Professor Dina Katabi has been named one of the 2013 MacArthur Fellows. Often referred to as “genius grants,” the MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to individuals who have “shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.”
The 2013 fellows will receive a $625,000 prize over a five-year period. Fellows are selected based on exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.
Katabi, a principal investigator at CSAIL and one of the directors of the MIT Center for Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing
, was honored for her work, “at the interface of computer science and electrical engineering to improve the speed, reliability, and security of data exchange. Katabi has contributed to a range of networking issues, from protocols to minimize congestion in high-bandwidth networks to algorithms for spectrum analysis, though most of her work centers on wireless data transmission.”
The MacArthur Foundation cited Katabi’s work in reducing retransmission rates when sending information over a wireless network; using WiFi signals to track human motion through walls and door, technology that could be used to allow humans to interface with computers through gestures; protecting low-power device like medical implants from malicious attack; and developing data protocols to address network congestion.
“Through her numerous contributions, Katabi has become a leader in accelerating our capacity to communicate high volumes of information securely without restricting mobility,” wrote the MacArthur Foundation of her work.
Seven CSAIL members, including Katabi, have been named MacArthur Fellows since the program’s inception in 1981. Previous CSAIL MacArthur Foundation Fellows include: Tim Berners-Lee, Erik Demaine, Daniela Rus, Richard Stallman, Peter Shor and Jack Wisdom.