Student Committee Update

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Greetings from the Student Committee! This promises to be an exciting year for students in the information theory community:

We are currently in the midst of preparing for the 2nd Annual School of Information Theory, which will be held at Northwestern University Aug 10-13. This year, we are lucky to have Dan Costello of University of Notre Dame, Abbas El Gamal of Stanford University, and Bruce Hajek of University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, as our instructors, and Robert Gallager of Massachusetts Institute of Technology as our keynote speaker.  Like last year, the School will feature student presentations as well to foster interaction among the students, as well as with the more senior attendees.  We are grateful for the support from the Information Theory Society as well as our other sponsors including DARPA, Northwestern University and University of Southern California. Another exciting event is that this year, the School will feature the inaugural Padovani Lecture. The Padovani Lecture is made possible by a generous gift from Roberto Padovani. The 2009 Padovani Lecturer is Abbas El Gamal. The organizers of the school this year are Randy Berry and Dongning Guo of Northwestern University coordinating the local organization, Daniela Tuninetti and Natasha Devroye of University of Illiois at Chicago coordinating the applications, Matthieu Bloch of University of Notre Dame and Yalin Sagduyu of Northwestern University coordinating the School web and publicity, and Aylin Yener of Penn State and Gerhard Kramer of University of Southern California serving as general chairs. We are all looking forward to another successful school and seeing you in Evanston in August!

We also have a new student committee website accessible at http://www.itsoc.org/people/committees/student/. Anand Sarwate and Matthieu Bloch were instrumental in this effort, and we owe them a debt of gratitude. The website is now fully integrated with the new Information Theory Society site, which makes it easier to upload dissertations, to archive media resources of past events, and to maintain a lively website. Among several updates, we have created a section "Job oportunities" that lists open positions for Post-doc and fellowships. We welcome all suggestions and ideas for new content that would benefit the student IT community.

Plans are underway for our ISIT 2009 events. As in previous years, we will have a student roundtable event and a panel. The roundtable will feature exciting and timely discussion topics including Compressed Sensing, Information Theoretic Security, Network Coding, Relaying, Feedback, Source Coding, Information Theory and Biology, Information Theory and Stochastic Flows (Please see the Student Committee Web for reading lists). As is custom by now, we hope you bring your appetite for lively research discussions and great food.

For the panel, the topic will be collaboration. The title is "When does conversation become collaboration?" Once again, we will distribute gifts for our members, with a new twist: a raffle with a memorable prize. Come to the event, more importantly volunteer, and you shall be rewarded!

As always, the Student Committee is looking for volunteers to get involved. This year many of our student leaders are graduating and we have quite a few openings for leadership positions in the committee. If you are midway in your PhD, the committee is a great way to get involved, meet and get to know fellow students, as well as senior members of our community. The student committee, much like our Information Theory Society, is collegial and tight knit, and getting involved, we certainly hope will be as rewarding and fun for you as it is for us. If you are interested in getting involved, feel free to e-mail Aylin Yener (yener@ee.psu.edu), Krish Eswaran (keswaran@EECS.Berkeley.EDU) or Ivana Maric (ivanam@stanford.edu).