At LIDS we consider it our mission to: “Lead the national educational and research agenda in detection, estimation, decisions, control, communication and networks, emphasizing conceptually deep, analytically precise and creative thinking.” We have undergone significant growth and changes over the last few years. LIDS emphasizes pursuit of basic knowledge as the foundation for innovation. While maintaining, with strong commitments, our roots in fundamental research related to information science, we have also initiated work on system architectures and joined with computer scientists and hardware engineers to broaden our perspectives in the research, design, prototyping and tests of systems such as networks and unmanned air-vehicles.

Our research has expanded as a result of tripling the size of the faculty and student body, and we now have several interdisciplinary programs that feature active participation from other laboratories. The increase in faculty size is largely due to the hiring of junior faculty members in several academic departments. They have brought new energy and perspectives to our community. We also have the good fortune of having a large number of accomplished engineers and industry leaders join us as research affiliates. They provide easy access to valuable practical experiences and advice on the choice of new frontiers and problems to tackle. We are also grateful to alumni and friends of LIDS who have donated both time and resources to the vitality of the laboratory in this time of growth. The laboratory is well poised for the future, and we are excited about the many vibrant research thrusts we are exploring in the important areas of information, decision and system science.

Our community recognizes that both these current developments and our rich history help shape our unique character. The momentum of our research builds upon the innovations of the past and the energy of our current constituents to assure our continued place at the forefront of these fields. In this newsletter we offer you a perspective on that past and present that you aren’t likely to find elsewhere. Bob Gallager’s astute and at times surprising interview provides a window into our history, while the profile of current student research and overview of recent activities show the promise of today’s LIDS.


Vincent Chan
Joan and Irwin Jacobs Professor
Director, Laboratory for Information & Decision Systems