EECS500 Fall 2015 Department Colloquium

Andrew Eckford
Molecular Communication: From Theory to Practice
York University-Toronto, Ontario
White 411
October 29, 2015

How can we communicate using molecules? This question may unlock new applications in nanorobotics and medicine, but has only recently attracted attention from communication and information theorists. The answer to the question is surprisingly difficult: not only is the medium unfamiliar to communication engineers, but the mathematical details of the communication environment are complicated. In this talk, we present three examples to illustrate the current state of the field: for nanonetworking applications, we present the additive inverse Gaussian channel model; for biological applications, we discuss the information-theoretic capacity of intercellular signal transduction; and for experimental applications, we present a new low-cost, easy-to-use platform to evaluate macroscale molecular communication.


Andrew Eckford received the B.Eng. degree from the Royal Military College of Canada in 1996, and the M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Toronto, in 1999 and 2004, respectively, all in electrical engineering. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at York University, Toronto, Ontario. He held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Toronto, prior to taking up a faculty position at York in 2006. His research concerns the application of information theory to nonconventional channels and systems, especially the use of molecular and biological means to communicate. Dr. Eckford’s research has been covered in media including The Economist and The Wall Street Journal.  He is also a co-author of the textbook Molecular Communication, published by Cambridge University Press, and was a finalist for the 2014 Bell Labs Prize.