Ken Duffy

Professor,  Electrical and Computer Engineering
Professor,  Mathematics



  • 328 Dana

Research Focus

Algorithms for communication systems, the life sciences, and DNA forensics


  • PhD, Applied Probability, Trinity College Dublin, 2000
  • B.A. (Mod), Mathematics, Trinity College Dublin, 1996

Honors & Awards

  • Best demo award, COMSNETS, 2023.
  • Best research demo award, COMSNETS, 2022.
  • Best paper award, IEEE Transactions on Network Science and Engineering, 2019.
  • Best Paper Award, IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC), 2015
  • Cover article, Trends in Cell Biology, 2012.

Research Overview

Algorithms for communication systems, the life sciences, and DNA forensics

Research Centers and Institutes

Selected Publications

Information theory, coding, communications:

  • A. Riaz, A. Yasar, F. Ercan, W. An, J. Ngo, K. Galligan, M. Médard, K. R. Duffy & Rabia T. Yazicigil, A sub-0.8 pJ/bit, 16.3 Gbps/mm^2 universal soft-detection decoder using ORBGRAND in 40 nm CMOS. IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference, 2023.
  • K. R. Duffy, W. An & M. Médard. Ordered reliability bits guessing random additive noise decoding. IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, 70, 4528–4542, 2022.
  • W. An, M. Médard & K. R. Duffy. Keep the bursts and ditch the interleavers. IEEE Transactions on Communications, 70 (6), 3655–3667, 2022.
  • K. R. Duffy, M. Médard & W. An. Guessing random additive noise decoding with symbol reliability information (SRGRAND). IEEE Transactions on Communications, 70 (1), 3–18, 2022.
  • K. R. Duffy & S. Shneer. MDS coding is better than replication for job completion times. Operations Research Letters, 49 (1), 91–95, 2021.
  • H. Wang, L. Vo, F. P. Calmon, M. Médard, K. R. Duffy & M. Varia, Privacy with estimation guarantees, IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, 65 (12), 8025-8042, 2019.
  • K. R. Duffy, J. Li & M. Médard, Capacity-achieving guessing random additive noise decoding (GRAND), IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, 65 (7), 4023-4040, 2019.

Life sciences:

  • M. B. Horton, H. Cheon, K. R. Duffy, D. Brown, S. H. Naik, C. Alvarado, J. R. Groom, S. Heinzel & P. D. Hodgkin. Lineage tracing reveals B cell antibody class switching is stochastic, cell-autonomous, and tuneable. Immunity, 55 (10), 1843–1855, 2022.
  • K. Bresser, L. Kok, A. C. Swain, L. A. King, L. Jacobs, T. S. Weber, L. Perié, K. R. Duffy, R. J.  de Boer, F. A. Scheeren & T. N. Schumacher, Replicative history marks functional disparity in the CD8+ T cell memory pool. Nature Immunology, 3(5), 791–801, 2022.
  • H. Cheon, A. Kan, G. Prevedello, S. C. Oostinde, S. J. Dovedi, E. D. Hawkins, J. M. Marchingo, S. Heinzel, K. R. Duffy & P. D. Hodgkin. Cyton2: A model of immune cell population dynamics that includes familial instructional inheritance. Frontiers in Bioinformatics, 1, 1–20, 2021.
  • T. Tak, G. Prevedello, G. Simon, N. Paillon, C. Benlabiod, C. Marty, J-L. Villeval, I. Plo, K. R. Duffy & L. Perié. HSPCs display within-family homogeneity in differentiation and proliferation despite population heterogeneity. eLife, 10, e60624, 2021.
  • M. L. R. Haltalli, S. Watcham, N. K. Wilson, K. Eilers, A. Lipien, H. Ang, F. Birch, S. G. Anton, C. Pirillo, N. Ruivo, M. L. Vainieri, C. Pospori, R. E. Sinden, T. C. Luis, J. Langhorne, K. R. Duffy, B. Göttgens, A. M. Blagborough & C. Lo Celso,  Manipulating niche composition limits damage to haematopoietic stem cells during plasmodium infection. Nature Cell Biology, 22, 1399–1410, 2020.

DNA Forensics

  • K. R. Duffy, D. Lun, M. Mulcahy, L. O’Donnell, N. Sheth & C. M. Grgicak. Evidentiary evaluation of single cells renders highly informative forensic comparisons across multifarious admixtures. Forensic Science International: Genetics, 2023.
  • N. Sheth, K. R. Duffy & C. M. Grgicak. High-quality data from a forensically relevant single-cell pipeline enabled by low PBS and Proteinase K concentrations. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 67, 697–706, 2022.
  • C. Grgicak, K. R. Duffy, & D. Lun. A posteriori probabilities on the number of contributors when conditioned on a known contributor. Forensic Science International: Genetics, 54, 102563, 2022.
  • N. Sheth, H. Swaminathan, A. J. Gonzalez, K. R. Duffy & C. M. Grgicak. Towards developing forensically relevant single cell pipelines by incorporating direct-to-PCR extraction: effects on signal quality and allele dropout. International Journal of Legal Medicine, 135 (3), 727–738, 2021.
  • C. M. Grgicak, S. Karkar, X. Yearwood-Garcia, L. E. Alfonse, K. R. Duffy & D. Lun. A large-scale validation of NOCIt’s a posteriori probability of the number of contributors and its integration into forensic interpretation pipelines, Forensic Science International: Genetics, 47, 102296, 2020.
Ken Duffy


Dec 20, 2022

New Faculty Spotlight: Ken Duffy

Ken Duffy joins the Electrical and Computer Engineering department in January 2023 as a Professor with a joint appointment in Mathematics.

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