Pamela Cosman

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Associate Dean for Students
Jacobs School of Engineering

University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0407
La Jolla, CA 92093-0407

I am Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. As of September 2013, I am the Associate Dean for Students of the Jacobs School of Engineering. I joined UCSD in July of 1995. Prior to that, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, and a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. I received my Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1993 and my B.S.E.E. from the California Institute of Technology in 1987. At UCSD, I was the Director of the Center for Wireless Communications from 2006 to 2008. I am also affiliated with the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology. I do research on image and video compression, wireless communications, and image and video processing.

This is my new children's book. It's aimed at ages 8 to 12. It teaches a little bit about error correction coding and other concepts in wireless communications in the form of a fictional story.

Kids are passing secret messages in school, which gets them in trouble at school when someone changes one bit in the message. But when there's a hostage crisis in a bank, the error correction code ends up playing an unexpected role.

The book is available from and the UCSD bookstore, among other outlets.

Here's what one parent wrote to me:
Dear Pamela:

Thank you for writing a fine book "The Secret Code Menace". I saw it for sale at ISIT last week and bought a copy. My 8-year old son loved it!

It's a great way to introduce Hamming codes to the younger audience. The math is still a bit advanced for him, but my son had a great time sending and correcting secret messages.