Bio: Pankaj K. Das came to the Jacobs School in July 1999. He is Professor Emeritus, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has had 40 research contracts over the years from Government Agencies which include Office of Naval Research, Rome Air Development Center, National Science Foundation, Army Research Office, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and many commercial companies. Das has authored the textbooks on lasers and optical engineering, optical signal processing, and related topics. He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering at the University of Calcutta in 1964.
Research: Professor Das, a teacher in university settings for more than 35 years, has led research into a number of important electrical engineering fields. Among areas of expertise for Das are acousto-optics, opto-electronics, spread-spectrum communications, and oversampling in analog -to-digital converters. In acousto-optics, acoustical waves are used to control light signals. Das is currently researching how non-destructive, acousto-electronic sensors can detect flaws in walls and other structures. Spread-spectrum devices transmit low-power radio waves that seem noise-like to devices not clued to how the initial narrow-band signal was encoded when distributed across the spectrum. This fact makes spread-spectrum signals less prone to attack from electronic eaves droppers. Using a new encoding algorithm, Das is helping the U.S. Navy secure ship-bound wireless networks. In sampling, the value of an analog signal is read before it is quantized as a digital number. The resolution of the digital representation is normally dependent on the number of bits of the output device. But high resolutions can sometimes be achieved at low-bit counts by oversampling, or reading the initial signal far more frequently.