Faculty Directory

Ulukus, Sennur

Ulukus, Sennur

Department Chair
Distinguished University Professor
Anthony Ephremides Chair in Information Sciences and Systems
Distinguished Scholar-Teacher
Founding Co-Director, Professional Masters in Machine Learning
Electrical and Computer Engineering
The Institute for Systems Research
2337 A.V. WIlliams Bldg.


Sennur Ulukus is the Anthony Ephremides Professor in Information Sciences and Systems in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland at College Park, where she also holds a joint appointment with the Institute for Systems Research (ISR). Prior to joining UMD, she was a Senior Technical Staff Member at AT&T Labs-Research. She received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Wireless Information Network Laboratory (WINLAB)Rutgers University, and the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Bilkent University. Her research interests are in information theory, wireless communications, machine learning, signal processing and networks; with recent focus on private information retrieval, age of information, machine learning for wireless, distributed coded computing, group testing, physical layer security, energy harvesting communications, and wireless energy and information transfer.

Dr. Ulukus is a fellow of the IEEE, and a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher of the University of Maryland. She received the 2003 IEEE Marconi Prize Paper Award in Wireless Communications, the 2019 IEEE Communications Society Best Tutorial Paper Award, the 2020 IEEE Communications Society Women in Communications Engineering (WICE) Outstanding Achievement Award, the 2020 IEEE Communications Society Technical Committee on Green Communications and Computing (TCGCC) Distinguished Technical Achievement Recognition Award, a 2005 NSF CAREER Award, the 2011 ISR Outstanding Systems Engineering Faculty Award, and the 2012 ECE George Corcoran Outstanding Teaching Award. She was a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Information Theory Society for 2018-2019.

She is an Area Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications (2019-present) and a Senior Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Green Communications and Networking (2020-present). She was an Area Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Green Communications and Networking (2016-2020), an Editor for the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications-Series on Green Communications and Networking (2015-2016), an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory (2007-2010), and an Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Communications (2003-2007). She was a Guest Editor for the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications (2008, 2015 and 2021), Journal of Communications and Networks (2012), and the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory (2011). She is the TPC chair of 2021 IEEE Globecom, and was a TPC co-chair of 2019 IEEE ITW2017 IEEE ISIT2016 IEEE Globecom2014 IEEE PIMRC, and 2011 IEEE CTW.


  • B.S. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Bilkent University
  • M.S. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Bilkent University
  • Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rutgers University

Honors and awards

  • IEEE Communications Society Women in Communications Engineering (WICE) Outstanding Achievement Award (2020)
  • IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc) Technical Committee on Green Communications and Computing (TCGCC)  Distinguished Technical Achievement Recognition Award (2020)
  • IEEE Communications Society Best Tutorial Paper Award (2019)
  • Anthony Ephremides Endowed Professorship in Information Sciences and Systems (2018)
  • IEEE Information Theory Society Distinguished Lecturer (2018-2019)
  • Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher (2017)
  • Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, University of Maryland (2016)
  • IEEE Fellow "for contributions to characterizing performance limits of wireless networks" (2016)
  • ECE George Corcoran Outstanding Teaching Award (2012)
  • ISR Outstanding Systems Engineering Faculty Award (2011)
  • NSF CAREER Award (2005)
  • IEEE Marconi Prize Paper Award in Wireless Communications (2003)

Professional memberships

  • IEEE


Information theory, wireless communications, machine learning, signal processing, networks.

Recent focus:

  • Semantic communications
  • Age of information
  • Multi-task and personalized federated learning
  • Private read-update-write for federated submodel learning
  • Private information retrieval
  • Machine learning for wireless
  • Blockchains
  • Group testing
  • Distributed coded computing
  • Physical layer security
  • Energy harvesting communications
  • Wireless energy and information transfer

Baturalp Buyukates (ECE Ph.D. ’21) Honored by IEEE ComSoc

Receives IEEE CTTC Andrea Goldsmith Young Scholars Award

Graduate students win ISR and ECE awards

Awards given for outstanding performance, teaching, and dissertation work.

UMD's 40th Annual Convocation Honors Engineering Staff, Faculty

The University of Maryland's 40th annual Convocation will honor 33 faculty and staff—including four from the A. James Clark School of Engineering—for their contributions to education, research, and the campus community.

Hu, Ulukus, DeVoe Recognized with UMD Distinguished Honors

Three Maryland Engineering professors—Liangbing Hu, Sennur Ulukus, and Don DeVoe—are among the 16 University of Maryland faculty members recognized this year as Distinguished University Professors and Distinguished Scholar-Teachers.

