[Computational Complexity] Ham Radios, Coding Theory and the Internet
Venkat Guruswami talked at TTI last week giving an overview of recent work in list decoding. Someone asked him about practical applications of his work and he mentioned ham radio operators now able to error-correct signals bounced off the moon.
My memories of ham radio go back to summer camp. As one of the activities, we could go to a trailer with the Ham Radio Guy (who looked something like this) and we would try, not always successfully, to reach other ham radio operators around the world using Morse code and occasionally voice. Plastered around the trailer were postcards from other ham radio geeks he did talk to.
Ham radio was sort of a precursor to the Internet, which begs the question—Why hasn't the Internet made ham radio obsolete? You get much better bandwidth over TCP/IP than bouncing signals off the moon and you don't need a license to use the Internet.
Posted by Lance to Computational Complexity at 4/16/2006 08:04:00 AM