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Vincent W.S. Chan, head of the Communications and Information Technology Division at MIT Lincoln Laboratory since 1994, has been named to a joint professorship in the Departments of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, effective November 16. He also has been named co-director of the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS), replacing Professor Robert Gallager, who has served as co-director for 12 years.
In announcing the appointments, Professor John Vander Sande, acting dean of the School of Engineering, said, "We are very pleased that Dr. Chan has joined the School of Engineering faculty. His expertise in a variety of advanced communications and technologies--optical, wireless and space communications, and networks--is broadly applicable to the two departments he joins."
"The laboratory has an outstanding reputation for its theoretical and conceptual research in communications, control and signal processing," said Professor Sanjoy Mitter, current LIDS co-director. "Professor Chan's appointment adds an important technological dimension to our research which will enable us to fulfill our broader intellectual mission."
Professor Chan is the principal investigator of a new internet consortium called ONRAMP formed by AT&T; Cabletron; J.D.S. Fitel Co.; and MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science, LIDS and the d'Arbeloff Laboratory for Information Systems and Technology. He received the SB and SM in electrical engineering from MIT in 1971, the EE in 1973 and the PhD in 1974. He was an assistant professor at Cornell University from 1974-77 before returning to MIT in June 1977. He joined MIT Lincoln Laboratory three months later.
By dint of his research, vision and ability to attract and mentor outstanding staff, Professor Chan has made MIT Lincoln Laboratory the world leader in free-space optical communications. As associate head of communications and information technology in the late 1980s, herepositioned MIT Lincoln Laboratory's optical communications research to focus on all-optical networking.
By 1990, Dr. Chan was director of a consortium that soon was in the vanguard of both wavelength-division multiplexed and time-division multiplexed architectures, technology and all-optical network test beds.
LIDS has as its mission the advancement of the science and technology of systems, communications, control and signal processing.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 9, 1998.