Professor Djarfar Mynbaev
» Electrical Engineering/
» Spring 2006
In his spring 2006 Scholar on Campus Lecture, Dr. Djafar K. Mynbaev discussed "how the evolving telecommunications industry will radically change the way we live - both at home and in the workplace."
Dr. Mynbaev, professor of electrical engineering and telecommunications technology, explained the technological phenomenon of "convergence." "Today," said Mynbaev, "as voice, data and video technologies join into a single stream of telecommunications traffic, we are seeing the convergence of information and communication technologies into a sole physical layer of modern networks and, finally, a series of complex networks merging into a single, open multi-service network."
Over the last 15 years, optical communications - based on the use of fiber-optic technology - has become the major means of transmitting information. Currently, he added, more than 98 percent of telecommunications traffic is delivered by optical fiber.
There is a difference, however, between Internet transmission and the way optical communications technology delivers information. The telecommunications industry is in the process of resolving this problem - a "revolutionary" step, according to Dr. Mynbaev.
"With the new technologies, any number of people will be able to converse just as if they were sitting in the same room. It's not a futuristic view; companies are doing it now with videoconferencing," Mynbaev explained. That capability would be a big advance over today's videophone, which offers a "very restricted" picture.
A Fair Lawn, NJ, resident, Mynbaev grew up in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad in the former Soviet Union) and received his electrical engineering degrees and doctorate at what is now called St. Petersburg Electro-Technical University. He then spent more than 20 years in navigation systems research and development for Soviet industrial, research and academic institutions, pioneering a laser gyroscope-based navigation system and acquiring a Russian patent for a fiber-optic gyroscope. In 1987, he was awarded the USSR state medal for "Distinguished Work."
When Mynbaev came to the U.S. in 1991, such work was classified and thus required American citizenship, which he did not have. (He was later granted permanent residency as "an individual with extraordinary ability in the sciences.") Mynbaev worked in broadband access networks research, on digital subscriber line (DSL) technology, at Bellcore (now Telcordia Technologies), and taught electrical engineering courses at New York Institute of Technology and physics at Fordham University.
Joining the City Tech faculty in 1994, he was assigned to teach not only basic electrical engineering, but also a senior opto-electronics course - unusual for an adjunct - and became more involved with fiber optics. "My field is a marriage of physics and telecommunications," Mynbaev elaborated, "so I had to learn a lot of new things, and I completely redesigned the courses."
He continues to redesign and update courses, applying the results of his optical communications research, telecommunications consulting work, collaborations with industry and at least $300,000 in federal, state and city grants to improve technology in City Tech's general electronics laboratory and obtain equipment for telecommunications courses and fiber optics work. He has been a Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (a National Science Foundation-funded initiative) mentor and is a PSC/CUNY grant recipient.
A prolific writer who currently holds 26 patents, Mynbaev has published more than 100 papers, and his book (with Lowell L. Scheiner), Fiber-Optic Communications Technology (Prentice Hall, 2001), continues to be translated and reprinted for distribution in North Asia, India and China.
Mynbaev has given presentations at international and national conferences sponsored by such professional societies as the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers, Optical Society of America, The International Society for Optical Engineering, American Society for Engineering Education and the International Association of Science and Technology for Development, and regional societies.
His latest tutorial appears in the IEEE Communications Society's online series, "Tutorials Now." He also serves as a reviewer for professional journals such as Optical Networks, Journal of Lightwave Technology, IEEE Communications Magazine and Optical Engineering.