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Home | Seminars and Symposia | Past seminars/symposia: July 16–30, 2018

An Introduction to Quantum Shannon Theory


Javier Rodríguez Fonollosa

July 16–30, 2018
20 hour short course
3:00 daily

405 Walter Library

Javier Rodríguez Fonollosa

In this series of seminars we concentrate on Quantum Shannon Theory or Quantum Information Theory, an specific area within the general context of Quantum Information Science. Quantum Shannon Theory combines two of the great sciences of the twentieth century, Quantum Theory, established in 1920s and 1930s by physicist such as Planck, Einstein, de Broglie, Bohr, Heisenberg, Schr¨odinger, Pauli, Dirac and von Neumann and Information Theory, born in 1948, after the work of Shannon. We will not consider any specific physical system and will keep the study in theoretical terms, studying the ultimate capacity of noisy physical systems, governed by the laws of quantum mechanics, to preserve information and correlations. This series of seminars will be following a script similar to the the one commonly used in introductory courses of (classical) information theory, but adapted to the quantum setting. It begins reviewing the postulates of quantum mechanics and the mathematical models for quantum systems. In contrast to classical information theory in which uncertainty in is only caused by lack of precise knowledge, in quantum information theory uncertainly is a fundamental property, and both kinds of uncertainties, the classical and the quantum, are combined. Quantum channels are defined where classical channels are a particular case. Similarly, entropic measures of information are defined together with the typicality formalism. Finally, the fundamental theorems for the transmission of (classical) information and private information over quantum channels are presented and proved. Examples of capacity expressions for specific channels are given and open problems outlined.

General previous knowledge of information theory and basic matrix algebra (e.g., eigendecomposition, SVD, kroneker products) is highly recommended to fully benefit from this series of seminars.


Javier Rodríguez Fonollosa received the telecommunication engineering degree from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain, in 1988, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering at Northeastern University, Boston, MA, in 1992.

In 1989 he held a visiting appointment at the European Space Agency Centre in The Netherlands. From the Fall of 1989 until 1992 he was Research Assistant at Northeastern University, Boston, MA and the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, where, upon completion of his Ph.D. degree, he became Research Associate. In 1993 he joined the department of Signal Theory and Communications of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, where he became Associate Professor in 1996 and Professor in 2003.

In 1995 he led UPC's participation in the European Commission funded ACTS Mobile projects TSUNAMI(II) and SUNBEAM that included the analysis of adaptive antennas in 2on and 3rd generation cellular mobile communication systems. Since January 2000 until 2003 he was technical and project coordinator of the IST projects METRA and I-METRA dedicated to the introduction of multi-antenna terminals in UMTS and Systems beyond 3G. Since January 2006 to December 2008 he coordinated the Sixth Framework Programme IST project SURFACE which evaluated the performance of a generalized air interface with self-configuration capabilities. In November 2006 he initiated the coordination together with Josep Vidal of the 5 year Type C-Consolider project Fundamental bounds in Network Information Theory of the National Research Plan of Spain.

Since December 2008 he is the Coordinator of the CONSOLIDER-INGENIO 2010 Foundations and Methodologies for Future Communication and Sensor Networks (COMONSENS), a 6 year € 3.5 Million effort of 135 researchers belonging to 10 universities and research centers in Spain.

He has participated as a panelist in the National Science Foundation (NSF) evaluation committee of Wireless Information Technology and Networking and on a regular basis for the European Commission in the evaluation of proposals and technical verification of projects submitted to the Fifth and Sixth Framework Programme. In June 2008 he participated in the KTH International Research Assessment Exercise 2008 as a member of the Information and Communication Systems panel. He also participated in the Research Evaluation of Aalto University as a member of the Computer Science and Information Technology panel and in the priority program "Communications in Interference Limited Networks (COIN)" of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) in June 2009.

He was department head of the Signal Theory and Communications department of UPC from October 2006 to January 2010. In the Spring of 2009 he coordinated, together with Alba Pagès, the successful ERASMUS MUNDUS 2009-2013 Master of Science in Research on Information and Communication Technologies (MERIT)EMMC Joint Master Program proposal.

He is the author of more 100 journal and conference papers in the area of signal processing and communications. Since May 2005 he is member of the Editorial Board of the EURASIP Signal Processing Journal. In June 1995 and September 2001 he was co-chairman and organizer of the IEEE Signal Processing/ATHOS Workshop on Higher-Order Statistics held in Begur, Girona, Spain and of the IST Mobile Communications Summit 2001 held in Sitges, Barcelona, Spain. He was elected IEEE Senior Member and member of the Signal Processing for Communications (SPCOM) Technical Committee of the IEEE Signal Processing Society in February 1998 and January 1999 respectively.

Since February 2010 until July 2014 he was manager of the Communications and Electronic Technologies (TEC) area of the National Research Plan of Spain of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO).