completing her PhD.

    Research interests & NEC grant initiatives

    "My research mainly focuses on Operating Systems and Hardware Virtualization. The NEC fellowship project is about a new principle that we called OoH, for Out of Hypervisor. The aim is to make some hardware virtualization features accessible to the guest user space environment, without the need for hypervisor intervention."

    Pouya Pezeshk Pour

    University

    University of California, Irvine

    Location

    California, United States

    Academic background

    Pouya received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 2015 from Sharif University of Technology in Iran. In 2018, he completed his Masters of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California, Irvine where he is currently pursuing his PhD.

    Research interests & NEC grant initiatives

    “My research interest involves various natural language processing-related tasks such as knowledge graph representation, interpretability and active learning. In this work, my goal is to provide a concept-based explanation for graph models, i.e., explaining complex behavior of the model via underlying concepts, characterizing the graph models behavior in a way that is understandable to humans. I will apply these techniques to tasks such as link prediction and node classification.”

    Xuewen Qian

    University

    University Paris Saclay

    Location

    Paris, France

    Academic background

    Xuewen received his Bachelor and Masters (Hons) of Science degrees in Electronic Science and Technology in 2014 and 2017 from Central South University, Changsha, China. He received his PhD from Paris-Saclay University in 2020, awarded by the graduate school of engineering, CentraleSupelec. Xuewen’s doctoral research focused on the detection and synchronization issues of molecular communications at CentraleSupelec’s Laboratory of Signals and Systems.

    Research interests & NEC grant initiatives

    “My research interests are in machine learning, wireless communications and reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RISs). The focus of my research for NEC’s fellowship grant is the modeling, analyzing and optimizing of RIS-aided wireless communication systems from the perspective of the electromagnetic-compliant communication models. The aim of the research is to mitigate the mutual effect of RIS units in order to realize the practical RIS-assisted systems and implement the empirical experiments based on hardware platforms available at NEC Laboratories Europe.”

    Alexander Schlögl

    University

    University of Innsbruck

    Location

    Innsbruck, Austria

    Academic background

    Alexander completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Computer Science at the University of Innsbruck and received the Young academics prize for scientific research "Nachwuchspreis für wissenschaftliche Forschung" for his master’s thesis. He has authored and co-authored a number of scientific papers on the security of machine learning models.

    Research interests & NEC grant initiatives

    “My main research interest is the security of machine learning models, which I approach more from an engineering perspective. The NEC fellowship project I am working on aims to expand on my previous research on partial black-boxing of machine learning models. The goal is to develop a general toolchain that allows even non-experts to protect confidential model parameters while still allowing offline inference.”

    Jesús Pérez-Valero

    University

    University Carlos III de Madrid

    Location

    Madrid, Spain

    Academic background

    Jesús received his Bachelor and Masters of Science degrees from the Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Spain in 2019 and 2020 respectively. During this time, he undertook two oversees student residencies in Finland and Germany, and worked for two funded projects (Spanish and European). Since October 2020, he is a PhD candidate at the Department of Telematics of University Carlos III de Madrid.

    Research interests & NEC grant initiatives

    “My NEC fellowship project addresses the analysis and  design of energy-efficient and highly-reliable services for 6G networks. While network slicing supports a more environmentally sustainable operation  than existing schemes, the reliability requirements envisioned in 6G are far more stringent. The objective of the project is to design of scaling techniques that overcome these limitations.”

    Zhe Zeng

    University

    University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

    Location

    California, United States

    Academic background

    Zhe received her Bachelor of Science with honors in Mathematics from Zhejiang University, China in 2018. She is  now a third-year PhD student at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

    Research interests & NEC grant initiatives

    “My research interest lies in real-world modeling problems that involve heterogeneous data, specifically both discrete and continuous data. Through my research, I focus on advancing probabilistic inference and designing learning approaches to cope with structured and heterogeneous data. In my NEC fellowship project, I will explore how the developed approaches can be leveraged to facilitate various fields including Bayesian deep learning.”

    Eligibility
    Full-time PhD students and postdoctoral researchers from accredited universities worldwide are eligible to apply. Candidates may only submit one proposal per funding cycle and will be evaluated based on a combination of factors including academic performance, software development skills and aptitude for research.

    Applications for 2021 selection are closed.

     

    Download the NEC Student Research Fellowship Flyer 2021

     

     

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