2020 - Cynthia Dwork

Cynthia Dwork

With a long-standing commitment to applying computer science research to solve societal problems, Cynthia Dwork has made a significant impact on addressing hard-to-define and complicated issues including preserving individual privacy in data analysis and keeping digital communications secure. Dwork led the development of the foundations of differential privacy and has created tools that have changed how companies collect and process data. Prior to differential privacy, protection methods focused on avoiding specific classes of attacks based on previously identified flaws. However, Dwork saw the need for a definition of privacy that would be secure against all future attacks while still ensuring that much of the utility of the statistical data was preserved. Differential privacy avoids previous shortcomings by understanding the paradoxical nature of privacy where, on one hand, information about the data should be learned since that is the point of gathering statistics about the data in the first place, but also assuring that no additional information will be learned about an individual providing the data. Driven by the objective of giving a mathematical interpretation of this notion of privacy, she formalized what it means for the information released about a dataset to be nearly independent of whether any single person’s record was used. Differential privacy became the centerpiece for future research in statistical data privacy and has been deployed by Apple, Google, Microsoft, and the U.S. Census Bureau. Dwork also helped change the field of cryptography by creating nonmalleable encryption schemes where ciphertexts cannot be meaningfully modified without detection, and by creating encryption schemes, based on lattices, for which randomly chosen instances are as hard to break as the hardest instances. Lattice-based methods have become an indispensable tool for constructing secure cryptosystems for varied tasks, and they are the leading technology for postquantum cryptography.

A member of the U.S. National Academy of Science and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and multiple honorary societies, Dwork is the Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science with the Harvard Paulson School of Engineering at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA, the Radcliffe Alumnae Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and Distinguished Scientist at Microsoft Research.

2019 - David Ngar Ching Tse

David Ngar Ching Tse

Known for his unique ability to pioneer theoretical concepts that have a substantial practical impact on wireless networks, David Tse’s work has profoundly impacted wireless data transmission by increasing wireless channel capacity and combating interference. His contributions to an approximation approach to network information theory, diversity-multiplexing tradeoff in multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) wireless communication, opportunistic scheduling, and scaling laws for ad-hoc networks have helped enable the wireless data boom we take for granted today. Tse developed an opportunistic scheduler and demonstrated that one can harness fading to increase network capacity, contrary to the conventional thinking that fading was detrimental. He showed that by scheduling the users with the “best” channels, along with appropriate fairness guarantees, one could increase the system throughput as well as individual throughput significantly. This was part of the Qualcomm EvDO high-data-rate wireless system and was subsequently incorporated into all 3G and 4G cellular systems. In collaboration with Pramod Viswanath and Rajiv Laroia, Tse later extended this idea to slowly changing channels by using the idea of multiple antennas to induce fading and therefore enabling opportunistic scheduling. In joint work with Lizhong Zheng, he pioneered the diversity-multiplexing tradeoff framework to design MIMO systems, which optimally extracts diversity and multiplexing benefits from wireless fading channels. The approximation approach to wireless network information theory (a collaboration with Salman Avestimehr and Suhas Diggavi) has made significant progress in resolving many important open questions within a universal approximation constant. This approach tackled a long-standing problem by resolving the capacity of the Gaussian interference channel up to 1 bit. Tse has made a positive impact on education with his book Fundamentals of Wireless Communication (coauthored with Pramod Viswanath). Used in over 60 institutions around the world, this book introduces and illustrates fundamental wireless concepts from engineering practice and presents mathematical abstraction at a level just right to provide insights but not so deep that it no longer models the real world.

An IEEE Fellow and recipient of the IEEE Information Theory Society’s Claude E. Shannon Award (2017), Tse is the Thomas Kailath and Guanghan Xu Professor of Engineering at Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

