Robert Calderbank

Robert Calderbank

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 (Joint)

Professor of Mathematics (Joint)

Professor of Physics (Secondary)

Office Location: 
140 Science Drive, 317 Gross Hall, Durham, NC 27708
Front Office Address: 
Campus Box 90984, 140 Science Drive, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 613-7874


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.


Education & Training

  • Ph.D., California Institute of Technology 1980

  • M.S., Oxford University (United Kingdom) 1976

  • B.S., University of Warwick (United Kingdom) 1975

Selected Grants

Wide-Area Persistent Energy-Efficient Maritime Sensing awarded by Office of Naval Research (Principal Investigator). 2013 to 2016

Discovery of Empirical Components by Information Theory, Random Matrix Theory, and Computational Topology awarded by Princeton University (Co-Principal Investigator). 2013 to 2016

X-Ray Scatter and Phase Imaging for Explosive Detection awarded by US Department of Homeland Security (Co-Principal Investigator). 2011 to 2015

Photon-limited Sensing and Surveillance awarded by Air Force Office of Scientific Research (Principal Investigator). 2011 to 2014


Vahid, A., and R. Calderbank. “Two-user erasure interference channels with local delayed CSIT.” Ieee Transactions on Information Theory, vol. 62, no. 9, Sept. 2016, pp. 4910–23. Scopus, doi:10.1109/TIT.2016.2594224. Full Text

Sokolić, J., et al. “Mismatch in the Classification of Linear Subspaces: Sufficient Conditions for Reliable Classification.” Ieee Transactions on Signal Processing, vol. 64, no. 12, June 2016, pp. 3035–50. Scopus, doi:10.1109/TSP.2016.2537272. Full Text

Huang, J., et al. “The Role of Principal Angles in Subspace Classification.” Ieee Transactions on Signal Processing, vol. 64, no. 8, Apr. 2016, pp. 1933–45. Scopus, doi:10.1109/TSP.2015.2500889. Full Text

Qiu, Q., et al. “Data Representation Using the Weyl Transform.” Ieee Transactions on Signal Processing, vol. 64, no. 7, Apr. 2016, pp. 1844–53. Scopus, doi:10.1109/TSP.2015.2505661. Full Text

Carpenter, Kimberly L. H., et al. “Quantifying Risk for Anxiety Disorders in Preschool Children: A Machine Learning Approach.Plos One, vol. 11, no. 11, 2016, p. e0165524. Pubmed, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0165524. Full Text

Hashemi, J., et al. “A scalable app for measuring autism risk behaviors in young children: A technical validity and feasibility study.” Mobihealth 2015  5th Eai International Conference on Wireless Mobile Communication and Healthcare  Transforming Healthcare Through Innovations in Mobile and Wireless Technologies, Dec. 2015. Scopus, doi:10.4108/eai.14-10-2015.2261939. Full Text

Wang, L., et al. “Signal recovery and system calibration from multiple compressive poisson measurements.” Siam Journal on Imaging Sciences, vol. 8, no. 3, Sept. 2015, pp. 1923–54. Scopus, doi:10.1137/140998779. Full Text

Bajwa, W. U., et al. “Conditioning of Random Block Subdictionaries With Applications to Block-Sparse Recovery and Regression.” Ieee Transactions on Information Theory, vol. 61, no. 7, July 2015, pp. 4060–79. Scopus, doi:10.1109/TIT.2015.2429632. Full Text

Harms, A., et al. “Identification of Linear Time-Varying Systems Through Waveform Diversity.” Ieee Transactions on Signal Processing, vol. 63, no. 8, Apr. 2015, pp. 2070–84. Scopus, doi:10.1109/TSP.2015.2407319. Full Text

Nokleby, M., et al. “Discrimination on the Grassmann Manifold: Fundamental Limits of Subspace Classifiers.” Ieee Transactions on Information Theory, vol. 61, no. 4, Apr. 2015, pp. 2133–47. Scopus, doi:10.1109/TIT.2015.2407368. Full Text


Cnaan-On, I., et al. “Run-length limited codes for backscatter communication.” Icassp, Ieee International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing  Proceedings, 2017, pp. 6110–14. Scopus, doi:10.1109/ICASSP.2017.7953330. Full Text

Hadani, R., et al. “Orthogonal time frequency space modulation.” Ieee Wireless Communications and Networking Conference, Wcnc, 2017. Scopus, doi:10.1109/WCNC.2017.7925924. Full Text

Reboredo, H., et al. “Bounds on the Number of Measurements for Reliable Compressive Classification.” Ieee Transactions on Signal Processing, vol. 64, no. 22, 2016, pp. 5778–93. Scopus, doi:10.1109/TSP.2016.2599496. Full Text

Renna, F., et al. “Classification and Reconstruction of High-Dimensional Signals from Low-Dimensional Features in the Presence of Side Information.” Ieee Transactions on Information Theory, vol. 62, no. 11, 2016, pp. 6459–92. Scopus, doi:10.1109/TIT.2016.2606646. Full Text

Kumar, S., et al. “Beyond double transitivity: Capacity-achieving cyclic codes on erasure channels.” 2016 Ieee Information Theory Workshop, Itw 2016, 2016, pp. 241–45. Scopus, doi:10.1109/ITW.2016.7606832. Full Text

Mappouras, G., et al. “Methuselah flash: Rewriting codes for extra long storage lifetime.” Proceedings  46th Annual Ieee/Ifip International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, Dsn 2016, 2016, pp. 180–91. Scopus, doi:10.1109/DSN.2016.25. Full Text

Kumar, S., et al. “Reed-muller codes achieve capacity on the quantum erasure channel.” Ieee International Symposium on Information Theory  Proceedings, vol. 2016-August, 2016, pp. 1750–54. Scopus, doi:10.1109/ISIT.2016.7541599. Full Text

Nokleby, M., et al. “Rate-distortion bounds on Bayes risk in supervised learning.” Ieee International Symposium on Information Theory  Proceedings, vol. 2016-August, 2016, pp. 2099–103. Scopus, doi:10.1109/ISIT.2016.7541669. Full Text

Vahid, A., and R. Calderbank. “When does spatial correlation add value to delayed channel state information?Ieee International Symposium on Information Theory  Proceedings, vol. 2016-August, 2016, pp. 2624–28. Scopus, doi:10.1109/ISIT.2016.7541774. Full Text

Wang, L., et al. “A general framework for reconstruction and classification from compressive measurements with side information.” Icassp, Ieee International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing  Proceedings, vol. 2016-May, 2016, pp. 4239–43. Scopus, doi:10.1109/ICASSP.2016.7472476. Full Text