Information science of complex networks and systems: Random networks, phase transitions and critical phenomena, wave propagation in random media, wireless communication, control systems with information loss, algorithms and protocols. Applications in the areas of wireless ad-hoc and sensor networks.
Professor Franceschetti's recent research has deepened the understanding of key mechanisms underlying how large-scale distributed systems, including wireless networks, handle, process, and communicate information. Examples of such systems include small, networked, application-specific wireless sensors that could monitor everything from battlefield conditions to the environment, from hospitalized patients to bridges structural integrity. Such pervasive networking is expected to lead to massive changes in the way we interact with the world, and Franceschetti's papers in this area span a continuum from algorithms, models of wave propagation, network analysis and design, information theoretic limits, and control technologies. One of his key contributions is in the application of tools from statistical physics, namely percolation theory, to analyze and explain observable phenomena such as scaling laws. He also has applied random walk theory to describe wireless signal propagation and its interaction with the environment.
Born in Naples, Italy, Professor Franceschetti graduated magna cum laude in computer engineering from the University of Naples in 1997. He received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1999, and 2003 respectively. His doctoral thesis, entitled "Wireless Networks, from Collective Behavior to the Physics of Propagation" was awarded the Wilts Prize for best thesis in electrical engineering at Caltech in 2003. He also received the 2000 Walker von Brimer award for outstanding research at Caltech and the 2005 S.A. Schelkunoff Transactions prize paper award from the IEEE Antennas and Propagation society (jointly with profs. J. Bruck and L. J. Shulman) for his work on wave propagation and scattering based on random walk theory. Franceschetti has held visiting positions at at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland, and the University of Trento in Italy. Before joining UCSD, he was a post-doctoral scholar at University of California at Berkeley for two years.