Welcome to ITA 2011



The main workshop hotel is the Sheraton La Jolla, just south of campus. UCSD-marked buses will shuttle daily between Sheraton and UCSD.

Other popular hotels are the Residence Inn, conveniently located just 500 yards away at 8901 Gilman Drive, the La Estancia, and for the independently-mobile participants who enjoy being woken up by waves crashing at their window, the La Jolla Shores Hotel.

Participants and students looking for shared accommodations or for a UCSD student's couch to crash on, can try Craigslist, or be the first to start a new internet sensation and post on our wiki page



The campus is located about 12 miles, or 25 minutes north of the airport. To get here, you can take a cab (~$45) or any shuttle service (Cloud 9 has a special $20 rate to the Sheraton).

The grand enchilada

The grand unified Sunday reception and registration will be held from 6:30 to 9pm at El Torito, a 2-minute walk from both the Sheraton and the RI (see map). As in past years, food and soft drinks are on us, and what will really get you going will be available for purchase. At the entrance, you will also be able to collect your registration materials.

Package deal

The registration package will include your printed proceedings, receipt, name tag, and this year's poster, revealed for the first time, on the right: Given the sessions' proximity to UCSD's voracious grad students, lunch will be collected daily. The package will therefore also include your lunch, reception, and banquet tickets. What you will still have to wait for are the workshop t-shirts that will be distributed on Monday.

Getting to the Workshop

The workshop will be held in Atkinson Hall, a.k.a. Calit2. UCSD shuttle buses will leave for the workshop from the Sheraton daily at 7:45, 7:55, 8:10, and 8:20am. At end of each day, buses will be available to take you back. Those bent on losing weight can also walk from to the workshop, a 1-mile, 22 google-minutes stroll along the route indicated on the map.

On-roaders can follow the directions to the Hopkins parking lot where daily permits are available for $8. For the best chance of a parking spot, try to arrive before 9am.


Surfing UCSD style

Free internet is available throughout the UCSD campus. We recommend skipping the STUXNET-work and selecting UCSD-GUEST network instead.


The workshop website lists the presentation titles. Once the workshop starts, the titles will be linked to the papers (if submitted), and to the abstracts otherwise. The printed proceedings you'll get at registration will also include all the schedules. Any change past print time (if such happens) will be reflected on the website and on the final program we will post daily at the registration desk.


ITA papers can be included in the IEEE Electronic Library (IEL) and thus accessible via IEEE Xplore. If you would like your paper included in IEL, please check the "upload paper on Xplore button" on the ITA upload page, complete the copyright form available on the page or at the workshop registration desk, and hand it to us by Friday 2/11. Your registration page also includes formatting instructions. If you are content having your paper appear just on our website - simply relax.

Lecture rooms

The technical talks will be held in four parallel tracks. Two at Calit and two in the adjacent CSE and BioE buildings. The rooms are shown on the workshop map and will be clearly marked (by ITA standards).


Continental breakfast will be served at the Calit lobby starting at 8am daily. The technical program will run between 8:30am and 6pm. To comply with ITA Doctors' attention-span recommendations, all session will be three-talks long. Lunch will be served from noon to 1:15 and caffeine-loaded snacks will be available in the afternoon.

Talk times

Talks are allocated a total of 20 minutes, including setup and speaker nano-introduction. To keep sessions synchronized, we request that speakers limit presentations to 18 minutes, less if the talk might be so interesting as to elicit questions. The audience is kindly requested to gradually start thanking the speaker 19 minutes after each talk commences.

To speed up talk transitions, we ask all speakers to introduce themselves to their session chair and upload their slides onto the lecture-hall computer before the session starts.

Food forays

Around 7pm of every workshop day (except banquet Wednesday) we will have one bus going from the Sheraton to one of San Diego's culinary epicenters: Downtown La Jolla (M,F), The Gaslamp District (T),

and Hillcrest (Th). In all days, the return will be on your own.


Following are the talks and events particular to each day.


Starting at lunchtime and continuing till 2:15 we will hold the poster part of 'Graduation Day' where outstanding graduating students and postdocs will present their work. We anticipate great presentations

and hope you can attend. We thank the many workshop participants who have helped identify exceptional students at their institutions.

At 6:00, a
fter the sessions, we will hold a reception to celebrate the life and work of Prof. Rudolf Ahlswede, the Information Theory Society's 1988 and 1990 Paper-Award- and the 2006 Shannon-Award-recipient. Prof. Ahlswede passed away on December 18, 2010. If you would like to say a few words in his memory, please contact Prof. Ulrich Tamm: ulrich.tamm@yahoo.com. Light refreshments will be served outside the auditorium prior to the event.

Evening buses will leave Calit for the Sheraton at 6:15, 6:30, 6:45, 7:00, 7:30, and 7:45. For those craving crawfish (or crepes), the last bus will continue to restaurants in Downtown La Jolla. Return on your own.


