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Math @ Duke



Robert Calderbank, Charles S. Sydnor Distinguished Professor of Computer Science

Robert Calderbank

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.


Contact Info:
Office Location:  140 Science Drive, 317 Gross Hall, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 613-7874
Email Address: send me a message

Teaching (Fall 2023):

  • ECE 590.02, ADVANCED TOPICS IN ECE Synopsis
    Gross Hall 324, TuTh 01:25 PM-02:40 PM

Ph.D.California Institute of Technology1980
M.S.Oxford University (United Kingdom)1976
B.S.University of Warwick (United Kingdom)1975

Machine learning • Mental Health • Oblique projection • Phase Transition

Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Nguyen, DM; Calderbank, R; Deligiannis, N, Geometric Matrix Completion With Deep Conditional Random Fields., Ieee Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems, vol. 31 no. 9 (September, 2020), pp. 3579-3593 [doi]  [abs]
  2. Beirami, A; Calderbank, R; Christiansen, MM; Duffy, KR; Medard, M, A Characterization of Guesswork on Swiftly Tilting Curves, Ieee Transactions on Information Theory, vol. 65 no. 5 (May, 2019), pp. 2850-2871 [doi]  [abs]
  3. Michelusi, N; Nokleby, M; Mitra, U; Calderbank, R, Multi-Scale Spectrum Sensing in Dense Multi-Cell Cognitive Networks, Ieee Transactions on Communications, vol. 67 no. 4 (April, 2019), pp. 2673-2688 [doi]  [abs]
  4. Vahid, A; Calderbank, R, Throughput region of spatially correlated interference packet networks, Ieee Transactions on Information Theory, vol. 65 no. 2 (February, 2019), pp. 1220-1235 [doi]  [abs]
  5. Zhu, W; Qiu, Q; Huang, J; Calderbank, R; Sapiro, G; Daubechies, I, LDMNet: Low Dimensional Manifold Regularized Neural Networks, Proceedings of the Ieee Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (December, 2018), pp. 2743-2751 [doi]  [abs]
Recent Grant Support

  • RTG: Linked via L-functions: training versatile researchers across number theory, National Science Foundation, 2023/10-2028/09.      
  • QLCI - CI: Institute for Robust Quantum Simulation, University of Maryland, College Park, 2021/09-2026/08.      
  • Learning to Prevail: Communication in Contested and Adversarial Environments, Air Force Research Laboratory, 2020/09-2025/09.      
  • RINGS: Learning-Enabled Ground and Air Integrated Networks (GAINs), Virginia Tech, 2022/08-2025/05.      
  • Collaborative Research: CIF: Medium: QODED: Quantum codes Optimized for the Dynamics between Encoded Computation and Decoding using Classical Coding Techniques, National Science Foundation, 2021/10-2024/09.      
  • Data-Driven Improved Space-Time Adaptive Processing (STAP) Radar, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, 2021/07-2024/06.      
  • CIF: Small: Improving Quantum Computing and Classical Communication using Discrete Sets of Unitary Matrices, National Science Foundation, 2019/10-2023/09.      
  • HDR TRIPODS: Innovations in Data Science: Integrating Stochastic Modeling, Data Representation, and Algorithms, National Science Foundation, 2019/10-2023/09.      
  • Algebraic and geometric methods for clustering and classification, Princeton University, 2020/09-2023/08.      
  • IUCRC Proposal Phase 1 Duke: Center for Alternative Sustainable and Intelligent Computing (ASIC), National Science Foundation, 2018/09-2023/08.      
  • NSF - IGE: Enhancing Data Skills and Professional Readiness through Vertically-Integrated Interdisciplinary Data Science Capstone Projects, National Science Foundation, 2018/09-2022/08. 
ph: 919.660.2800
fax: 919.660.2821

Mathematics Department
Duke University, Box 90320
Durham, NC 27708-0320