Henry Pfister

  • Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Associate Professor of Mathematics (Secondary)
External address: 140 Science Dr., 305 Gross Hall, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 90984, 315 Gross Hall, Durham, NC 27708
Phone: (919) 660-5288

Henry D. Pfister received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 2003 from the University of California, San Diego and is currently an associate professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of Duke University with a secondary appointment in Mathematics.  Prior to that, he was a professor at Texas A&M University (2006-2014), a post-doctoral fellow at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (2005-2006), and a senior engineer at Qualcomm Corporate R&D in San Diego (2003-2004).

He received the NSF Career Award in 2008 and a Texas A&M ECE Department Outstanding Professor Award in 2010.  He is a coauthor of the 2007 IEEE COMSOC best paper in Signal Processing and Coding for Data Storage and a coauthor of a 2016 Symposium on the Theory of Computing (STOC) best paper.  He served as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory (2013-2016) and a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Information Theory Society (2015-2016).

His current research interests include information theory, communications, probabilistic graphical models, machine learning, and deep neural networks.

Education & Training
  • Ph.D., University of California at San Diego 2003

Parag, P, Chamberland, J-F, Pfister, HD, and Narayanan, K. "Code-Rate Selection, Queueing Behavior, and the Correlated Erasure Channel." IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 59.1 (January 2013): 397-407. Full Text

Yedla, A, Pfister, HD, and Narayanan, KR. "Code Design for the Noisy Slepian-Wolf Problem." IEEE Trans. Communications 61 (2013): 2535-2545. Full Text

Zhang, F, and Pfister, HD. "Verification Decoding of High-Rate LDPC Codes With Applications in Compressed Sensing." IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 58.8 (August 2012): 5042-5058. Full Text

Kim, B-H, and Pfister, HD. "Joint Decoding of LDPC Codes and Finite-State Channels Via Linear-Programming." IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing 5.8 (December 2011): 1563-1576. Full Text

Zhang, F, and Pfister, HD. "Analysis of Verification-Based Decoding on the$q$-ary Symmetric Channel for Large$q$." IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 57.10 (October 2011): 6754-6770. Full Text

Nguyen, PS, Pfister, HD, and Narayanan, KR. "On Multiple Decoding Attempts for Reed–Solomon Codes: A Rate-Distortion Approach." IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 57.2 (February 2011): 668-691. Full Text

Wilson, MP, Narayanan, K, Pfister, HD, and Sprintson, A. "Joint Physical Layer Coding and Network Coding for Bidirectional Relaying." IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 56.11 (November 2010): 5641-5654. Full Text

Fan Zhang, , Xuehong Mao, , Wuyang Zhou, , and Pfister, HD. "Girth-10 LDPC Codes Based on 3-D Cyclic Lattices." IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology 57.2 (March 2008): 1049-1060. Full Text

Hou, J, Smee, JE, Pfister, HD, and Tomasin, S. "Implementing interference cancellation to increase the EV-DO Rev A reverse link capacity." IEEE Communications Magazine 44.2 (February 2006): 58-64. Full Text


Hager, C, Pfister, HD, Graell I Amat, A, and Brannstrom, F. "Deterministic and ensemble-based spatially-coupled product codes." August 10, 2016. Full Text

Hager, C, Pfister, HD, Amat, AG, and Brannstrom, F. "Density evolution and error floor analysis for staircase and braided codes." August 9, 2016.

Kudekar, S, Pfister, HD, Kumar, S, Şaşoǧlu, E, Mondelli, M, and Urbanke, R. "Reed-Muller codes achieve capacity on erasure channels." June 19, 2016. Full Text

Kumar, S, Vem, A, Narayanan, K, and Pfister, HD. "Spatially-coupled codes for write-once memories." April 4, 2016. Full Text

Kudekar, S, Kumar, S, Mondelli, M, Pfister, HD, Sasoglu, E, and Urbanke, RL. "Reed-Muller codes achieve capacity on erasure channels." ACM, 2016. Full Text

Pfister, HD, Emmadi, SK, and Narayanan, K. "Symmetric product codes." October 27, 2015. Full Text

Rengaswamy, N, and Pfister, HD. "Cyclic polar codes." September 28, 2015. Full Text