The Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) is pleased to announce that the 2019–2020 Claude E. Shannon Research Assistantship has been awarded to Anny Xijia Zheng and Ganesh Ajjaganadde, doctoral students in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Anny Xijia Zheng

Ms. Zheng’s doctoral research is supervised by RLE PI Professor Vincent Chan in the Claude E. Shannon Communication and Network Group. Ms. Zheng is recognized this year for her significant accomplishments in cognitive optical networking.

Ms. Zheng is exploring the use of cognitive techniques for the fast reconfiguration of optical networks. Current practices take minutes for reconfiguration even upon severe congestions which is inadequate. Her research addresses the design of fast wavelength assignment and reconfiguration using cognitive management and control that observes real time traffic and can quickly and accurately adapt to the operating conditions for optical networks.

Ganesh Ajjaganadde

Mr. Ajjaganadde’s  doctoral research is supervised by RLE PI Gregory W. Wornell, Sumitomo Professor of Engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, who leads the Signals, Information, and Algorithms Lab in RLE.  Mr. Ajjaganadde is recognized this year for his significant accomplishments in coding theory and its applications, both in communication and in its connections to neighboring disciplines.

Among Mr. Ajjaganadde’s diverse contributions, involving collaborations with multiple faculty, he has: developed novel approaches to analyzing the performance limits of multiple-access communication in the finite block-length regime; designed and developed properties of optimal anticodes, generalizing sphere-packing analysis; and developed optimal coded apertures for lensless imaging using a novel application of powerful but underappreciated results in Fourier theory.

Claude E. Shannon, the father of information theory, served on the MIT faculty as a member of the Electrical Engineering and Mathematics departments, and the Research Laboratory of Electronics from 1956 until 1978. After Prof. Shannon’s death in 2001, his wife, Betty Shannon, launched a MIT fund in his memory to support students doing research in communication. A subsequent donation from Dr. Richard Barry made additional support possible. This year’s recipients were selected by a committee consisting of Professor Vincent Chan, Professor Lizhong Zheng (Committee Chair), and RLE Director Marc Baldo.