The Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) is pleased to announce that the 2016–2017 Claude E. Shannon Research Assistantship has been awarded to Mr. Quntao Zhuang, a doctoral student in the Physics Department.

Mr. Zhuang’s doctoral research is supervised by RLE PI Jeffrey Shapiro, the Julius A. Stratton Professor of Electrical Engineering and leader of RLE’s Optical and Quantum Communications Group. Mr. Zhuang is recognized this year for his significant accomplishments in quantum-enabled communication security, in particular a new paradigm for quantum key distribution (QKD).

Mr. Zhuang, in an article published last year in Physical Review A, established the collective-attack security for floodlight quantum key distribution (FL-QKD), which offers a secret-key rate (SKR) breakthrough for QKD that could enable the ultimate one-time pad security to be employed at Internet speeds in metropolitan-area networks.  Since then, he has shown that FL-QKD’s SKR can be further increased by replacing the original protocol’s binary phase-shift keying with higher-order modulation, something that had previously been thought to be impossible because it would sacrifice security. He will present that result at the 2017 CLEO conference in May.

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 an 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 recipient was selected by a committee consisting of Professor Vincent Chan, Professor Lizhong Zheng (Committee Chair), and RLE Director Marc Baldo.