A Turk going beyond the limits of human knowledge

With the beginning of the 20th century, many scientists from various fields of knowledge have become more focused on researching the possibilities of the observable universe.

For instance, Albert Einstein postulates his special theory of relativity in a 1905 paper, and nine years after that, in his general theory of relativity published in 1916, he explains that nothing with matter can travel at the speed of light. This was maybe the first limit about the powers that we would not be able to have anyway.

Similarly, Claude Shannon explains in his 1948 paper “A Mathematical Theory of Communication”, he defines the notion of channel capacity which is the maximum rate that data can be sent through a channel with a given bandwidth and a given noise level. If the channel capacity is exceeded, you can expect to lose some of the data. Just like Einstein, Shannon too did not provide us either with any clue for helping us overcome these limits through shortcuts.

But, the scientists never gave up. Towards the end of the 20th century, the number of people thinking that Shannon’s limits can be exceeded using specific methods has gradually started to increase, just like it has been discovered that we could reach our destination through a shortcut taking advantage of the undulating structure of the space.

With the advances in the 1990’s communication infrastructure, humanity has succeeded in nearly reaching Shannon’s limits. This was a phenomenal development, almost as phenomenal as designing a spacecraft that can travel at nearly the speed of light, thus enabling the emergence of Wi-Fi and 3G technologies. In 2007, however, a greater revolution was on the way.

“Huawei thanked us. I wonder why?”

Almost 10 years ago from now, Professor Dr. Erdal Arıkan proved in his code construction he called “Polar Code” that humanity can exceed Shannon’s limit or keep going without being affected by the obstacles in the way of dataflow. The invention of polar codes has paved the way for 5G technologies as well, forming the required basis for the heaven I call “Endless data flow”.

Last week, Huawei presented a special award to Professor Dr. Erdal Arikan at the Huawei headquarters in China. Sadly, I was not able to attend the award ceremony as University Open Days in Turkey is about to begin. However, the fact that a Turkish academic was recognised for his dedication to science made me feel tremendously proud. For those who wonder what Professor Erdal Arıkan is up to right now; he is carrying out research in Turkey.

Isn’t it better to talk about the success of such national values than writing on interest rates, exchange rates or stock market every single day?

I also wonder how many people in Turkey actually know who Erdal Arıkan is?