The Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) is pleased to announce that the 2014 Claude E. Shannon Research Assistantships are being awarded to Ms. Henna Huang and Mr. Jacob Mower, doctoral students in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department.

Ms. Henna Huang’s doctoral research is supervised by RLE PI Vincent Chan, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, in the Communication and Network Group. Ms. Huang is recognized this year for her significant accomplishments in research investigating next-generation network architectures for large data transfers. She is currently examining network architecture design and analysis for large data flows in data centers. She is also involved in an NSF future internet architecture collaborative research project with Bell Lab., Stanford University and University of Texas at Dallas to implement control plane and transport layer protocols for optical flow-switched networks. In her Master’s work, Ms. Huang worked on creating a new Transport Layer Protocol for large network transactions (greater than 100Mbytes) called elephants. The protocol has become incredibly valuable with the rise of cloud computing, data centers and big data analysis. In the protocol, the elephant data is broken into big chunks (~100 Mbits) for error correction and ARQ (automatic request repeat) instead of small IP packets. Congestion control in the network and transmitter and receiver rate matching are done via scheduling over a limited time horizon. The resulting performance gains in throughput and delays over TCP/IP are over two orders of magnitude higher for large flows.

Mr. Jacob Mower’s doctoral research is supervised by RLE PI Dirk Englund, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, in the Quantum Photonics Group. Mr. Mower is recognized this year for his significant accomplishments in research related to the development of secure quantum communication protocols for cryptography and photonic integrated circuits (PIC) for quantum information processing. Mr. Mower’s research seeks to develop quantum technologies that employ CMOS-compatible PICs to build scalable computing systems and secure communication networks that can outcompete their classical counterparts.

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 fund in his memory at MIT to support students doing basic research in communication. A subsequent donation from Dr. Richard Barry has made additional support possible for student research in communication. The selection of Ms. Huang and Mr. Mower was done by a committee consisting of Professor Vincent Chan, Professor Robert Gallagher, Professor Lizhong Zheng (Committee Chair), and RLE Director Yoel Fink.