After lunch, Ubli Mitra and Rudi Urbanke will return with "Take Cover", the fourth annual relief extravaganza. After mind-reading software, a laser show, and
hot-air balloons, who knows what they have in store. Those who do not camp outside to ensure a seat at the auditorium, will partake in state-of-the-art IT multicast research.

Buses will leave from Calit to the Sheraton at 6:15, 6:30, 6:45, and 7:00, with the last bus continuing to the Downtown Gaslamp-District restaurants. Return again on your own.

Tuesday evening, starting at 7:30, we'll hold a Game Night at the Sheraton's Executive Room. We will provide Scrabble, of course, and a variety of board games. Alas, no Kinect or Wiimote, unless you

donate them to the ITA Library. Per Sheraton rules, we can provide only elementary aliments and beverages, but you are welcome to gorge the Sheraton bar/restaurant.


Wednesday is our special day where information theory and applications come to a happy head. We will have two tracks of Graduation-Day presentations and one track consisting of four tutorials skillfully presented by Andrew Barron (former stats department head at Yale), Xiao-Li Meng (current stats DH at Harvard), Bin Yu (current stats DH at UC Berkeley), and Wei-Biao Wu (future stats DH??? at the University of Chicago).

After lunch, David Donoho from Stanford will deliver the keynote presentation. Passengers arriving than 15 minutes prior to departure will be upgraded to the plush overflow room.

The Banquet
will be held at the Birch Aquarium, with reception at 7pm followed by dinner. The aquarium's exhibits will open at 6:30pm and will be available for viewing throughout the evening. If you don't like what's on the menu, feel free to create your own sushi. Buses will leave from Calit to the Sheraton at 5:45, 6:00, and 6:15, with the last bus picking up people at the Sheraton at 6:30 and continuing to the banquet. Two additional buses will leave the for the banquet at 7:00. Return buses will depart the Birch for the Sheraton every 15 minutes from 9:00 to 10:00.


Part of Thursday's program will be dedicated to the extraordinary achievements of the statistician Prof. David Blackwell, the first African American inducted to the National Academy of Sciences. Prof. Blackwell passed away on July 8, 2010. After lunch, Tom Cover will moderate a specialsession that will include Prof. Blackwell's students John Rolph (now at USC) and Michael Orkin (now at Peralta College), his colleague David Brillinger (UC Berkeley), collaborator Tom Ferguson (UCLA), and Bill Massey (Princeton), recipient of the Blackwell-Tapia Award. Blackwell's daughter, Dr. Ann Blackwell, will also be present. Several technical sessions in the afternoon will feature current research inspired by Blackwell's work.

Evening buses will leave Calit for the Sheraton at 6:15, 6:30, 6:45, and 7:00, with the last bus continuing to Hillcrest. Return on your own.


Friday will be pure research with no special sessions. To reward those who stick with us to the bitter end, we plan an end-of-the-day bash. But frankly, we are a bit tired to think through exactly what we'll do. Or even more honestly, maybe we hope that you will be even more tired so you forget what we promised. Either way we expect a fun-packed chock-ful-o-facts workshop and hope you will stay for all five days.

Buses will leave Calit for the Sheraton at 6:15 and 6:30, with the last bus continuing to Downtown La Jolla. Return on your own.


Even a protracted write-up cannot cover everything. The ITA resources page  provides accommodations and victuals information. The workshop registration desk will be staffed throughout with UCSD personnel and student volunteers who know the location of every campus restroom. For remote help call Samie Romanin 858-822-1499, and if all else fails try the old-fashioned way.

Exquisite workshop pictures will be uploaded on the ITA website as soon as we recover.


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Contributed supplements

Sergio Verdu: Patent pending, not responsible for misuse of Jensen's inequality, mild sufficient conditions.


The ITA In-Flight Magazine

This report purports to acquaint you with the upcoming ITA Workshop. It will be updated as additional information crystallizes. You can also consult the up-to-date version.

Please consider printing a copy along with your boarding pass for your San Diego flight. It may prove more useful than the ad-laden rag in the fully-reclined seat that has just clobbered your Mac. So that you don't fall far behind your fellow passengers, we also included recession-proof method that will get you rich in no time, and a fascinating Google AdSense plugin that will do the same for us (proceeds go to the ITA pizza foundation).

Shannonize, Shannonical

Social networking


Those of you sitting on the tarmac in a Michigan snow storm now, there is a challenging Sudoku puzzle, while for those on shorter flights, our student Hirakendu recommends the video on the right.

Now that the plane has taken off, and you can no longer last-minute cancel on us, let’s get tecnical. The first few paragraphs describe the workshop's general structure. If you have ITA'ed before, you can AYOR skip to this year's Specials section.


The map below shows the main workshop venues: The Sheraton and Residence Inn, Sunday Reception's El Torito, the Birch Aquarium for Wednesday's banquet, and even... the session locations. The following refers to them frequently.