With 5G, we hope for faster internet, fewer interruptions and a more seamless experience on our cellphones.

However, Muriel is quick to note that 5G is “a little deeper than it sounds.”

She explains that the formal definition of 5G will come from the standards body called 3GPP, industry players who will set the standards for use of the technology.

Informally, however, she explains that people expect 5G to bring lower delays and more robust services to streamline communication on their mobile devices.

“Your car doesn’t go, ‘What do you think, should I be adding a little bit of oxygen to the mix?’ Well, I don’t know, you’re the car, figure it out,” she says in another helpful metaphor.

“So why am I having to look at how many bars I have? Why isn’t my phone automatically using Wi-Fi as much as possible and only using data when it needs to?”

Muriel expects her area of expertise, network coding,

to be an instrumental part of this change in creating a seamless connection, as long as that formal standards body responds to the demands of the public to have this technology.

“Being able to try to shepherd the technology to implementation and adoption is very rewarding,” she says. “Challenging but rewarding.”

The rewards of her work are tangible, as well.

Muriel has continually been recognized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the world’s largest technical professional society.

She was elected as a fellow of the IEEE in 2009 for “contributions to wideband wireless fading channels and network coding,”

and in 2017 earned the Edwin Howard Armstrong Achievement Award from IEEE’s Communications Society for

“pioneering work in the fields of network coding, wireless communications and optical networking.”

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