Prof. Ted Szymanski, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Department of ECE, McMaster University
1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4K1
Phone: (905)-525-9140 ext 27697
Fax: (905)-521-2922
Email: teds 'at'



 Areas of Interest    




My current interests deals with achieving an improved future ‘Internet of Things’ network, including the future ‘Industrial Internet of Things’, the future ‘Tactile Internet of Things’, future 5G wireless networks, cloud-computing networks and Networks-on-a-Chip. Currently, there are several international efforts to define the Future Internet, i.e., the ‘Industrial Internet’ effort led by General Electric and the ‘Tactile Internet’ effort led by the ITU. The world agrees that today’s Best-Effort ‘Internet of Things’ is significantly over-provisioned, it has relatively poor performance, it consumes too much power, the router buffer sizes are too large, and it offers little security against cyber-attacks. Today’s Best-Effort Internet of Things cannot support the ‘Smart Systems’ needed in the 21-st century. The future ‘Smart Systems’ include Smart Cities, the Smart Power Grid, Smart Transportation systems and Smart Healthcare Systems. In the future, these Smart Systems will integrate millions of distributed sensors to a cloud-based control-system, where Big-Data algorithms will process the senor data and improve the performance of these systems (IEEE-Access-Securing-the-Industrial-Tactile-Internet-of-Things, IEEE-COMM-MAG-Supporting-consumer-services-in-a-Deterministic-Industrial-Internet.pdf , IEEE-TON-An-Ultra-low-latency-Internet-of-Things.pdf)


The Future Industrial and Tactile Internet of Things will support many important new Cloud-based services such as video-distribution, High Performance Cloud Computing and Telemedicine. Canada is a leader in the delivery of medical services over the Internet. One of the world's first telerobotic assisted surgeries over the Internet was performed in Canada in Nov. 2003, over a network of Cisco routers managed by Bell Canada (Cisco-Bell-Canada-Telemedicine-Operation , IEEE-JSAC-TELEROBOTIC-SURGERY).


Optical Networks

From 2001 to 2011, Prof. Szymanski held the Red Wilson/Bell Canada Chair in Data Communications at McMaster University. Research funders have included the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Networks of Centers of Excellence (NCE) program of Canada and the Ontario Centers of Excellence (OCE) program; Industrial participants in research projects have included Bell Canada, Nortel Networks, Newbridge Networks (now Alcatel Systems), Spar Space Systems, Lucent Technologies, Lockheed-Martin, Sanders and the US Consortium on Optoelectronic Technologies in Computing.


From 1993-2003 Prof. Szymanski led the ‘Optical Architectures’ project in a 10 year national research program (based at McGill University) to develop an advanced free-space optical backplane for the telecommunications industry. The program was funded by the Networks of Centers of Excellence program of Canada, with total funding in the range of $10 million dollars. The program demonstrated an advanced optical backplane system in the year 2003 (NCE_backplane.pdf). This network demonstrated a 4 node optical ring that supported approx. 1024 optical channels per square centimeter of free-space crossectional areea. Collaborators include McMaster University, McGill University, the University of Toronto, Heriot Watt University (UK), Nortel Networks (now Ericsson), Newbridge Networks (now Alcatel), Lockheed-Martin, Sanders and Lucent Technologies. Prof. Szymanski holds a US patent on the underlying high bandwidth "Intelligent Optical Network" architecture, along with Prof. Scott Hinton (former Director of Photonic Switching at Bell Laboratories). Prof. Szymanski also holds a US patent on embedded Forward-Error-Correction techniques to achieve bandwidth gains in 1D and 2D free-space and fiber optical links. While at Columbia University, Prof. Szymanski also proposed the ‘Hypermesh’ optical network architecture for High Performance Computing (HPC) systems. (Hypermesh Optical Networks). The hypermesh network model utilizes the concept of ‘hyper-graphs’ from graph-theory to model optical switches in each dimension of a mesh-based architecture. Several recent supercomputers use networks which are best modelled as hypermeshes / hypergraphs.


Prof. Szymanski and his students demonstrated two of the most functionally-advanced optoelectronic integrated circuits in the world (as of the year 2000). These silicon CMOS devices contained numerous microscopic Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) optical transmitters and receivers, and could be directly interfaced to hundreds of optical fibers.  A single optoelectronic device occupying approximately one cubic foot of volume can yield a multi-Terabit switch/router, replacing a room full of cabinets of conventional electronic switching equipment, and requiring much less volume and power. Photographs of these devices have appeared on the front cover of the international journal Optical Society of America (OSA) - Applied Optics twice (Jan. 1998, and March/April 2000). The device fabrication was funded in part by the US Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), the US Consortium on Optoelectronic Technologies and Lucent Technologies through the Lucent/ARPA/COOP integrated circuit fabrication runs, as well as NSERC and the Networks of Centers of Excellence program of Canada.


Selected Publications: Selected-Pubs

Some Lab. Photos: Team-photos

Some Personal Photos: Desktop.html