Thomas DC Little

Thomas DC Little is a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering at Boston University. He is also an associate director and principal investigator of the National Science Foundation Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center.

Little is the associate dean for educational initiatives in the College of Engineering. He is charged with developing the strategy to enhance engineering pedagogy in the world of mobile devices and cloud services. He drives the growth of the engineering master’s program, and serves as the technology innovation liaison between the College of Engineering and Questrom School of Business.

Professor Little leads an active research program that focuses on ubiquitous computing and communications – using optical cells to increase wireless data capacity as the demand by mobile devices continues to outstrip supply. His work supports the development of ambient intelligence that enables environments to anticipate and respond to human needs.

Recent Professional Activities

Editor/Program Chair

  • Associate Editor, OSA/IEEE Journal on Optical Communications and Networking (JOCN) (current).
  • Co-Guest Editor, IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, Special Issue on Localization, Communication, and Networking with VLC, with M. Biagi, L. Lampe, Z. Xu, and R. Zhang (2017)
  • Co-Guest Editor, Sensors, Special Issue on Image Sensor Based Optical Wireless Communications, with Y.M. Jang, T. Yamazato, Y. Zeng (2016).
  • Co-Guest Editor, IEEE Wireless Communications (2015), with N. Chi, H. Haas, M Kavehrad, and X.L. Huang, Visible Light Communications: Demand Factors, Benefits, and Opportunities Summer Topicals program on Visible Light Communications (2015)
  • Chair, 5th IEEE Workshop on Optical Wireless Communications, Austin TX (2014), with E. Ciaramella, S. Hranilovic, and M. Matsumoto
  • Chair, 3rd IEEE Workshop on Optical Wireless Communications, Anaheim, CA (2012), with J. Armstrong, Z. Xu, H. Haas, and M. Matsumoto
  • Co-Chair, 1st IEEE Intl. Workshop on Optical Wireless Communications in China, Beijing, (2012), with Z. Xu, J. Guo, G. Ni, and T. Yamazato

Invited Talks

  • Keynote, Silicon Labs Inc., Boston MA (2019), The Changing Requirements of Indoor Short-Range Wireless Communications Motivated by 6G 
  • Keynote, ACM Workshop on Visible Light Communications Systems, New York, NY (2016), On VLC as a 5G Technology
  • Keynote, IEEE Video Everywhere Workshop, Boston MA (2015), Meeting Capacity Demands for Dense Wireless Video Streaming
  • Keynote, Founding Conference of China Visible Light Communications Alliance (CVLCA), Guangzhou China (2014), The Future of Visible Light Communications
  • IEEE Photonics Conference, San Diego CA (2014), Lighting as an Opportunistic Platform for Converged Heterogeneous Networks
  • UMass Science Café, Boston MA (2014), Cheapo Cameras for Ecological Observation
  • Keynote, IEEE Intl. Conf. on Distributed Computing in Sensor Systems, Cambridge MA (2013), Applications of Sensors in Smart Lighting for Energy Efficiency, Health, and Productivity
  • WINLAB, Rutgers University (2014), Lighting as a Platform for Wireless Access
  • OPTICWISE, 2nd Intl. Workshop on OWC – IWOW 2013, Northumbria University, Newcastle on Tyne (2013), The Use of Lighting Devices as an Opportunistic Platform for Enhancing Performance of Localized Wireless Data Access
  • Intl. Symp. on Optical Wireless Communications, Beijing, China, (2013), Reconciling Lighting Requirements for the Delivery of Optical Wireless Communications Using the Visible Spectrum

Additional information