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Information theorist named to QUALCOMM Chair

Alon Orlitsky directs UCSD's Information Theory and Application Center.
Alon Orlitsky directs UCSD's Information Theory and Application Center.

More than 500 researchers from around the world gathered at Calit2 Jan. 29-Feb. 2, 2007 for the second annual Information Theory and Applications Workshop. The event was organized by UCSD's Information Theory and Applications (ITA) Center director Alon Orlitsky, and coincided with his appointment to the new QUALCOMM Endowed Chair for Information Theory and its Applications.

"Information theory has transformed the world and influenced advances ranging from digital cell phone technology to direct-broadcast satellite transmission," says Irwin Mark Jacobs, a former professor of engineering at UCSD who went on to found two companies based on principles from information theoryŚLinkabit and QUALCOMM. "Professor Orlitsky's expertise and research are at the intersection of theory and its practical applications, and we hope that this endowed chair will help him continue to engage students in this seminal field while also leading the ITA Center as a proactive force in spreading awareness of the potential real-world benefits of information theory."

At the 2007 ITA workshop, some 270 talks were delivered during a diverse program that reflected interest in new fields such as machine learning and quantitative finance that could benefit from information theory, as well as traditional fields such as communications and storage that trace many of their key advances of the last 40 years to the theory that underlies the digital revolution.