2018 - Erdal Arikan

Erdal Arikan

Erdal Arikan’s groundbreaking work on channel polarization coding methods for achieving maximal channel capacity in digital communications has revolutionized information and communications theory by meeting the challenges of Shannon’s limit for determining the maximum rate that data can be sent with zero error. A culmination of over 20 years of research, in 2009 Arikan described the concept of channel polarization and a completely new, remarkably clear method of data coding for transmission over symmetric channels with binary input. Considered one of the most powerful developments in coding theory of the past decade, his discovery of using polar codes for error correction was a major step in determining the limit at which reliable and efficient transmission of data over noisy channels is possible. Enhancing the original application to binary-input channels, Arikan extended his codes to channels with arbitrary input size to enable broader applications. His framework has proven to be flexible and adaptable to the parameters of communication channels, allowing researchers to construct polar coding schemes for a large range of block lengths and information transmission rates. His polar codes also feature simple iterative schemes of data encoding and decoding to allow efficient hardware implementation. His work has also been extended to polar codes for channels that are not necessarily symmetric, dual polar codes for data compression, and polar codes for data hiding with information-theoretic security guarantees. Initially met with skepticism by practitioners due to major obstacles preventing their practical use, Arikan’s polar codes have evolved in a short time to become an integral component of emerging wireless standards for enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) control channels in 5G New Radio (NR) interfaces, with a major wireless company recently demonstrating 27 Gbps in 5G field-trial tests.

An IEEE Fellow and recipient of the 2013 IEEE W.R.G. Baker Award, Arikan is a professor with the Department of Electrical Engineering at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey.

2017 - Shlomo Shamai

Shlomo Shamai

Considered one of the most influential and productive information theorists of today, the fundamental and cutting-edge contributions of Shlomo Shamai have been central to continued progress in wireless communications systems by addressing areas such as channel capacity, secure transmission, and the building blocks for next-generation wireless systems. Multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) technology multiplies the capacity of wireless communications networks, and Shamai has provided the most conclusive results on MIMO broadcast channels as an enabler of capacity expansion. He demonstrated that Costa (dirty paper) coding is the fundamental method for capacity-optimal signaling. His work has inspired much follow-up research toward the goal of achieving full capacity in MIMO broadcast channels. Shamai is among the first who introduced large random matrix concepts into information theory, which has had important implications for analyzing the performance of multiuser detection algorithms and quantifying the theoretical limits of multiantenna communication. Shamai and his collaborators provided inspiring and fundamental analytic connections between information and estimation in a Gaussian regime. His outage capacity concept has spanned beyond information theory as a useful tool to study the impact of antenna design on channel capacity. Shamai was instrumental in developing an understanding of efficient communications of fading channels, where severe interference from obstacles and propagation can degrade signal quality. He was among the first to study cellular communications in the fading regime and also presented the concept of block-fading channels. This concept has become a standard model allowing for progress in understanding fading channels.

Shamai’s recent work has addressed a rich variety of aspects in cooperative cellular communication models, physical-layer security in wireless networks, including developing basic security results for MIMO systems, and characterizing the ability of fading broadcast channels to support variable-rate secured data transmission. He is also contributing to the foundations for cloud-based radio networks and next-generation (5G and beyond) wireless network architectures.

An IEEE Fellow and recipient of the 2011 Claude E. Shannon Award, Shamai is a Distinguished Professor, The Andrew & Erna Viterbi Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.

2016 - Abbas El Gamal

Abbas El Gamal

Abbas El Gamal’s lasting contributions to information theory, wireless networks, field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), and digital imaging have immensely impacted a wide variety of information technology applications critical in today’s society. His early work formed the basis for several new areas in multi-user information theory, paving the way to capacity results integral to today’s communications networks. He determined the capacity of the product of Gaussian broadcast channels and of deterministic interference channels leading to recent advances in multi-antenna and interference-limited wireless networks. Together with Thomas Cover, he established the first upper and lower bounds on the capacity of the three-node relay network. This work introduced the cut-set upper bound for networks, which is widely used in information theory today, as well as the compress-forward and decode-forward schemes, which continue to be the dominant relaying techniques. His recent work has involved the creation of coding schemes for sending multiple sources over noisy networks, and significant contributions to wireless networks through characterizing their optimal delay-throughput tradeoff and devising schemes for energy-efficient packet transmission scheduling. His book Network Information Theory (Cambridge Press, 2011) with Young-Han Kim provides the first unified and comprehensive coverage of the field. El Gamal’s contributions to hardware design include the development of integrated circuit fabrics and tools that significantly reduce design time and cost of systems used in computing, communication, and signal-processing applications. In 1986, he co-founded Actel, where he co-invented the routing architecture used in all commercial FPGAs today. He subsequently pioneered the use of FPGAs in teaching digital system design, which has become standard in all electrical engineering programs.

