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Contact Information

Atwater Kent Laboratories, 204
Phone: +1-508-831-5913
Fax: +1-508-831-5491

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Lifeng Lai

My main research interests are information theory, stochastic signal processing and their applications in security, wireless communications and other related areas. I am particularly interested in how to extract, process and transmit useful information securely and reliably. In my research group, we strive to understand the fundamental limits and are also interested in designing practical schemes to approach or achieve these fundamental limits. I received the B.E. and M. E. degrees in Information Science and Electrical Engineering from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China in 2001 and 2004 respectively, and the PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Ohio State University at Columbus, OH, in 2007. I was a postdoctoral research associate at the Department of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University from 2007 to 2009. After spending three years as an assistant professor at University of Arkansas, Little Rock from 2009 to 2012, I joined Worcester Polytechnic Institute as an assistant professor in Aug. 2012.

I have received several awards for my work including the Best Paper Award from IEEE Global Communications Conference (Globecom) in 2008, the Best Paper Award from IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC) in 2011, the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation in 2011, and the Northrop Young Researcher Award from University of Arkansas, Little Rock in 2012.

Research Interests

  • Wireless network security
  • Information theory
  • Stochastic signal processing


  • B.E. Zhejiang University, 2001
  • M.E., Zhejiang University, 2004
  • Ph.D., the Ohio State University, 2007

Featured Publications

  • P. K. Gopala, L. Lai and H. El Gamal, "On the Secrecy Capacity of Fading Channels," IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, vol. 54, no. 10, pp. 4687 - 4698, Oct. 2008.
  • L. Lai and H. El Gamal, "The Relay-Eavesdropper Channel: Cooperation for Secrecy," IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, vol. 54, no. 9, pp. 4005 - 4019, Sept. 2008.
  • L. Lai, H. El Gamal, H. Jiang and H. Vincent Poor, "Cognitive Medium Access: Exploration, Exploitation and Competition," IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 239-253, Feb. 2011.
  • L. Lai, H. El Gamal and H. Vincent Poor, "The Wiretap Channel with Feedback: Encryption over the Channel," IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, vol. 54, no. 11, pp. 5059 - 5067, Nov. 2008.
  • L. Lai, Y. Liang and W. Du, "Cooperative Key Generation in Wireless Networks,"IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, Special Issue on Theories and Methods for Advanced Wireless Relays, 2012.

Professional Highlights

  • NSF CAREER Award, 2011
  • IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC) Best Paper Award, 2011
  • IEEE Global Communications Conference (Globecom) Best Paper Award, 2008
  • Northrop Young Researcher Award, 2012
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