The Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announces that 2010 Claude E. Shannon Research Assistantships are being awarded to Ms. Natasa Blitvic and Ms. Shirley Xiaomeng Shi, both of whom are doctoral students in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Ms. Blitvic’s Master’s thesis, which was supervised by Professor Vladimir Stojanovic of RLE, addressed the benefits afforded by channel coding in high-speed backplanes or chip-to-chip interconnects. Her analysis, which was published in the IEEE Transactions on Advanced Packaging, treated the combined effects of residual intersymbol interference and noise to establish deeper insights into the joint error behaviors of such high-speed links. For her doctoral research, which is being supervised by Professor Todd Kemp, Ms. Blitvic has taken on some very fundamental issues for q‑circular operators, i.e., a generalization of complex-valued Gaussian random variables to the framework of quantum probability theory. This work has connections to several application areas including random matrix theory, which figures prominently in studies of wireless communications.

Ms. Shi’s Master’s thesis, which was supervised by Professor Muriel Médard RLE and Professor Desmond Lun, was published in the IEEE Transaction on Information Theory. Her work applied factor-graph techniques from digital communication theory to the task of increasing the efficiency—and hence the utility—of existing technologies for DNA sequencing. In her doctoral research, which Professor Médard is supervising, Ms. Shi is studying body area networks, such as those that would be used within and near the body for medical applications. Here issues of energy efficiency and network coding are being addressed simultaneously.

Claude E. Shannon, the father of information theory, served on the MIT faculty as a member of the Electrical Engineering and Mathematics departments. Professor Shannon conducted his work in Research Laboratory of Electronics from 1956 until 1978. After Professor 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 possible additional support for such student research in communication. The selection of Ms. Blitvic and Ms. Shi was done by a committee consisting of Profs. Vincent Chan, Anantha Chandrakasan, Robert Gallager, and Jeffrey H. Shapiro (Chair).

Related Links:

RLE Integrated Systems Group

RLE Network Coding and Reliable Communications Group

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science