An IEEE Fellow and member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, El Gamal is a professor and chair in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

2015 - Imre Csiszar

Imre Csisza'r

With research spanning over five decades, Imre Csiszár has provided fundamental and pace-setting contributions to information theory and statistics that have been crucial to data compression, multiuser communications systems, and secure data transmission impacting fields including genetics, economics, signal processing, and pattern recognition. Prof. Csiszár is known for developing the “method of types.” This approach to proving coding theorems for discrete memoryless communication systems has become a powerful tool for understanding communications and statistics. His book ("Information Theory: Coding Theorems for Discrete Memoryless Systems," Academic Press, 1981, Second Edition: Cambridge University Press, 2011) with J. Körner is considered the most comprehensive treatment on the method of types and is an indispensable resource for information theory researchers. Prof. Csiszár’s contributions to information-theoretic security began in 1978 and still continue. His work (also with J. Körner) on generalizing the wiretap channel model has provided the foundations for implementing enhanced physical-layer security in wireless communications networks. His recent work (with P. Narayan) on secret key extraction by network terminals using public communication has motivated advances in key generation algorithms based on low-density parity check codes and polar code constructions as well as network coding schemes. Prof. Csiszár has also demonstrated the fundamental role data compression algorithms can play in the construction of a new generation of secret keys for secure encrypted communication. His analysis of divergence geometries of probability distributions has led to using alternating minimization algorithms to help tackle optimization problems in applications including channel transmission in information theory, function reconstruction from moments in the kinetic theory of gases, biomedical imaging, and pattern recognition algorithms in computer vision.

An IEEE Life Fellow and recipient of the Shannon Award (1996), Dr. Csiszár is a Research Professor Emeritus with the A. Rényi Institute of Mathematics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary.

2014 - Thomas J. Richardson and Rdiger Urbanke

Thomas J. Richardson and Rüdiger Urbanke

Considered the world’s leading experts on iterative decoding, Thomas J. Richardson and Rüdiger Urbanke have helped optimize data transmission rates for wireless and optical communications with techniques that realize near-channel capacity. To approach “Shannon’s limit,” which established the maximum rate for communications over a noisy channel, they expanded on low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes and provided a better understanding of iterative decoding procedures. The result has been reliable data transmission at rates close to channel capacity with low errors. Known for the ability to transfer coding theory to practical applications, their work has been integral to today’s high-speed communications and data storage systems. LDPC codes are components of many communications standards: Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11); Digital Video Broadcasting standards; 10GBase-T Ethernet; and the ITU-T standard for networking over power lines, phone lines, and coaxial cable. Three landmark papers by Drs. Richardson and Urbanke, one coauthored by Amin Shokrollahi, that appeared in the February 2001 issue of the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, successfully addressed the obstacles facing the development of capacity-approaching codes. They demonstrated that LDPC codes could very closely approach Shannon’s limit, showed how to design irregular LDPC codes, and provided methods for efficiently encoding LDPC codes. They also introduced the density evolution technique, which is a primary tool in the design of iterative systems that allows engineers to quickly assess the quality of code structure. The error-floor prediction technique developed by Dr. Richardson enabled the use of LDPC codes for data storage devices and has found commercial application in computer hard drives. More recently (2014), in a paper coauthored with Shrinivas Kudekar, Drs. Richardson and Urbanke showed that a special class of LDPC codes can achieve the Shannon limit with iterative decoding.

An IEEE Fellow and member of the US National Academy of Engineering, Dr. Richardson is currently vice president of engineering at Qualcomm, Inc., Bridgewater, NJ, USA. An IEEE Senior member and co-recipient (with Dr. Richardson) of the 2011 IEEE Kobayashi Award, Dr. Urbanke is currently a professor with the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland.

2013 - Robert Calderbank

Robert Calderbank

Robert Calderbank’s pioneering coding algorithms have improved reliability of wireless networks and played a key role in developing voice-band modems that helped the early proliferation of the Internet. Known for combining serious mathematics with practical engineering sense, Dr. Calderbank has developed algorithms that enable wired and wireless communications systems to transfer data near full potential. He co-invented space-time codes, first published in 1997, to improve reliability of multiple-antenna wireless communications systems for better cellular performance. Space-time codes involve transmitting multiple copies of data over multiple antennas for more reliable decoding on the receiver end. The transmit diversity provided by space-time codes was a major breakthrough in wireless communications technology and can be found in many wireless local- and wide-area network standards and products. A major tool to combat signal fading, simple space-time codes are now incorporated in billions of cell phones. Dr. Calderbank’s pioneering work during the 1980s and early 1990s on coded modulation methods for wireline communications greatly influenced the development of modems that allowed households to connect to the Internet. The algorithms developed by Dr. Calderbank have enabled over a billion voice-band modems to communicate at close to theoretical capacity limits.

