Prof. Amin Shokrollahi receives the 2012 IEEE Hamming Medal

© 2012 EPFL

© 2012 EPFL

IC and SB Professor Amin Shokrollahi received the IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal together with Dr. Michael Luby, VP of Technology at Qualcomm, "for the conception, development and analysis of practical rateless codes."

This prestigious award covers a 12 years long period of collaboration between the two scientists, culminating in the design, the analysis and the industrial utilization of a new class of data dissemination codes called fountain codes.

Boosting data dissemination on networks
Fountain codes are a class of codes enabling a faster and a more robust dissemination of data on networks such as the Internet or wireless networks (i.e., mobile phones).

Practically, the fountain code technique allows a file (e.g, a document or an image) to be transmitted on a network by first sending it through a fountain, an engine producing a limitless stream of digital droplets from the original file. Any sufficiently large number of these digital droplets can re-create the original file in a very fast way. Their mathematical properties make them indistinguishable from one another. This latter attribute is key in the higher robustness of data transmission using the fountain method, compared to any other forms of data transmission.

An internationally recognized research
The fountain codes method created by Prof. Shokrollahi and Dr. Luby has been recognized by industry leaders and by leading international standards bodies (such as IETF, 3GPP, DVB, ATIS and ITU). Today, Raptor codes, a particularly efficient form of fountain codes, are incorporated into more than 10 international standards.

About the IEEE Hamming Medal and IEEE medals

Since 1988, the IEEE Hamming Medal has been awarded annually to a team of 1-3 researchers for exceptional contribution to information sciences, systems, and technology.

Every year, 15 IEEE medals are given to 15 individuals or teams; among all the Association's recognitions, they are the highest in the hierarchy, embracing significant and broad interests and purposes.

Author: Lara Rossi