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EECS PhD candidate honored by Marconi Society

Work on fundamental limits of wideband cooperative localization earns Yuan Shen the Young Scholar award.
Yuan Shen, a researcher and PhD candidate in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, received the Marconi Society Young Scholar Award for his work on the fundamental limits of wideband cooperative localization. The award was presented on Oct. 15 at the Marconi Awards Dinner in Menlo Park, Calif., where Adobe co-founders Charles Geschke and John Warnock also received the 2010 Marconi Prize.

Wideband cooperative localization is an emerging paradigm for determining precise position and time information of mobile nodes in a wideband wireless network that exploits cooperation among the nodes. Shen’s work, detailed in a two-part paper in the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory October 2010 issue, provides new insights into cooperative localization and facilitates the design of location-aware networks.

Now in its third year, the Marconi Young Scholar Awards Program recognizes outstanding young researchers in the fields of communications and the Internet. “Marconi Society Young Scholars have demonstrated extraordinary early promise and already have made an impact in their fields of research,” said Robert Lucky, chairman of the Marconi Society. “The selection committee looks for candidates who show the potential to win the Marconi Prize — the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in communications science — at some point in the future.”

Shen is one of three students chosen this year from an international slate of candidates. Shen was born in Shanghai and received his BS degree from Tsinghua University in Beijing. He held the Walter A. Rosenblith Presidential Fellowship and is working under the supervision of Professor Moe Win at MIT.

“Shen’s work is impressive and he has chosen an important field of study,” said Theodore Rappaport, a professor and founding director of the Wireless Networking and Communications Group (WNCG) at the University of Texas at Austin. “Location awareness could revolutionize several present and future technologies since positional information is often needed to facilitate numerous operations. There are many important military and commercial applications that benefit from precise position and time information, including blue-force tracking, search-and-rescue operations, intruder detection, asset management, coordination of events, and authentication for secure communication.”

The Marconi Society Young Scholars Awards were launched with a generous donation from 2007 Marconi Fellow Ronald L. Rivest, an MIT professor who co-founded RSA encryption, the major encryption system used throughout the world for secure transactions on the Internet. 

The Marconi Society was established in 1974 through an endowment set up by Gioia Marconi Braga, daughter of Guglielmo Marconi, the Nobel laureate who invented radio (wireless telegraphy). Through symposia, conferences, forums and publications, the Marconi Society promotes awareness of major innovations in communication theory, technology and applications with particular attention to understanding how they change and benefit society.

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