WPI's John M. Rulnick Earns National Science Foundation Award

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass. - John M. Rulnick of Charlton, Mass., an assistant professor in Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, has been awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) award in support of a proposed project. He is the son of I. Richard Rulnick and the late Hazel L. Rulnick of West Springfield, Mass.

The project is titled "CAREER: Efficient Distributed Resource Allocation Algorithms, with Application to Wireless Communications." The continuing grant, which begins this year with $60,000 in funding, has been approved on scientific and technical merit for four years. Contingent on the availability of funds and the scientific progress of the project, the NSF will provide $50,000 for each of the next three years for a total of $210,000.

The award is part of the NSF's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program, which encourages the growth of young faculty members as both educators and researchers.

"The first year of the project will see the integration of the already completed portions of this particular line of research into the undergraduate communications and networking curriculum," Rulnick said. "Teams of students in the communication systems area will visit the issues encountered in the design of …wireless networks, and at the same time discover the economic interpretations and implications."

The research will develop a prototype network, leading to a new undergraduate course in communication systems design and network resource allocation, with an emphasis on wireless networks.

An assistant professor at WPI since 1996, Rulnick has pursued research in wireless communications; performance, reliability and security of systems and networks; parallel and distributed processing systems; game theory; probability theory and stochastic models.

He received a 1986 S.B. degree in electrical engineering from MIT and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1991 and 1996. Before coming to WPI, he worked in industry as an electrical engineer and as a consultant for defense and technology planning.

A member of scientific and professional organizations including the American Mathematical Society, the American Society for Engineering Education, the Association for Computing Machinery, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Institute for Mathematical Statistics, he was named WPI's 1997-98 Samuel Satin Distinguished Fellow in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

He has written for publications such as Wireless Networks and the International Journal of Game Theory and has served as associate and area editor for the Journal of Applied Mathematics and Decision Sciences. He also has served as a session chair for IEEE Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications and for the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences.

Rulnick is the ninth WPI faculty member to win a CAREER award since the NSF initiated the program in 1995. Previous WPI recipients are Maria Cruz, assistant professor of computer science, Chrysanthe Demetry, Norton assistant professor of mechanical engineering, George T. Heineman, assistant professor of computer science, James C. Hermanson, associate professor of mechanical engineering, John A. McNeill and Christof Paar, both assistant professors of electrical and computer engineering, Fabio H. Ribeiro, assistant professor of chemical engineering, and Barbara E. Wyslouzil, associate professor of chemical engineering.

WPI, founded in 1865, is renowned for its project-based curriculum. Under the WPI Plan, classroom studies are integrated with research projects conducted on campus and around the world.