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  • Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
  • School of Computing and Information
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$25 million grant-funded radio spectrum project includes Pitt professors

Martin Weiss wearing suit with red tie, standing in front of satellite dishes

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

“So much of our lives are lived through our phone,” said Pitt School of Computing and Information Professor Martin Weiss. “The spectrum is a key part of making that work well.”

Members like Weiss, who leads the program’s economics and policy working group, 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 Associate Professor Ilia Murtazashvili in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs will also 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.”