Joseph Rottner

A portrait photograph of Joseph Rottner outside the front entrance of MIT Lincoln Laboratory.
It's good to know how far, how fast, and how reliably we can talk to someone in a tactical setting.

What does your research focus on?

My research generally involves a healthy mix of whiteboard math and programming. I work on analysis efforts concerning the limits of how tactical networks can communicate. It's good to know how far, how fast, and how reliably we can talk to someone in a tactical setting. I create computer models for simulating link-closure probabilities, architect software that automatically computes these probabilities and link calculations, and optimize the simulations and calculations to run as fast as possible. I work on the physical layer, dealing mainly with physical waves, channel estimation, and signal detection.

What advice would you give to someone looking to enter your field?

I would suggest reading about anything that remotely interests you! There are tons of different branches of electrical engineering. Many believe electrical engineering is just circuit design, which is just a small part of it. I actually took maybe one circuits class in college, and I have a master's degree in electrical engineering. I love the math and programming portions of electrical engineering and recommend reading textbooks about what you find interesting. My current rabbit hole is C++ optimization.

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Central New Jersey on a rural plot of land. I grew up near cows, corn, and internet that maxed out around 9 Mbps. I went to school at the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), and now I live in Somerville, Massachusetts. My internet is much faster here!

How do you enjoy spending your free time?

I love finding new ways to exercise. I play in a rec softball league, hike and ski, and have recently gotten into running. I also enjoy reading, going to the beach, and exploring new restaurants. And I enjoy cooking despite being very mediocre at it.