Ulukus and Vithana Honored by IEEE Communication Society

Receive Best Paper Award at IEEE ICC 2023

Congratulations May 2023 ISR graduates!

Here's a list of May graduates with ISR ties---at all degree levels.

ECE Names 2022-2023 Distinguished Dissertation Fellows

Fellowship recognizes excellence in research

Celebrating Women's History Month

Women continue to shape history, including at the Clark School of Engineering. This month we celebrate those landmarks and the work necessary to forge them, and how it’s incumbent upon our larger community to assist in this work.

Ulukus Appointed to NextG Alliance Research Council

Council Focus placed on future of 6G Technology

Five Clark School authors part of new 'Age of Information' book

The text provides detailed information on the AoI network performance metric ushering in new opportunities for rethinking communication system design.

ISR-affiliated graduates, December 2022

ISR congratulates these students, all advised by ISR faculty!

Behtash Babadi Named Associate Chair for Graduate Studies

Will lead Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Program

Algorithms balance learning speeds across tasks in communication networks

FedGradNorm is a distributed dynamic weighting algorithm that balances learning speeds across tasks by normalizing the corresponding gradient norms in PF-MTL. HOTA-FedGradNorm by uses over-the-air aggregation with FedGradNorm in a hierarchical FL setting.

Sennur Ulukus Announced as New ECE Chair

Tenure as Chair began November 7, 2022

FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington visits UMD 5G Secure Test Bed

Simington participated in a CTIA meeting on 5G security and test bed tour hosted by ISR.

Ulukus to speak at VASEM Summit on Oct. 25

The invitation-only summit is sponsored by Virginia's Commonwealth Cyber Initiative.

Alum Ahmed Arafa wins NSF CAREER Award

Arafa will explore using Age of Information metrics for federated learning, cloud computing and remote sensing.

Alum Ravi Tandon appointed to named chair at University of Arizona.

The 2010 ECE Ph.D. is a specialist in wireless networks, security and ML, and had been granted tenure less than a year ago.

An information theoretic approach to improving group infection testing

The research seeks to utilize available, given testing capacity to efficiently control infection spread.

A gachapon ‘blind box’ for private information retrieval

Sennur Ulukus and her student Zhusheng Wang adapt the vending machine toy idea for randomizing PIR.

Bastopcu and Ulukus build model for real-time timely tracking of COVID-19 infection and recovery

The model uses the age of information concept to measure the timeliness of a provider's tracking process.

Congratulations to our December 2021 ISR graduates!

ISR advisors graduated 22 Ph.D., 2 M.S., and 4 M.S.S.E. new alumni in December!

Sennur Ulukus receives 2020 IEEE ComSoc WICE Outstanding Achievement Award

Ulukus honored "for outstanding technical work and for achieving a high degree of visibility in the field of communications engineering, through research and service."

Buyukates and Bastopcu win Best Student Paper Award at IEEE SPAWC 2021

The paper investigates version age scaling in general gossip network models which exhibit a community structure.

ISR gives awards to Professor Richard La, four graduate students

ISR's annual awards ceremony was held on the Iribe Building's cantilever plaza.

Ulukus, Modiano guest-edit IEEE journal special issue on Age of Information

The issue includes 21 articles that reflect the state of the art in Age of Information research.

Pamela Abshire is named UMD Distinguished Scholar-Teacher

She is one of six Clark School faculty honored at the university's annual convocation.

Alumna Jing Yang wins two IEEE Communications Society awards

The Penn State faculty member was a student of Sennur Ulukus.

Sennur Ulukus receives IEEE ComSoc TCGCC Distinguished Technical Achievement Recognition Award

She received the award “for her outstanding technical leadership and achievement in green wireless communications and networking.”

Baturalp Buyukates wins 2nd place in Asilomar Conference student paper contest

Buyukates is a Ph.D. student of professor Sennur Ulukus (ECE/ISR).

Alumnus Ravi Tandon earns tenure at University of Arizona

Former student of Sennur Ulukus has won NSF CAREER Award, Keysight Early Career Professor Award.

Qu, Singh, Chakraborty, D'Antonio win 2020 ISR awards

The 2020 ISR Welcome Back Reception and Awards Ceremony was held online due to the pandemic situation.

