Professor Lixin Gao of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has just received notice that she will receive the honorary title of Fellow from the IEEE “for contributions to inter-domain internet protocol network routing.” IEEE was originally an acronym for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, but today the organization's scope of interest has expanded into so many related fields that it is simply referred to by the letters I-E-E-E (pronounced Eye-triple-E). A non-profit organization, IEEE is the world's leading professional association for the advancement of technology. Professor Gao is the eighth IEEE Fellow on our College of Engineering faculty.
Each year, following a rigorous evaluation procedure, the IEEE Fellow Committee recommends a select group of recipients for one of the IEEE’s most prestigious honors, elevation to IEEE Fellow.
According to the IEEE, “The grade of Fellow recognizes unusual distinction in the profession and shall be conferred by the Board of Directors upon a person with an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. The accomplishments that are being honored shall have contributed importantly to the advancement or application of engineering, science, and technology, bringing the realization of significant value to society.”
Professor Gao’s research interests include multimedia networking, Internet routing, network security, and energy efficient wireless networks. Among other honors, she received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award 1999 and was an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow in 2003.
One example of her research is work that’s beginning to bring a measure of order to the Internet, where the proliferation of domains, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and routes connecting them is gradually getting out of control. She and her collaborators have been developing guidelines for network operators to prevent “oscillation” – or runaway routing among domains – and bring a stiff dose of stability and efficiency to a chaotic situation.
What Gao’s work does is to apply a system of consistent policies to these unwieldy rules of routing. Her research has formulated and analyzed policy-design guidelines for each domain, thus ensuring that the inter-domain routing system “always converges to a unique and stable solution.” (November 2009)