An IEEE Fellow and member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, Dr. Calderbank’s many honors include two IEEE Information Theory Society Prize Paper Awards (1994 and 1999) and the IEEE Third Millennium Medal (2000). Dr. Calderbank is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.

2012 - Michael G. Luby and Amin Shokrollahi

Michael G. Luby and Amin Shokrollahi

Michael G. Luby’s and Amin Shokrollahi’s development of efficient and flexible data coding methods have enabled the success of information distribution applications including video streaming and delivery of data to mobile devices. Known as fountain codes, the rateless codes created by Dr. Luby and Dr. Shokrollahi do not possess a specified data rate limitation. Data can be transmitted in an infinite stream until all receivers have collected enough data to successfully decode the transmission. Compared to codes traditionally designed specifically for one type of channel, fountain codes can work with the characteristics of many different channels. They are suitable for applications where the same information is being sent to a large number of recipients over channels with varying strengths and weaknesses. Dr. Luby founded Digital Fountain, Inc. in 1998 for the development, standardization, and commercialization of rateless coding technology. He developed the first generation of rateless codes, known as Luby Transform codes, in 1998. Dr. Shokrollahi joined Digital Fountain in 2000 to develop the second generation of rateless codes, which became known as Raptor codes. An extension of the Luby Transform codes, Raptor codes were the first known class of fountain codes to incorporate linear time encoding and decoding. They provide high data rates even on very small devices with limited computational power and energy resources, such as mobile phones. Qualcomm, Inc. acquired Digital Fountain in 2009 and developed the RaptorQ advanced fountain codes under Luby’s direction as vice president of technology.

An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Luby is currently vice president of technology at Qualcomm, Inc., Berkeley, Calif., where he is contributing to research, standardization, production, and deployment of MPEG-DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP).

An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Shokrollahi is currently a professor with the departments of Math and Computer Science at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, where has worked since 2003, and the CEO of Kandou Bus, a company he founded in 2011 which uses novel signaling techniques to design high-speed and low-energy serial links.

2011 - Toby Berger

Photo of 2011 Hamming medal recipient Berger

Toby Berger’s pioneering contributions to rate distortion and source coding have impacted how audio and video files are compressed for efficient transmission and viewing over the Internet. Dr. Berger was the first to extend Shannon’s lossy coding theorem to abstract-alphabet sources with memory in 1968. Dr. Berger’s work was the forerunner of the widely adopted JPEG and MPEG standards for picture and video files. The structures of today’s video coding standards resemble the structures Berger described in 1970. His book, Rate Distortion Theory: A Mathematical Basis for Data Compression (Prentice Hall, 1971) became the best reference on the topic and is still an important source today. Dr. Berger is one of the pioneers of multiuser source coding, which deals with the challenges of handling the transfer of information from one to many. Building on his rate-distortion work, he helped define the framework and future directions for distributed source coding and distributed lossy coding. He defined fundamental concepts including strong typicality and the Markov lemma for distributed source coding and network information theory. Dr. Berger’s introduction of the “CEO problem” for multiterminal source coding during the late 1990s is considered one of the most important contributions in the history of distributed coding. His more recent interests include combining information theory and biological systems for an interdisciplinary area called “neuroinformation theory” that holds promise for energy-efficient computation and communication that is analog instead of digital.

An IEEE Life Fellow, Dr. Berger is the Irwin and Joan Jacobs Professor of Engineering, Emeritus, at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. and professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

2010 - Whitfield Diffie, Martin Hellman, and Ralph Merkle

2010 Hamming Medal recipients

The development of public key cryptography by Whitfield Diffie, Martin E. Hellman and Ralph C. Merkle revolutionized the field of cryptography and has provided the security needed to enable safe commercial applications of the Internet. The trio’s work represented academia’s first contribution to what was once the research domain of government and military intelligence organizations. Whenever someone uses the Internet to make a purchase, submit personal information or needs to connect to a virtual private network, it is the security provided by public key cryptography that protects the sensitive data from prying eyes and enables the use of digital signatures to verify identity. Prior to the development of public key cryptography in 1976, the keys used to encrypt information needed to be exchanged over a secure, or private, communications channel before the encrypted information could be transferred over an insecure channel.

