Santa Clara University


Research and Outreach in Nigeria


Two School of Engineering professors traveled to Nigeria recently to present keynote speeches at the 3rd IEEE International Conference on Adaptive Science and Technology. While there, they also visited a local high school in Abuja—Loyola Jesuit College—headed by principal and SCU alumnus Ugo Nweke, S.J. ’10.

At the conference, Tokunbo Ogunfunmi, associate professor of electrical engineering and associate dean for research and faculty development, presented “Talk Is Cheap: Advanced Speech Processing Is Here.” His talk provided an explanation of how most modern-day speech coding works and offered his group’s recent research results and solutions for enhanced performance to packet switch network problems commonly experienced with Internet programs such as Skype and Google Talk.

Nam Ling, chair and professor of computer engineering, presented “Video Compression: A New Era.” Ling and his doctoral students contribute heavily, and regularly compete with large corporations in creating the international standard for the next generation of video compression.

The conference, which brought together researchers from academia and industry from both developed and developing countries, afforded a glimpse into what is on the minds of colleagues in the West African sub-region. “There is a lot of interest in forensic security of computers in Nigeria and there is also lots of interest in energy,” said Ogunfunmi.

They found this to be true for the high school students, as well. Loyola Jesuit College strives to be self-sustaining as they raise their own food and generate their own power for the 663 live-in students. “Visiting the school was the highlight of our trip,” both agreed. “We talked with the students about SCU and the programs we offer, and encouraged them to apply,” said Ling. “We are also investigating ways for Santa Clara students to partner with this school. We would love to see some of our engineering students spend a summer at the high school, helping to build an effective computer infrastructure on campus and perhaps teaching some classes,” said Ogunfunmi.

Photo caption: From left, Tokunbo Ogunfunmi, Fr. Ugo Nweke, and Nam Ling pose in front of a statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola at Loyola Jesuit College in Abuja, Nigeria.