Pitt professors part of $25 million grant-funded project on radio waves

A new $25 million grant from the National Science Foundation will fund researchers from 29 organizations — including two from Pitt — developing new approaches and techniques for divvying up the valuable and highly contested real estate of radio waves that connect many of our devices.

Martin Weiss (pictured), a professor in the School of Computing and Information, leads the program’s economics and policy working group, which will study social and economic factors like how telecommunications companies share spectrum space and the regulations that govern the technology. The group’s other goal is training the next generation of spectrum experts with a focus on underrepresented groups in the industry.

He and Ilia Murtazashvili, associate professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs also will pursue specific research projects, including one focusing on enforcing regulations, which Weiss says could open the door to more cooperation.

“The economic stakes are very high,” Weiss said. “We’re not going to get to a world where people are sharing spectrum more freely until there are good enforcement mechanisms in place to ensure that people can protect what they want, what they need and what’s important to them.”