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Michael B. Pursley

Michael PursleyHolcombe Chair and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Ph.D. - University of Southern California
Electrical and Computer Engineering
M.S. - Purdue University
Electrical and Computer Engineering
B.S. - Purdue University
Electrical Engineering

Contact Information
Office: 303 Fluor Daniel EIB
Office Phone: 864.656.1528
Fax: 864.656.7220

Dr. Pursley was with the Space and Communications Group of the Hughes Aircraft Company in Los Angeles during 1968–74.   In 1974, he joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he was promoted to the rank of Professor in 1980.  Since 1992, Dr. Pursley has held the Holcombe Endowed Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Clemson.  He had visiting faculty positions at UCLA and Caltech in 1985.  He is the author of two textbooks published by Prentice Hall: Random Processes in Linear Systems (2002) and Introduction to Digital Communications (2005).

Current Research: Adaptive Protocols for Cognitive Radios
As the spectrum policy for wireless communications evolves from fixed spectrum allocations to spectrum sharing and dynamic spectrum access, radically different equipment and protocols will be required.  Cognitive radio promises to be the enabling technology for achieving reliable, efficient, wireless communications in the dynamic spectrum access networks of the future.  Aside from their role in permitting dynamic access to spectrum, cognitive radios are aware of their environments and they can provide each other with the information needed to form a robust network that can overcome the variability of the wireless communication medium.

Cognitive radios equipped with new adaptive protocols can make intelligent use of a time-varying communication channel.  We have developed low-complexity adaptive transmission protocols that give nearly optimal performance for channels that vary from packet to packet.  We have derived Shannon capacity limits on the achievable throughput for any protocol, regardless of its complexity.  We have shown that the throughput performance of our adaptive transmission protocols is very close to the capacity limit.

Professional Activities, Honors, and Awards
Dr. Pursley was elected Fellow of the IEEE in 1982 and President of the IEEE Information Theory Society in 1983.  He was a member of the Editorial Board of the Proceedings of the IEEE during 1984–91.  He is currently a member of Editorial Advisory Board for the International Journal of Wireless Information Networks, a Senior Editor of the IEEE Journal of Selected Areas in Communications, and a Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE Communications Society.  He was awarded an IEEE Centennial Medal in 1984, the Ellersick best paper award in 1996, the IEEE Military Communications Conference Award for Technical Achievement in 1999, and an IEEE Millennium Medal in 2000.  He received the IEEE Communications Society Edwin Howard Armstrong Achievement Award in 2002.  In 2005, he received a distinguished alumnus award from the University of Southern California, and in 2008 he was named Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineer by Purdue University.