Charles S. Sydnor Distinguished Professor of Computer Science
Robert Calderbank is Director of the Information Initiative at Duke University, where he is Professor of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics. He joined Duke in 2010, completed a 3 year term as Dean of Natural Sciences in August 2013, and also served as Interim Director of the Duke Initiative in Innovation and Entrepreneurship in 2012. Before joining Duke he was Professor of Electrical Engineering and Mathematics at Princeton University where he also directed the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics.
Before joining Princeton University Dr. Calderbank was Vice President for Research at AT&T. As Vice President for Research he managed AT&T intellectual property, and he was responsible for licensing revenue. AT&T Labs was the first of a new type of research lab where masses of data generated by network services became a giant sandbox in which fundamental discoveries in information science became a source of commercial advantage
At Duke, Dr. Calderbank works with researchers from the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development, developing information technology that is able to capture a full spectrum of behavior in very young children. By supporting more consistent and cost-effective early diagnosis, the team is increasing the opportunity for early interventions that have proven very effective.
At the start of his career at Bell Labs, Dr. Calderbank developed voiceband modem technology that was widely licensed and incorporated in over a billion devices. Voiceband means the signals are audible so these modems burped and squeaked as they connected to the internet. One of these products was the AT&T COMSPHERE® modem which was the fastest modem in the world in 1994 – at 33.6kb/s!
Together with Peter Shor and colleagues at AT&T Labs Dr. Calderbank developed the group theoretic framework for quantum error correction. This framework changed the way physicists view quantum entanglement, and provided the foundation for fault tolerant quantum computation.
Dr. Calderbank has also developed technology that improves the speed and reliability of wireless communication by correlating signals across several transmit antennas. Invented in 1996, this space-time coding technology has been incorporated in a broad range of 3G, 4G and 5G wireless standards. He served on the Technical Advisory Board of Flarion Technologies a wireless infrastructure company founded by Rajiv Laroia and acquired by Qualcomm for $1B in 2008.
Dr. Calderbank is an IEEE Fellow and an AT&T Fellow, and he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2005. He received the 2013 IEEE Hamming Medal for contributions to coding theory and communications and the 2015 Shannon Award.
Appointments and Affiliations
- Charles S. Sydnor Distinguished Professor of Computer Science
- Professor of Computer Science
- Director of the Rhodes Information Initiative at Duke
- Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Professor of Mathematics
- Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society
- Office Location: 140 Science Drive, 317 Gross Hall, Durham, NC 27708
- Office Phone: (919) 613-7874
- Email Address: email@example.com
- B.S. University of Warwick (United Kingdom), 1975
- M.S. Oxford University (United Kingdom), 1976
- Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, 1980
Awards, Honors, and Distinctions
- Elected Member. American Academy of Arts & Sciences. 2022
- NAI Fellow. National Academy of Inventors. 2014
- Fellow. American Mathematical Society. 2013
- Richard W. Hamming Medal. Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers. 2013
- AAAS Fellows. American Association for the Advancement of Science, The. 2012
- Membership. National Academy of Engineering. 2005
- Highly Cited Researcher. Thomson Reuters. 2001
- Fellows. Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers. 1998
- COMPSCI 393: Research Independent Study
- COMPSCI 590: Advanced Topics in Computer Science
- ECE 483: Introduction to Digital Communication Systems
- ECE 590: Advanced Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering
- ECE 899: Special Readings in Electrical Engineering
- IDS 798: Capstone Project
- MATH 393: Research Independent Study
- MATH 394: Research Independent Study
- MATH 501: Introduction to Algebraic Structures I
- MATH 590-02: Advanced Special Topics in Mathematics
In the News
- Four Faculty Elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences (Apr 28, 2022)
- Duke to Lead Center to Develop U.S. Air Force Wireless Communications Protocols (Oct 21, 2020 | Pratt School of Engineering)
- Duke Launches Center to Bring Computational Thinking to All Students (Oct 12, 2020)
- How to Judge an AI Art Competition (Mar 26, 2019 | Pratt School of Engineering)
- Information Initiative at Duke Named to Honor Michael and Maureen Rhodes (Dec 6, 2018 | Pratt School of Engineering)
- Calderbank Reappointed to New Term as Information Initiative Director (Oct 10, 2018)
- A MindAnd an EarFor Big Data (Feb 27, 2017 | Pratt School of Engineering)
- Duke Receives $9.75 Million for ‘Big Data’ Initiative (Apr 27, 2015)
- DIW Office Connects Duke Experts to Washington (Mar 6, 2015)
- Calderbank, Chilkoti Named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (Dec 16, 2014)
- Putting Big Data to Work in Autism Diagnosis (Nov 25, 2014)
- Math Junior Flips for Bit Flips (Aug 11, 2014 | Duke Research Blog)
- A Toast for Robert Calderbank (Jul 10, 2014)
- Calderbank Receives Shannon Award (Jul 7, 2014)
- Duke Faculty Head to DC to Talk to Policymakers About Math and Art (Jun 18, 2014)
- Van Gogh and the algorithm: How math can save art (Jun 17, 2014 | TIME)
- Calderbank Awarded IEEE Medal (Jun 20, 2013)
- Nguyen, Duc Minh, Robert Calderbank, and Nikos Deligiannis. “Geometric Matrix Completion With Deep Conditional Random Fields.” Ieee Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems 31, no. 9 (September 2020): 3579–93. https://doi.org/10.1109/tnnls.2019.2945111.
- Beirami, A., R. Calderbank, M. M. Christiansen, K. R. Duffy, and M. Medard. “A Characterization of Guesswork on Swiftly Tilting Curves.” Ieee Transactions on Information Theory 65, no. 5 (May 1, 2019): 2850–71. https://doi.org/10.1109/TIT.2018.2879477.
- Michelusi, N., M. Nokleby, U. Mitra, and R. Calderbank. “Multi-Scale Spectrum Sensing in Dense Multi-Cell Cognitive Networks.” Ieee Transactions on Communications 67, no. 4 (April 1, 2019): 2673–88. https://doi.org/10.1109/TCOMM.2018.2886020.
- Vahid, A., and R. Calderbank. “Throughput region of spatially correlated interference packet networks.” Ieee Transactions on Information Theory 65, no. 2 (February 1, 2019): 1220–35. https://doi.org/10.1109/TIT.2018.2860041.
- Zhu, W., Q. Qiu, J. Huang, R. Calderbank, G. Sapiro, and I. Daubechies. “LDMNet: Low Dimensional Manifold Regularized Neural Networks.” Proceedings of the Ieee Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, December 14, 2018, 2743–51. https://doi.org/10.1109/CVPR.2018.00290.