Posted on December 3, 2020 in ATSC News
Muriel Médard has always been interested in tech transfer and the creative tension in engineering between theory and practice. That passion inspired her to co-found three companies in the area of network coding for the purpose of tech transfer, CodeOn (for transfer of intellectual property in network coding), Steinwurf (for the provisioning of best in industry ensure-correcting coding/decoding software for network coding and legacy codes) and Chocolate Cloud (for secure, highly available distributed coded storage).
“While the tech transfer work above has been in the domain of network and erasure coding principally, my involvement in ATSC has centered around a new decoding algorithm for error-correction,” said Médard.
A decorated scholar, Muriel obtained all several degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After graduating, she went to work for a couple of years at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. She started her career as a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1998 before returning to MIT as a faculty member two years later and has remained there since.
Her involvement in ATSC 3.0 came after being introduced to Glenn Reitmeier, one of the leaders in the HDTV Grand Alliance that created the ATSC standard in 1995.
“I attended a meeting and found it truly engaging – a real nexus of the latest advances in technology with the hard and messy problems of engineering. The dynamics of the group also appealed to me, as there is a depth of expertise mixed with genuine intellectual curiosity. The collegiality and engagement are outstanding,” said Médard.
Her work with ATSC has primarily centered around a new decoding algorithm for error-correction.
Co-developed with Ken Duffy, who heads the Hamilton Institute in Maynooth University in Ireland, Médard’s noise-centric decoding, called Guessing Random Additive Noise Decoding (GRAND) uses recent developments in the analysis of guesswork to remove the effect of noise.
“We have established theoretically that GRAND is optimum for any code with moderate redundancy and we have been working with Rabia Yazicigil-Kirby at Boston University, with whom we have produced the first GRAND chip,” Médard said.
She believes the reach of ATSC bears real promise to bring new services to all communities – whether they be in densely serviced urban areas, or under-provisioned rural ones.
“Having flexible, reliable, and highly available offerings that are not reliant on a subset of service providers I think can dramatically increase the connectivity of consumers,” Médard added.
Muriel is the mother of four children and married her husband, Ken, in 2017. They enjoy long distance walking and hiking and she is deeply involved with her son’s school, the Internation School of Boston, where she serves on the board of trustees as treasurer.
Posted in ATSC News
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