Drs. Diffie, Hellman and Merkle’s concept of public key cryptography allows the exchange to take place over the same insecure channel as the message itself without any secret prearrangement between the transmitter and receiver, creating many more avenues for secure communications. Their invention has enabled the proliferation of e-commerce over the Internet, an otherwise insecure communication channel, and has allowed electronic communications to replace a large portion of paper-based communications. 

An IEEE Member, Dr. Diffie was chief security officer at Sun Microsystems until 2009 and is currently visiting scholar at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford and Vice President for Information Security at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Hellman is Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, Calif. 

An IEEE Member, Dr. Merkle is currently a senior research fellow at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, Palo Alto, Calif.

2009 - Peter A. Franaszek

photo of Peter Franaszek

Known for developing codes that not only pushed the theoretical limits but were also practical enough to be implemented in current technology, Peter Franaszek set the direction for modern constrained coding in digital recording and communication systems. His pioneering work on fundamental aspects of constrained codes, and algorithms for their construction, served as the basis for key components in the proliferation of hard disk drives, compact discs and DVDs. Specific codes he developed have been used extensively in commercial data storage and transmission products. Dr. Franaszek was the first to develop practical methods for the construction of run-length limited (RLL) codes, which ensure that the boundary lengths between bits of data are neither too short nor too long to be detected, resulting in maximal storage density. His (2,7) RLL code found widespread application in magnetic and optical recording in the 1980s. More recently, Dr. Franaszek, along with Albert Widmer, designed the (8B/10B) D.C. balanced code used, for example, in Gigabit Ethernet and Fiber Channel systems.

Dr. Franaszek’s research interests have more generally included a variety of analytical issues in digital systems. His contributions include those to I/O architectures, switching networks, disk defragmentation algorithms, concurrency control techniques, operating system schedulers and compression algorithms and architectures for systems with memory compression. An IEEE Fellow, he was the recipient of the 1989 IEEE Emanuel R. Piore Award and the 2002 ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award. Dr. Franaszek is currently a research staff member emeritus at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center.

2008 - Sergio Verdu

photo of Sergio Verdu

Sergio Verdú, professor of electrical engineering at Princeton University, Princeton, N.J., pioneered multiuser detection, a technology used to disentangle mutually interfering streams of digital data, such as those in wireless cellular systems, digital subscriber lines, hard-disk storage, or in systems with several antennas at receiver and transmitter. Dr. Verdú’s contributions have led to the enhancement of data rates seen in third generation cellular technology and are instrumental in fourth generation cellular standards. In addition, he has made seminal contributions in the field of information theory, which have led to improvements in the reliability and efficiency of information transmission and data compression.

Dr. Verdú has authored and co-authored more than 100 journal articles in the field of information theory, several of which have earned him prestigious prize paper awards. An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Verdú has previously received numerous honors and recognitions, including election to the National Academy of Engineering, the Frederick E. Terman Award from the American Society of Engineering Education and most recently the 2007 Claude E. Shannon Award, the IEEE Information Theory Society’s highest honor.

Dr. Verdú holds a degree in telecommunications engineering from the Universitat Politécnica de Barcelona, Spain, and both a master’s and doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Verdú received a doctorate Honoris Causa degree from Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.

2007 - Abraham Lempel

photo of Abraham Lempel

Abraham Lempel is considered a pioneer in data compression. In 1977 and 1978, Dr. Lempel and his colleague, Professor Jacob Ziv, invented the first two iterations of the Lempel-Ziv (LZ) Data Compression Algorithm. Since then, the LZ Algorithm and its derivatives have become some of the most widely used data compression schemes, making the use of loss-less data compression pervasive in day-to-day computing and communication. With this compression method, information is transmitted and stored over the Internet and stored more efficiently on computer networks and other types of media storage.

Dr. Lempel's academic career spans more than 40 years, having taught both electrical engineering and computer science at Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, from 1963 to 2004. He has held the title of full professor since 1977 and served as head of the Technion computer science department from 1981 to 1984.

Dr. Lempel joined Hewlett-Packard Labs in 1993, and a year later, established HP Labs Israel, where he currently serves as director, overseeing the development of fundamental and universal image processing tools, as well as application-driven customization.

