Plenary Speakers

The Technical Program Committee is pleased to announce the participation of the following plenary speakers. Each plenary program will take place at MIT's Kresge Auditorium for one hour, beginning at 08:30.

Frank Kschischang - Subspace Codes
Monday, July 2, 2012

Chair: Michelle Effros

Abstract: Subspace codes---codebooks whose codewords are subspaces of a fixed vector space over a finite field, well-separated according to an appropriate metric---arise in the context of error-control in random linear network coding. In this talk we review various constructions for subspace codes, showing, in particular, how rank-metric codes can be adapted to this new application. (Joint work with Ralf Koetter and Danilo Silva.)

Biography: Frank R. Kschischang received the B.A.Sc. degree (with honors) from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, in 1985 and the M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, in 1988 and 1991, respectively, all in electrical engineering. He is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto, where he has been a faculty member since 1991. During 1997-1998, he was a visiting scientist at MIT, Cambridge, MA, and in 2005, he was a visiting professor at the ETH, Zurich. His research interests are focused primarily on the area of channel coding techniques, applied to wireline, wireless and optical communication systems and networks. In 1999, he was a recipient of the Ontario Premier's Excellence Research Award and in 2001 (renewed in 2008) he was awarded the Tier I Canada Research Chair in Communication Algorithms at the University of Toronto. In 2010, he was awarded the Killam Research Fellowship by the Canada Council for the Arts. Jointly with Ralf Koetter he received the 2010 Communications Society and Information Theory Society Joint Paper Award. He is a Fellow of IEEE and of the Engineering Institute of Canada. During 1997-2000, he served as an Associate Editor for Coding Theory for the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INFORMATION THEORY. He also served as technical program co-chair for the 2004 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory (ISIT), Chicago, and as general co-chair for ISIT 2008, Toronto. He served as the 2010 President of the IEEE Information Theory Society.

Prakash Narayan - Omniscience and Secrecy
Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Chair: Giuseppe Caire

Abstract: Omniscience and secrecy might suggest contrasting communication requirements. In fact, they are strange bedfellows. In this talk, we discuss connections between the data compression problem of omniscience attainment by multiple terminals which observe separate but correlated signals, and the secrecy problems of secret key generation and secure function computation by those terminals, all in a distributed manner. Simple constructive schemes that are motivated by these connections will be described for elementary models. The talk is based on joint works with Imre Csiszár, Sirin Nitinawarat, Himanshu Tyagi and Chunxuan Ye.

Biography:Prakash Narayan received the Bachelor of Technology degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in 1976, and the M.S. and D.Sc. degrees in Systems Science and Mathematics, and Electrical Engineering, respectively, from Washington University, St. Louis, MO, in 1978 and 1981. He is Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park, with a joint appointment at the Institute for Systems Research. His research interests are in multiuser information theory, communication theory, communication networks, cryptography, and information theory and statistics.

Narayan has held visiting appointments at ETH, Zurich; the Technion, Haifa; the Rényi Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest; the University of Bielefeld; the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (formerly LADSEB), Padova; and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He has served as Associate Editor for Shannon Theory for the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, and currently serves on the Board of Governors of the IEEE Information Theory Society. He is a Fellow of the IEEE.

Ueli Maurer - Constructive Cryptography
Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Chair: Alexander Vardy

Abstract: Constructive cryptography is a new paradigm for defining and proving security of cryptographic schemes and protocols which allows to unify, simplify, and generalize many previous approaches and security notions, for example information-theoretic and computational security. In constructive cryptography, a cryptographic scheme (e.g. encryption) is seen as "constructing" a certain resource (e.g. asecure channel) from another resource (e.g. an authenticated channel and a secret key). The construction notion is composable, which allows to design complex protocols in a modular, layered manner. The security proofs of the modules (e.g. encryption) automatically compose to a security proof for the entire protocol. The talk presents this constructive paradigm, based on an abstract theory of systems which is of independent interest, and explains existing concepts and results in a unified and conceptually simple manner.

Biography: Ueli Maurer, born in 1960, is professor of computer science and head of the Information Security and Cryptography Research Group at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich. His research interests include the theory and applications of cryptography,information theory, theoretical computer science, discrete mathematics, and information security. Maurer graduated in electrical engineering and received his Ph.D. degree in Technical Sciences from ETH Zurich (advisor: James Massey). From 1990 to 1991 he was DIMACS research fellow at the Department of Computer Science at Princeton University, and in 1992 he joined the CS Department at ETH Zurich.

Dr. Maurer has served extensively as an editor and on program committees. From 2001 to 2010 he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Cryptology and currently he is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory and Editor-in-Chief of Springer's book series "Information Security and Cryptography". He is a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR), and was the 2000 Rademacher Lecturer at the Department of Mathematics at UPenn.

Abbas El Gamal - Networks - CLAUDE E. SHANNON LECTURE
Thursday, July 5, 2012

Chair: Muriel Medard

Biography: Abbas El Gamal is the Hitachi America Professor in the School of Engineering and Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He received the B.Sc. (honors) degree in electrical engineering from Cairo University in 1972 and the M.S. degree in statistics and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University, Stanford, CA, in 1977 and 1978, respectively. His research interest and contributions are in the areas of network information theory, wireless communications, digital imaging, and integrated circuit design. He has authored or coauthored over 200 papers and 30 patents in these areas. He is coauthor of the book Network Information Theory (Cambridge Press 2011). He has won several honors and awards, including the 2004 Infocom best paper award, the 2009 Padovani lecture, and the 2012 Shannon Award. He has been serving on the Board of Governors of the IT Society since 2009 and is currently the Second Vice President.

Predrag Cvitanovic - Turbulence
Friday, July 6, 2012

Chair: Hans-Andrea Loeliger

Abstract: Turbulence is THE unsolved problem of classical physics. For almost two centuries we have had the equations that describe the motion of fluids, but we cannot solve them. Numerical simulations track millions of computational degrees of freedom; observations, from laboratory to satellite, stream terabytes of data, but how much information is there in all of this?

The way we perceive turbulence - the mere fact that one can identify a cloud in a snapshot - suggests that these terabytes should be zipped into small files, a label for each pattern explored by turbulence, and a graph of transitions among them. This pattern recognition problem is exceptionally constrained by the exact differential equations that the data must respect; indeed, the talk will focus on the significant recent progress in 'compressing' turbulence data by equation-assisted thinking. The numerical effort that this requires is prohibitive, the data sets are not only large but noisy, which leads us to a precise information-theoretic question: what is the best possible resolution that one can attain for a given data set?

Traditionally this is estimated by what is essentially a global Shannon entropy averaged over entire data sets. But it turns out that in nonlinear dynamics the noise itself is highly nonlinear: the best obtainable resolution depends on the observed state and its history. Thus, the same theory that identifies the turbulent patterns also yields their attainable resolution: In nonlinear dynamics, all entropy is local.

Biography: Predrag Cvitanovic is theoretical physicist at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He believes passionately in the unity of exact sciences, and in his he is developing theoretical tools that apply equally to classical chaos (turbulence, cardiac dynamics), stochastic dynamics and quantum theories. He has contributed to quantum field theory, the theory of exceptional Lie groups, and his nonlinear dynamics researches span from renormalization in transitions to chaos to periodic orbit theory of quantum systems to dynamical theory of hydrodynamical turbulence. Cvitanovic is also known for his very reasonably priced webbooks on Field Theory, Group Theory, and Chaos.