Teaching IT

2007 Shannon Lecture
Teaching IT
Sergio Verdu
Princeton University


A native of Barcelona, Sergio Verdú received the Telecommunications Engineering degree from the Universitat Politècnica de Barcelona in 1980, and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1984. Since 1984 he has been a member of the faculty of Princeton University. Sergio Verdú was elected Fellow of the IEEE in 1992 and member of the U. S. National Academy of Engineering in 2007. He received the IEEE Third Millennium Medal in 2000, and a Doctorate Honoris Causa from his alma mater, now known as the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, in 2005. Sergio Verdú has made wide-ranging contributions to Shannon theory and to its intersections with associated fields, including: the information-spectrum approach and general formulas for channel capacity, minimum data compression rate and capacity per unit cost; the capacity of the single-server queue and other timing channels; a theory of maximal randomness for simulation including a new operational characterization of Shannon capacity; the interface between information theory and estimation theory; the development and application of random matrix methods in information theory; the fundamental tradeoff between energy-per-bit and bandwidth in the wideband limit; discrete universal denoising; channel codes for data compression; and the capacity of CDMA and multiantenna systems. He is a recipient of several paper awards from the IEEE: the 1992 Donald Fink Paper Award, the 1998 Information Theory Outstanding Paper Award, an Information Theory Golden Jubilee Paper Award, the 2002 Leonard Abraham Prize Award in the field of Communications Systems, and the 2006 Joint Communications/Information Theory Paper Award. In addition, he received the 2000 Paper Award from the Japan Telecommunications Advancement Foundation. In 1998, Cambridge University Press published his book "Multiuser Detection," for which he received the 2000 Frederick E. Terman Award from the American Society for Engineering Education. In 1990-1993, Sergio Verdú served as Associate Editor for Shannon Theory of the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of Foundations and Trends in Communications and Information Theory. Elected to the Board of Governors in 1989, he served as President of the IEEE Information Theory Society in 1997. He edited the 50th anniversary commemorative issue of the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory in 1998, reprinted by IEEE Press as the volume "Information Theory: 50 Years of Discovery." He was co-chair of the 2000 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory, as well as the Information Theory Workshops held in 1990, 1994, and 2004. Sergio Verdú has held visiting appointments at the Australian National University, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the University of Tokyo, and the University of California, Berkeley. In 2002, he held the Hewlett-Packard Visiting Research Professorship at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, Berkeley.