Erdal Arıkan

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Erdal Arıkan
Born 1958
Ankara, Turkey
Nationality Turkish
Alma mater California Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Known for Invention of Polar Codes
Awards IEEE W.R.G. Baker Award
Information Theory Society Paper Award
IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal
Scientific career
Fields Information Theory and Coding, Communication Systems
Institutions Bilkent University

Erdal Arıkan (born 1958) is a Turkish professor in Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey. In 2013, Arıkan received IEEE W.R.G. Baker Award for his contributions to polar codes.



He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA in 1981. He finished his M.S. and Ph.D. studies in Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, in 1982 and 1985, respectively.

Academic background[edit]

Arıkan served as an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before returning to Turkey. He joined Bilkent University as a faculty member in 1987.

In 2008 Arıkan invented polar codes, a system of coding that provides a mathematical basis for the solution of Shannon's channel capacity problem.[1] A three-session lecture on the matter given in January 2015 at Simons Institute's Information Theory Boot Camp at the University of California, Berkeley is available on YouTube.[2][3][4] The lecture is also featured on Simons Institute's own webpage, which also includes the slides used by Arikan in his presentation.[5]

Arikan is an IEEE Fellow, and was chosen as an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer for 2014-2015.[6]


In 2010, Arıkan received the IEEE Information Theory Society Paper Award and the Sedat Simavi Science Award for solving a problem related to the construction of coding schemes that send information at a rate better suited to the capacity of communication channels. The problem had remained unresolved ever since the field of information theory was first established by Claude Shannon in 1948.[7] Arıkan became the recipient for the Kadir Has Achievement Award in 2011 for the same accomplishment.

In 2013 he received the IEEE W.R.G. Baker Award for his work in the field of polar coding.


  1. ^ Kalai, Gil (2010-11-25). "Emmanuel Abbe: Erdal Arıkan's Polar Codes". Combinatorics and more. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  2. ^ Simons Institute (2015-01-20), Polar Codes I, retrieved 2017-01-26 
  3. ^ Simons Institute (2015-01-20), Polar Codes II, retrieved 2017-01-26 
  4. ^ Simons Institute (2015-01-20), Polar Codes III, retrieved 2017-01-26 
  5. ^ "Polar Codes I | Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing". Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  6. ^ "Erdal Arıkan | Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing". Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  7. ^ "Prof. Erdal Arıkan Receives Kadir Has Achievement Award". Retrieved 2017-01-26.