Pulkit Grover: Information Theory, Energy-Efficient Communication and Computing, and Neural Sensing
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Pulkit Grover: Information Theory, Energy-Efficient Communication and Computing, and Neural Sensing

My research focuses on information and communication technologies and how to reduce the energy requirements by these systems and technologies.
Today, these systems consume 8 to 12, or even up to 15% of the world’s energy. We are
working towards reducing them through understanding, for instance, data center energy or, in general,
communication energy. But the research also has another side to it, which is reducing
energy required for wireless, portable devices, particularly in the context of biosensing
or neural sensing. All of us are going to have a hundred devices per person or a thousand
devices per person in 15, or maybe even five years by some estimates. So what we need to
do is have a more systematic approach, a more theory-guided approach, which helps us present
systems that effectively work in all situations. We are working with the right set of people—engineers,
neuroscientists, doctors, circuit designers—and what we are doing is we are coming up with
novel strategies that question the fundamental limits that had been established a long time
back. The biggest problem that we are facing today is that there is no single modality
in neuroscience that lets you capture the dynamics of the brain signal, both at high
spatial accuracy and high temporal accuracy, so you can quickly locate how the brain activity
is moving around the brain. There is no one technique that does it, and what we need is
one portable technique that does it. The hope is that these kinds of devices will enable
not just better brain-machine interfaces, but also better diagnosis of many diseases
such as epilepsy. I am really impressed with the quality of both undergraduate and graduate
students at CMU. The way my lab is structured, we collaborate heavily with undergraduate
students in interaction with practice, and then graduate students and myself focus primarily
on theoretical results and obtaining new theory for these practical problems that are developing

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