Madhu Sudan, an adjunct professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and a principal researcher at Microsoft Research, New England; is in pursuit to bring flexibility to computer and digital communication. In a series of recent papers, Madhu Sudan and his colleagues have begun to describe theoretical limits on the degree of imprecision that communicating computers can tolerate, with very real implications for the design of communication protocols. Following a dominant approach in 20th-century philosophy, the project associates the meaning of communication with the goal achieved and provides a mathematical framework for discussing all natural notions in a digitized manner to a machine. "Our goal is not to understand how human communication works," Sudan says. "Most of the work is really in trying to abstract, ‘What is the kind of problem that human communication tends to solve nicely, and designed communication does not?' - and let's now see if we can come up with designed communication schemes that do the same thing."
Arun Majumdar Named US Science Envoy
Arun Majumdar, Jay Precourt Professor and professor of mechanical engineering, has been selected as a U.S. Science Envoy. Majumdar was cited for expertise in energy, climate change and innovation, and will focus on interactions with Poland and the Baltic Region. He joins three other scientists who have agreed to serve as U.S. science envoys beginning in January.