Padovani Lecturer: Erdal Arıkan

Erdal Arikan




 “I'm truly honored and excited to be named the 2023 Padovani Lecturer. I look forward to meeting with young information theorists at an Information Theory School later this year and lively exchange of ideas.”



The IEEE Information Theory Society (ITSoc) is pleased to announce that Professor Erdal Arıkan of Bilkent University is named the 2023 Padovani Lecturer. The Padovani Lecturer Program was established with a generous gift by Dr. Roberto Padovani in 2009. The award provides for an outstanding member of the information theory community to deliver a lecture at one of the ITSoc’s Schools of Information Theory, for the benefit of students and postdoctoral researchers.

Erdal Arıkan was born in Ankara, Turkey, in 1958. He received the B.S. degree from the Caltech in 1981, and the S.M. and Ph.D. degrees from M.I.T., in 1982 and 1985. He briefly worked at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as an assistant professor, before joining Bilkent University in Fall 1987, where he is currently a professor. For his work on polar coding, he was awarded the 2010 Information Theory Society Best Paper Award, the 2013 IEEE W. R. G. Baker Award, the 2018 IEEE Hamming Medal, and the 2019 Shannon Speaker Award.


Goldsmith Lecturer: Rashmi Vinayak




"I am delighted to be selected as the Information Theory Society Goldsmith Lecturer 2023. This is truly an honor. I am deeply thankful to my nominators Prof. Muriel Medard and Prof. Lalitha Sankar, and to Prof. Andrea Goldsmith for her generous gift that gave rise to this wonderful program. I look forward with excitement to the opportunity of sharing my research and engaging more broadly with the Information Theory community."


The IEEE Information Theory Society (ITSoc) is pleased to announce that Professor Rashmi Vinayak of Carnegie Melon University has been named the 2023 Goldsmith Lecturer. The Goldsmith Lecturer Program was established with a generous gift by Dr. Andrea Goldsmith and is supported by several corporate sponsors (see for full details). The award provides travel support for an outstanding early-career woman researcher to deliver a lecture at one of the ITSoc’s Schools of Information Theory, held for the benefit of students and post-doctoral researchers. By highlighting technical achievements of early career women, the ITSoc Goldsmith Lecturer Program helps the award recipients build their professional career and recognition. The Lectureship contributes to the public visibility of the researcher and helps increase the diversity of IEEE ITSoc and IEEE as a whole, as women are an under-represented group in both. The award recipient will also serve as a role model and inspiration to diverse students attending the Information Theory Schools.

Rashmi Vinayak is an assistant professor in the Computer Science department at Carnegie Mellon University. She is a recipient of Sloan Fellowship 2023, Meta Research Award 2022, VMware Systems Research Award 2021, NSF CAREER Award 2020-25, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Memorial Lecture Award 2020, Facebook Distributed Systems Research Award 2019, Google Faculty Research Award 2018, and Facebook Communications and Networking Research Award 2017. Her PhD thesis was awarded the UC Berkeley Eli Jury Dissertation Award 2016, and her work has received USENIX NSDI 2021 Community (Best Paper) Award, and IEEE Data Storage Best Paper and Best Student Paper Awards for the years 2011/2012. Rashmi received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 2016, and was a postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley from 2016-17. During her Ph.D. studies, Rashmi was a recipient of Facebook Fellowship 2012-13, the Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship 2013-15, and the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship 2015-16. Her research interests broadly lie in information/coding theory and computer/networked systems, and the wide spectrum of intersection between the two areas. Her current focus is on robustness and resource efficiency in data systems. Key thrusts include storage and caching systems, systems for machine learning, and live streaming communication.


Distinguished Lecturers: Ashish Khisti, Oliver Kosut,  Arya MazumdarChao Tian & Shun Watanabe

The IEEE Information Theory Society (ITSoc) is also pleased to announce that Prof. Ashish Khisti from University of Toronto, Prof. Oliver Kosut from Arizona State University, Prof. Arya Mazumdar from the University of California San Diego, Chao Tian from Texas A&M University, and Prof. Shun Watanabe from Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, have been named ITSoc Distinguished Lecturers for 2023–2024. The IEEE Information Theory Society established the Distinguished Lecturers Program to promote interest in information theory by supporting its local chapters to invite prominent information theory researchers to give lectures at their events.






