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COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Dr. Xi Zhang, an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M University, has received a National Science Foundation CAREER award for his research on the integrated network-protocol architectures for multicast services over mobile wireless networks. The $400,000 grant will continue through 2009. The NSF CAREER award is the most prestigious award for new faculty members for their career-development and teaching activities, highlighting them as upcoming academic leaders in the 21st century. Zhang’s research will focus on protocol integration architecture for mobile wireless multicast services - communication from one to many - over mobile wireless networks. Zhang will develop a set of algorithms to control data distribution from the source to many mobile receivers. The mobile receivers need to send feedback to the source, to allow the source to continually make updates and improve the Quality of Service of the multicast transmissions. This feedback is important because it helps enhance the reliability and validity of the transmission between the source and multiple mobile receivers. This research would be useful to air traffic control facilities and weather centers. For instance, airplanes could each have a computer on board that would provide pilots continually with updated information about runway availability. Vehicles with navigation systems would receive information about current traffic conditions. Weather centers would receive information on current hazard situations, such as approaching storms. Awardees must include plans for teaching and research in their application for a CAREER grant. Zhang plans to develop a new graduate course on mobile wireless networks, integrating the planned research infrastructure into the course. He also will design a new undergraduate course on computer networks and the Internet, including lab equipment with a wireless local area network that can communicate with other networks. Students will work with a test-bed system to confirm how well the algorithm works. Zhang said this award can support more doctoral students doing ground-breaking research. "I feel a great responsibility to produce the very best world-class research results for the projects sponsored by my award," he said. "This is just the starting point and we have a long way to go." Zhang joined the Department of Electrical Engineering in February 2002. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Xidian University (Xi’an, China); a master’s degree from Lehigh University; and his doctoral degree from the University of Michigan in electrical engineering and computer science (EE Systems).