Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thursday, February 27, 2014

IEEE North American School of Information Theory

The 2014 IEEE North American School of Information Theory (NASIT) will be held right here in T.O., from June 18-21, 2014. It will be held at the Fields Institute, on the lovely downtown campus of the University of Toronto.

This is a great event with a stellar lineup of speakers, and you should apply. Deadline is March 7.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Lab equipment for molecular communication

You may have seen our PLOS ONE paper about tabletop molecular communication, which received loads of media coverage. One of the goals of this paper was to show that anyone can do experiments in molecular communication, without any wet labs or expensive apparatus.

For molecular communication researchers, hobbyists, or anyone else who wants to do experiments like ours, my PhD student, Nariman Farsad, is making our apparatus available as an easy-to-use kit. (Full disclosure: the equipment is distributed through a small business founded by Nariman; I have no financial interest in the business.)

For further details and quotes, please contact Nariman at:

Thursday, December 19, 2013

[Updated] Doing the media rounds

My paper on molecular communication came out last night on PLOS ONE:

N. Farsad, W. Guo, and A. W. Eckford, "Tabletop Molecular Communication: Text Messages through Chemical Signals," PLoS ONE, vol. 8, no. 12, December 18, 2013.

Here I am giving an interview to CTV News Channel.

Here's coverage in the National Post.

I also did a radio interview, and a few other outlets picked up the story. I'll update with more links as I get them.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Verdù interviews Fano

You must check out Sergio Verdù's amazing interview with Robert Fano in this month's IT Society newsletter. A giant of information theory, Fano was the third recipient of the Shannon award, and is probably best known in our community for the Fano inequality.

The sweep of Fano's career is incredible. He coined the term mutual information. At MIT in 1950, he gave what was likely the first course anywhere on information theory; it was in this class that David Huffman famously invented the Huffman code in a term paper.  But by the sixties, Fano was already out of information theory -- he wrote a book on electromagnetism, then got interested in computer science, becoming the founding director of the centre that would become CSAIL. Now 95 years old, he still keeps an office at MIT.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

[Updated] Molecular Communication book: Radio interview on CKNW, Vancouver

I did a radio interview on The Shift with Mike Eckford, on CKNW in Vancouver, about my new book. Here it is on SoundCloud.

UPDATE: Here's an embedded version.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New book: Molecular Communication

How does it feel to (co-)write a book and hold the finished product in your hands? About like this:

Many, many thanks to my excellent co-authors, Tadashi Nakano and Tokuko Haraguchi, for their hard work; thanks to Cambridge for accepting this project and managing it well; and thanks to Satoshi Hiyama for writing a nice blurb.

Here's the back-cover text:
This comprehensive guide, by pioneers in the field, brings together, for the first time, everything a new researcher, graduate student or industry practitioner needs to get started in molecular communication. Written with accessibility in mind, it requires little background knowledge, and provides a detailed introduction to the relevant aspects of biology and information theory, as well as coverage of practical systems. The authors start by describing biological nanomachines, the basics of biological molecular communication and the microorganisms that use it. They then proceed to engineered molecular communication and the molecular communication paradigm, with mathematical models of various types of molecular communication and a description of the information and communication theory of molecular communication. Finally, the practical aspects of designing molecular communication systems are presented, including a review of the key applications. Ideal for engineers and biologists looking to get up to speed on the current practice in this growing field.
The book will be released on October 31 in North America. You can pre-order it on Amazon.