Piya Pal, graduate student in Electrical Engineering, received the best student paper award at the IEEE Digital Signal Processing workshop for her paper, coauthored with Professor P. P. Vaidyanathan, entitled "Coprime sampling and the MUSIC algorithm."
The paper explores the idea that when a signal is sampled with two sets of coprime samplers, it is possible to start from sparse sampling-sets and recover a much denser set of autocorrelations. This scheme originated in an earlier paper by Prof. Vaidyanathan and Piya Pal. Piya's prize paper shows how to apply the so-called MUSIC algorithm to such a set of spatial samples (taken with a pair of sensor arrays), in order to estimate the directions of arrival of multiple signals in space. The breakthrough is that, using a very small number of sensors (say N) it is now possible to identify a very large number of uncorrelated sources (nearly N2) arriving simultaneously from many directions in space.