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In this article, we have provided general, comprehensive coverage of the SDR technique, from its practical deployments and scope of applicability to key theoretical results. We have also showcased several representative applications, namely MIMO detection, BÂ¿ shimming in MRI, and sensor network localization. Another important application, namely downlink transmit beamforming, is described in . Due to space limitations, we are unable to cover many other beautiful applications of the SDR technique, although we have done our best to illustrate the key intuitive ideas that resulted in those applications. We hope that this introductory article will serve as a good starting point for readers who would like to apply the SDR technique to their applications, and to locate specific references either in applications or theory.