"I am truly honoured to be selected as a distinguished lecturer for the Information Theory society and sincerely thank the selection committee for bestowing this recognition. I hope to continue contributing to the society with my research and service.”



Ashish Khisti is a professor at the University of Toronto in Canada. He received his BASc from the same university and his S.M and PhD degrees from MIT. His research interests are in the areas of information theory and wireless communication systems. He served as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transaction on Information Theory between 2015-2018. He also served as a technical consultant for Cisco Systems between 2015-2016.







"I am thrilled to be named as a distinguished lecturer. I am particularly grateful that this honor came from the information theory society, which is my first and primary academic home. I look forward to the opportunities that this lectureship will provide to travel, interact with other members of the community, and share my love of all things information theory. I am particularly thankful for my partner in crime, Lalitha Sankar, for suggesting this lectureship to me and for nominating me. I hope that this lectureship will help me to reach my capacity, compress my talks, receive feedback without distortion, measure my divergence from others without being atypical, and increase the dispersion of my work.”


Oliver Kosut received B.S. degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA in 2004, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA in 2010. Since 2012, he has been a faculty member in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering at Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA, where he is an Associate Professor. Previously, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems at MIT from 2010 to 2012. His research interests include information theory—particularly with applications to security and machine learning—and power systems. Prof. Kosut received the NSF CAREER award in 2015. He is an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security.







“I am truly honored to be selected as a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Information Theory Society. I care deeply about information theory and its interactions with allied fields. I look forward to the opportunities the lecturership provides to present my work and promote interest in these areas of research.”




Arya Mazumdar is an Associate Professor of Data Science in UC San Diego. Arya obtained his Ph.D. degree from University of Maryland, College Park specializing in information theory. Subsequently Arya was a postdoctoral scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an assistant professor in University of Minnesota, and an assistant followed by associate professor in University of Massachusetts Amherst. Arya is a recipient of a Distinguished Dissertation Award for his Ph.D. thesis, the NSF CAREER award, an EURASIP Best Paper Award, and the ISIT Jack K. Wolf Student Paper Award. He is currently serving as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory and as an Area editor for Now Publishers Foundation and Trends in Communication and Information Theory. Arya’s research interests include coding theory, information theory, statistical learning and distributed optimization.






“I am truly humbled and grateful for being selected as a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Information Theory Society. It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to share my knowledge and ideas. I will strive to do my best to promote interests in information theory.”





Chao Tian is currently an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University. Prior to that, he was with the University of Tennessee Knoxville and AT&T Labs-Research. He obtained his B.E degree from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, and the M.S. and Ph. D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. He received the Liu Memorial Award at Cornell University in 2004, and the AT&T Key Contributor Award in 2010, 2011 and 2013. His authored and co-authored papers on coding for data storage have received several paper awards, such as the 2014 IEEE Data Storage Best Paper Award. He was an Associate Editor for the IEEE Signal Processing Letters during 2012-2014, an Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Communications during 2016-2021, and an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 2020-2023.







“It is my great pleasure and honor to be selected as a distinguished lecturer. I am looking forward to sharing my work to further promote the information theory research all over the world.”



Shun Watanabe received B.E., M.E., and Ph.D. degree from Tokyo Institute of Technology in 2005, 2007, and 2009, respectively. During April 2009 to February 2015, he was an assistant professor of the Department of Information Science and Intelligence Systems at the University of Tokushima.  During April 2013 to March 2015, he was a visiting assistant professor of the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland, College Park. During March to April 2016, he was a visiting fellow at the Institute of Henri Poincare. Since February 2015, he has been an associate professor of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. He is a senior member of IEEE and a member of IEICE.  During 2016 to 2020, he served as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory. He served as a general co-chair of the 2021 IEEE Information Theory Workshop. He is a Board of Governer of IEEE Information Theory Society. His current research interests include the information theory, cryptography, quantum information, and information geometry.