Student Spotlight

Network Coding and Reliable Communications Group: Salman Salamatian

Research group name:
Network Coding and Reliable Communications Group

Hometown, Country:
Isfahan, Iran & Ferney-Voltaire, France

Academic History Prior to coming to MIT:
BSc and MSc at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

What brought you to MIT?
MIT has a special place in my heart. I visited MIT for the first time while I was an undergraduate student in Switzerland. I got to interact with some of the students, and at the time, even briefly met with my current advisor. I think what really pushed me to apply to MIT was how passionate the students and the professors are about research. I now know that this passion extends to teaching, and mentoring as well.

What problem are you trying to solve with your current research and what are some possible applications?
I work at the interface between Information Theory, Security, and Machine Learning. Using tools from Information Theory, I try to gain insights on various probabilistic systems and evaluate their performance. Many of the systems I study are related to security scenarios. For example, I try to find answers to questions like how to hide your political opinions from your video service provider, or how secure is a password secured system against a large-scale brute-force performed by a botnet.

What interests you most about your research?
I really enjoy being able to do theoretical work that is motivated by practical and important problems. It is very satisfying to work on abstract and general problems, but then apply these results to shed light on a real life scenario. Sometimes these insights are design drivers to improve existing solutions. For me, this is really the best of both worlds. I have also been very fortunate to work with amazing friends and mentors, and they have greatly improved my experience of research in general.

What are your future plans?
Academia! I would love to keep on doing research, teach, and have my own group. I have gotten so much from the various professors I have interacted with, and I hope to give back to future students one day.