InterDigital Innovation Challenge Winners Announced in San Francisco

September 21, 2012 / By Tiffany Fox, (858) 246-0353,

San Francisco, Calif., Sept. 21, 2012 — InterDigital (NASDAQ: IDCC) and the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at the University of California, San Diego this afternoon announced the winners of the InterDigital Innovation Challenge (I2C) at GigaOM’s Mobilize2012 conference in San Francisco.  An esteemed panel of judges representing academia and industry awarded the first prize to Team Ultrasonic Wireless Sensors of Columbia University, second prize to Team Airshark of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and third prize to Team Null Space Learning Algorithms of Stanford University.The $5,000 "popular choice" prize had already been awarded to the Rutgers-based DataMiser team during the public voting stage of the contest. 

Gian Mario Maggio
Kshitij Yadav (left) is presented a check for $100,000 by InterDigital CTO Naresh Soni and Ramesh Rao, director of the UC San Diego division of Calit2. 

The I2C is a wireless technology research contest in collaboration with Calit2.  The competition was launched in early 2012 as part of InterDigital’s extensive university program to nurture and accelerate innovation in advanced wireless technologies, and was open to students and faculty of any North American university.  

Representing Columbia University, Drexel University, Ohio State University, Rutgers University, Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at Irvine, the University of California at San Diego, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Canada’s Waterloo University and Université Laval, the eleven finalists were featured today during a special 1-hour session “From the Research Labs” at the Mobilize2012 conference.  All teams presented their innovation projects in front of hundreds of wireless industry executives, VCs, angel investors, tech journalists and other conference attendees, live and streaming online.  

  • The first place, $100,000 cash award, was presented to Team Ultrasonic Wireless Sensors - Ioannis Kymissis, Kshitij Yadav, and Peter Kinget - from Columbia University. Using ultrasound for wireless communication, the invention provides significant energy improvements in radio processing, allowing battery-powered wireless sensors to stay in the field up to ten times longer.
  • The second place, $50,000 cash award, was given to Team Airshark - Suman Banerjee and Ashish Patro from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Focused on radio network management and systems innovations, the team developed a software solution for automated and real-time RF diagnosis of non-Wi-Fi® interference to Wi-Fi devices.
  • The third prize, $20,000 cash award, was presented to Team Null Space Learning Algorithms - Alexandros Manolakos, Yair Noam, and Andrea Goldsmith - from Stanford University. The team invented a novel approach for radio signal propagation and processing that allows several wireless radios to coexist on the same frequency bands while causing minimal interference.
Gian Mario Maggio
Representatives from all of the teams participating in the InterDigital Innovation Challenge. The competition drew entries from across the United States and Canada. 

“We congratulate and thank the winners and all individuals who participated in the I2C for developing leading-edge innovations that address highly complex technical challenges,” said Naresh Soni, Chief Technology Officer at InterDigital. 

“I am pleased to note the participation of teams from many of the prominent wireless centers around the country,” said Ramesh Rao, Director of the UCSD division of Calit2. 

The judging panel for the competition included Lawrence Larson, Dean of the Brown University School of Engineering; Dipankar Raychaudhuri, Rutgers School of Engineering Professor and WINLAB Director; Jerry Gibson, UC Santa Barbara College of Engineering Professor; Arogyaswami Paulraj, Stanford University Professor Emeritus; Hamid Jafarkhani, UC Irvine Engineering Professor and Director of the Center for Pervasive Communications and Computing; Michael Robertson, founder and CEO of MP3Tunes; Martha Dennis, telecommunications entrepreneur and venture capitalist; as well as Mr. Soni and Dr. Rao.

About InterDigital
InterDigital develops fundamental wireless technologies that are at the core of mobile devices, networks, and services worldwide. We solve many of the industry's most critical and complex technical challenges, inventing solutions for more efficient broadband networks and a richer multimedia experience years ahead of market deployment. InterDigital has licenses and strategic relationships with many of the world's leading wireless companies.  For more information, visit:

About Calit2 at U.C. San Diego
The UC San Diego Division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), together with Calit2’s division at U.C. Irvine, houses more than 1,000 researchers across the two campuses, organized around more than 50 projects on the future of telecommunications and information technology and how these technologies will transform a range of applications important to the California economy and its citizens’ quality of life. For more information about Calit2, visit:

InterDigital is a registered trademark of InterDigital, Inc. 

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 Tiffany Fox, (858) 246-0353,