New 'Age of Information' approach to the distributed machine learning problem of 'straggling' worker machines

In a new paper, Sennur Ulukus and collaborators use the age of information (AoI) metric to track the recovery frequency of partial computations.

UMD names Derek Paley as a 2020–2021 Distinguished Scholar-Teacher

The program recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding scholarly achievement along with equally outstanding accomplishments as teachers.

Who should Google Scholar update more often?

Research by Ulukus and Bastopcu show that an updater should allocate its total update capacity to researchers proportional to the square roots of their mean citation rates.

Optimal selective encoding for timely updates

Work by Sennur Ulukus and her students relates to the age of information metric in networks.

Information theoretic approach to the private set intersection problem

Ulukus, Banawan and Wang show the PSI problem can be successfully recast as a multi-message symmetric private information retrieval (MM-SPIR) problem with message size 1.

Researchers balance information quality and freshness in information update system design

Sennur Ulukus and Melih Bastopcu solve for the optimum update scheme subject to a desired distortion level.

Khaligh, Rudnick-Cohen win 2019 ISR awards

The awards were given at ISR’s Welcome Back Reception and Awards Ceremony.

Alum Ahmed Arafa to join UNC Charlotte faculty this fall

The information theorist will be a tenure-track assistant professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

Sennur Ulukus is plenary speaker at Canadian Workshop on Information Theory

Ulukus spoke on private information retrieval capacity.

Ulukus, colleagues win Best Tutorial Paper Award

The paper summarizes recent contributions in the broad area of energy harvesting wireless communications.

Sennur Ulukus receives NSF grant to address important data-related medical device issue

When implanted medical devices transmit and process data, they can generate heat detrimental to body tissues.

Alumnus Omur Ozel joins George Washington University as tenure-track faculty

His research addresses reliability, timeliness, security and robustness in existing and emerging communication and computation settings.

Ulukus Named ECE Associate Chair for Graduate Studies

Sennur Ulukus will serve as the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies from 2018-2021.

Alumnus Ravi Tandon Receives 2018 Keysight Early Career Professor Award

Tandon has been recognized for his work on wireless networks and cloud computing environments.

ECE Names 2017-2018 Distinguished Dissertation Fellows

The fellowships are awarded to outstanding students in the final stages of dissertation work in recognition of their research excellence.

Ulukus named Anthony Ephremides Professor in Information Sciences and Systems

The chaired professorship provides annual support for a faculty member in the field of Information Sciences and Systems in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. 

Alumnus Raef Bassily joins Ohio State as tenure-track faculty

At Maryland, Bassily was advised by Professor Sennur Ulukus.

Ulukus Named IEEE ITSOC Distinguished Lecturer

She has been selected by the Information Theory Society as one of only five Distinguished Lecturers for 2018-2019.

Clark School Researchers Recognized Among "World's Most Influential Scientific Minds"

Three Clark School faculty members have been named to Clarivate Analytics' 2017 Highly Cited Researchers list.

Ulukus is PI for new NSF information-theoretic physical layer security grant

The research will address practical issues arising from user misbehavior, conflicting user interests, lack of complete network state information; and to devise practically implementable codes.

ECE Names 2016-2017 Distinguished Dissertation Fellows

Five Electrical and Computer Engineering Ph.D. students were selected as ECE Distinguished Dissertation Fellows for 2016-17.

Alumnus Ravi Tandon receives NSF CAREER Award

Tandon is an assistant professor at the University of Arizona.

Ulukus Delivers UMD Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Lecture

Prof. Ulukus’s talk covered research advances in wireless communications in the last 20+ years, intertwined with her own research in the field and personal journey.

Alumna Jing Yang begins tenure-track position at Penn State

The 2010 EE Ph.D. was a student of Sennur Ulukus.

Four ISR students named to Clark School Future Faculty Fellow program

The program prepares Ph.D. students for academic careers in top-50 engineering schools.

Sennur Ulukus named UMD Distinguished Scholar-Teacher

Ulukus is the ninth ISR faculty member to be so honored.

Alum Ravi Tandon joins University of Arizona's ECE Department

Former student of Sennur Ulukus has research interests in information theory, wireless networks.

Sennur Ulukus named IEEE Fellow

Citation reads, "for contributions to characterizing performance limits of wireless networks."

Ulukus to investigate rechargable networks with energy cooperation

New NSF grant will develop wireless nodes that can harvest ambient energy and share it within a network.

