Olgica Milenkovic

Olgica Milenkovic
Olgica Milenkovic
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
(217) 244-7358
311 Coordinated Science Lab

For More Information


  • PhD, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2002
  • MSc, Mathematics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2001

Academic Positions

  • Franklin W. Woeltge Professor, 2020
  • Full Professor, 2014-present
  • Discrete Mathematics and Computer Science (DIMACS) Visitor.
  • Visiting Professor, ENSEA, Cergy-Pontoise
  • Visitor, Henri Poincare Institute, Paris
  • Visiting Professor, Harvard University
  • Long term visitor, Simons Institute, UC Berkeley
  • Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2010-2014
  • Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007-2010
  • Visiting Professor, University of California, San Diego 2006-2007
  • Assistant Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder 2002-2007

Major Consulting Activities

  • Consultant, Bell Labs-Lucent Technology, May 2005 - May 2006

Professional Registrations

  • Fellow of the IEEE

Other Professional Activities

  • James L. Massey award committee, 2019-202
  • Information Theory Society Fellows Committee
  • Board of Governors, Information Theory Society

Research Statement

The current research focus of our group is on

1) Developing new approaches for studying problems in bioinformatics and bioengineering using coding and information theory. In particular, we investigate fundamental questions pertaining to design methodologies for DNA microarrays with error- and quality-control features and DNA microarrays that utilize compressed sensing principles.

2) Providing a bridge between the theory of compressed sensing and superimposed coding; non-linear compressive sensing with quantization and fault-tolerant sensing algorithms.

3) Using coding and information theory to study problems such as RNA folding, reverse engineering of gene-regulatory networks, and cost-constrained genome reversal distances.

4) Constructing and analyzing codes on graphs and developing new methods for studying the combinatorial properties of random ensembles of low-density parity-check codes. Our studies mainly focus on the computational complexity of problems quantifying the error-floor phenomena.

5) Analyzing the connections between network coding, matroid theory, and algebraic coding theory.

6) Analyzing the average case complexity of algorithms in coding theory and computer algebra.

Research Interests

  • Federated learning for computational biology
  • Graph and hypergraph neural networks
  • Communications - Coding theory and applications
  • Learning in Hyperbolic Spaces
  • Graph Theory
  • Applications of Steiner Systems
  • Hypergraph clustering
  • DNA-Based Data Storage, Coding for DNA-Based Data Storage, String Reconstruction
  • Community Detection via Correlation Clustering
  • Social Sciences and Voting Theory
  • Rank aggregation
  • Compressive Sensing
  • Signal Processing
  • Information Theory
  • Constrained Coding
  • Error-Control Coding (Algebraic/Iterative)
  • Bioinformatics
  • Analysis of Algorithms

Journal Editorships

  • Editor, Foundations and Trends in Information Theory and Communications, 2020-2022.
  • Guest-editor-in-chief, Special Issue of the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory dedicated to V. I. Levenshtein, 2019-2020
  • Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Molecular Communication, 2016-2017
  • Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, 2011-2013
  • Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, 2009-2011
  • Guest Editor in Chief, Special Issue on Information Theory in Molecular Biology and Neuroscience, IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, 2008.
  • Associate Editor for Coding Theory, IEEE Transactions on Communication Theory, 2007-2010.


  • Keynote speaker, 2023 Biennial Symposium on Communications, Canada, 2023.
  • Keynote speaker, 34th Annual Symposium on Combinatorial Pattern Matching (CPM 2023), France.
  • Keynote speaker, DNA 29, Japan, 2023.
  • BBC Future, How-to-store-data-for-1000-years (coverage of work by O.M.)
  • NVMW Persistent Impact Prize, 2022, Portable and Error-Free DNA-Based Data Storage (with H.T. Yazdi and R. Gabrys)
  • O. Milenkovic, Keynote, Signal processing, Learning and Coding for DNA-Based Data Storage, EUSIPCO, Belgrade, Serbia, 2022.
  • O.Milenkovic, Keynote, Reducing the Latency and Cost of DNA-Based Data Storage Systems, ACM NanoCom (virtual), 2021.
  • O. Milenkovic, Keynote, Reducing the Latency and Cost of DNA-Based Data Storage Systems, ISTC 2020, Montreal, CA (postponed from 2020 to 2021).
  • Scientific American coverage for the DNA Punch-Card System, 2020.
  • Editor's Highlights, Nature Communications (work on the DNA Punch-Card System)
  • Plenary Speaker, ISIT 2020, Los Angeles
  • IEEE IT Fellows Committee Member, 2020-2022
  • Board of Governors, IT Society 2019-2021
  • ETON Talk, ICASSP 2020
  • Plenary speaker, ISITA 2020
  • Plenary speaker, ISTC 2020 (postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic)
  • Cover and feature article of IEEE Spectrum Magazine, Coding for DNA-Based Data Storage, May 2018.
  • Plenary Speaker, International Symposium on Information Theory, 2020.
  • Plenary Speaker, Information Theory Workshop, Visby, Sweden, 2019.
  • Jack K. Wolf (JKW) Lecturer, UCSD, 2019.
  • String reconstruction problems inspired by problems in -omic data analysis, Plenary Talk, LAWC (Latin American Week on Coding and Information), July 2018.
  • Distinguished Lecturer, IEEE Information Theory Society, 2018.
  • The helix vault: Storing information in DNA macromolecules, SPAWC, Plenary talk, June 2018
  • Plenary Speaker, IST Young Scientist Symposium, Austria 2017.
  • IEEE Fellow, 2018
  • Plenary Speaker, 7th Annual Henry Taub TCE Conference, Technion
  • Plenary Speaker, IARPA DNA-Based Storage Workshop, 2016
  • Plenary Speaker, MIT LIDS Student Conference, 2016
  • IEEE Data Storage Technical Committee (DSTC) Best paper award, 2016
  • Dean's Excellence in Research Award, 2013
  • Willett Scholar, 2013-2017
  • Center for Advanced Study Associate, 2013
  • Turbo Coding Conference Plenary Speaker, Gottebourgh, Sweden, 2012

Research Honors

  • NVMW Persistent Impact Prize, 2022, Portable and Error-Free DNA-Based Data Storage (with H.T. Yazdi and R. Gabrys) (2022)
  • IEEE Fellow (2018)
  • Distinguished Lecturer, Information Theory Society 2017-2018. (2017)
  • IEEE Data Storage Technical Committee (DSTC) Best paper award, 2016 (2016)
  • Best student paper award (jointly with Jayadev Acharya (student award recipient) and A. Orlitsky, ISIT 2010. (2010)
  • Top-three paper award, WCMB'08, Leipzig, Germany (2008)
  • NSF Career Award (2007)
  • DARPA Young Faculty Award (2007)
  • Runner-up for best paper award (honorable mentioning), ICC'06, Istanbul, Turkey (2006)
  • Rackham Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, University of Michigan (2001)
  • Best Undergraduate Thesis Award, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Nis, Yugoslavia

Recent Courses Taught

  • ECE 313 (MATH 362) - Probability with Engrg Applic
  • ECE 365 - Data Science and Engineering
  • ECE 398 BD - Making Sense of Big Data
  • ECE 534 - Random Processes
  • ECE 556 - Coding Theory
  • ECE 563 - Information Theory
  • ECE 598 OM - Molecular Storage/Computing

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