Alumna Jing Yang wins NSF CAREER Award

Yang will design sensor networks that combine energy harvesting communication ideas with 'big data' ideas.

Ulukus to exploit wireless network interference in new NSF grant

Research will help network designers pack more into limited spectrum space.

Ulukus is PI for NSF grant on energy harvesting wireless communication devices

Ulukus will establish performance limits and design principles for networks of these devices.

Students win ECE Dissertation Fellowships

This year all five Ph.D. students are related to ISR.

Ulukus Receives $400K NSF Grant

Professor Sennur Ulukus will focus on wireless security research with funds from the National Science Foundation.

ECE Names 2012-2013 Distinguished Dissertation Fellows

Anand, Fan, Guan, and Xie recognized for outstanding research.

Six ISR students named to Future Faculty Fellows program

Clark School program prepares students for academic careers in Top-50 engineering schools.

Ulukus Invited to Lecture at 2012 European School of Information Theory

Presents to 75 Ph.D. students in Antalya, Turkey on Information Theoretic Security

ECE Names 2011-2012 Distinguished Dissertation Fellows

Ekrem, Ropp, Shroff, and Tyagi recognized for research excellence in their dissertations.

Six ISR grad students in Clark School Future Faculty Program

Program helps students prepare for academic careers in top-50 engineering schools.

Alumnus Tandon awarded best paper at GLOBECOM 2011

Tandon wins best paper at flagship conference of IEEE Communications Society.

Sennur Ulukus is PI for NSF grant on secure cognitive radio networks

Collaborative research includes work with two Finnish universities and Northwestern.

2011 ISR Awards Ceremony winners announced

Awards given to faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students.

ISR faculty earn promotions

Sennur Ulukus, Elisabeth Smela, Min Wu and Bruce Jacob promoted to Full Professor.

Arya Mazumdar wins information theory student paper prize

Ph.D. student wins for paper co-written with advisor Alexander Barg.

Ulukus Receives NSF Grant for Wireless Networks Research

Prof. Sennur Ulukus' research will investigate "Delay Minimization in Wireless Networks."

Ulukus Receives NSF Grant for Wireless Security Research

Prof. Sennur Ulukus wins four-year, $1.1 million grant to secure wireless communication in the physical layer.

Ulukus Awarded NSF Grant for Rechargeable Networks Research

Research focuses on wireless communication networks that recharge by harvesting energy from the environment.

Seven ECE Students Named Future Faculty Fellows

Ph.D. students chosen to participate in Clark School program designed to prepare future professors.

NSA designates University of Maryland as 'National Center of Academic Excellence'

OIT IT director and ECE/ME/ISR faculty honored for work in information assurance research.

Alumnus Soysal Joins Faculty of Turkey's Bahçeşehir University

Alkan Soysal (Ph.D., '08) is assistant professor of electrical and electronics engineering.

ECE Alumnus Wins Best Paper at IEEE Wireless Conference

Onur Kaya, Ph.D. '05, received an award for the paper he co-authored on wireless networking.

NSF multi-user wireless communications grant for Ulukus

Research will develop an understanding and theory about correlated data as well as cooperation and feedback in wireless networks.

Ulukus is PI on new NSF wireless networks grant

Research to take an information theoretic approach in providing guarantees for wireless network security and reliability.

Five ISR communication researchers featured in E@M magazine

Cover story features Professors Ulukus, Ephremides, Narayan, Liu and La

Richard La promoted to associate professor

ECE and ISR faculty member is specialist in network modeling and resource allocation.

ECE Faculty Promotions Announced

Two promoted to professor and four promoted to associate professor.

Post-doctoral Fellow Luo Joins Colorado State Faculty

Luo is moving on after four years as post-doctoral fellow at Maryland.

Shapiro, Barua, Ulukus and Wu receive tenure

Four ISR faculty promoted to associate professor rank

Ephremides is PI for NSF MRI grant on wireless sensor networks

Project will develop experimental prototypes of intelligent embedded systems

Ulukus receives ITR-Cybertrust grant

NSF award to further research on secure wireless systems

Ephremides, Ulukus, Tassiulas part of DoD MURI

Researchers to investigate dynamic, ad-hoc wireless networking

Ulukus receives NSF CAREER Award

ISR/ECE professor researching a network information theoretic approach to wireless ad-hoc and sensor networks

Ephremides, Baras, La, Ulukus awarded wireless networks grant

Research to exploit inter-layer dependencies in network protocols for improved performance.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

  • Fellow, 2016