An IEEE Fellow, HP Senior Fellow and Erna and Andrew Viterbi Professor Emeritus, Dr. Lempel holds eight U.S. patents, and has authored over 90 published works on data compression and information theory. He has received numerous awards and honors from the IEEE and other industry organizations. In 2004, the IEEE Executive Committee and History Committee proclaimed the LZ Algorithm to be an IEEE milestone for enabling the efficient transmission of data via the Internet.

2006 - Vladimir I. Levenshtein

photo of Vladimir Levenshtein

A pioneer in the theory of error correcting codes, Dr. Vladimir I. Levenshtein is known as the father of coding theory in Russia. A research professor at the Keldysh Institute for Applied Mathematics at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Levenshtein's contributions are present in consumers everyday lives. His Levenshtein distance, or edit distance, is the root of today's spell-checking computer applications; and he has also contributed to the basic technology found in third generation wired cellular telephony.

Dr. Levenshtein has provided the best-known universal bounds to optimal sizes of codes and designs in metric spaces, including the Hamming space and the Euclidean sphere. In particular, they led to the discovery of the long-sought kissing numbers for n=8 and n=24. Dr. Levenshtein authored optimal constructions for several error correcting problems, including: codes that correct a quarter or more of the errors present; codes with a given comma free index; perfect codes able to correct single deletions and single peak shifts; and binary codes with a given probability of undetected error. His work on the universal efficient coding of integers has led to algorithms that offer promising applications in data compression.

The Levenshtein Distance and his designs and bounds are widely used in many engineering, statistics and bioinformatics applications. His recent study into the efficient decoding of information based on the observation of several corrupted copies is expected to have applications in areas as diverse as computer science, molecular biology, DNA analysis, speech recognition and even plagiarism detection.

An IEEE Fellow, he is a member of the Moscow Mathematical Society

2005 - Neil J. A. Sloane

Dr. Neil J. A. Sloane pioneered new coding theory methods and interdisciplinary connections among statistics, physics, and information transmission and compression. His contributions range from pure mathematics to the design of codes used in submarine fiber optic systems. As Technology Leader at AT&T Research Labs in Florham Park, New Jersey, he has been responsible for technical leadership across multiple scientific areas critical to the communications industry.

Dr. Sloane is regarded as the leading expert on combinatorial coding theory. For more than 20 years, the text he co-authored with Florence J. Mac Williams, "The Theory of Error-Correcting Codes," has been the definitive reference on algebraic coding theory. He is also considered to be the leading expert on sphere packing the theoretical and practical study of attaining high-density sphere distributions, which is a key concern in communications technology.

His book, "Sphere Packing, Lattices and Groups," written with John Conway of Princeton University, is considered the essential monograph on the topic. Much of his work in this field has found practical application, including the first use of forward error correction (FEC) in underwater cable transmission and the development of high-speed wireless modems.

An IEEE Fellow and a member of U.S.National Academy of Engineering, Dr. Sloane is former editor of the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory and a recipient of the IEEE Centennial Medal, the IEEE Information Theory Society Prize Paper Award and the Chauvenet Prize of the Mathematical Association of America.

2004 - Jack Keil Wolf

Over the past four decades, Dr. Jack Keil Wolf has been a driving force in the evolution of information, coding and communication theories. He remains one of the most productive cross-fertilizers in engineering research, successfully importing techniques used in one field to obtain unexpected results in another. Among his and his students' achievements are contributions to the design and analysis of satellite and cellular communication systems, and hard disk drives.

Early in his career, Dr. Wolf established himself as a major innovator in the fields of information and coding theory through contributions such as 1973's Slepian-Wolf theory for correlated information sources. In 1984, he left his faculty position at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst to join the Center for Magnetic Recording Research at the University of California in San Diego. By applying his knowledge of communication and information theory to the magnetic recording industry, he pioneered the field of coding for the magnetic recording channel. His biggest theoretical contribution was to design code with performance that was boosted by channel memory, rather than hindered by it. Now the Stephen O. Rice Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. Wolf has also held a part-time appointment at QUALCOMM, Inc. in San Diego, California, since its formation in 1985.

An IEEE Life Fellow, Dr. Wolf served as president of the IEEE Information Theory Society in 1974. He also is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and a Guggenheim Fellow.

2003 - Claude Berrouand Alain Glavieux

Claude Berrou
In the late 1980s, Professors Claude Berrou and Alain Glavieux, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications (ENST) de Bretagne in Brest, France, developed a new family of error-correction codes, called turbo codes, and forever changed the field of digital communications. They then extended the turbo code principle to joint detection and decoding processing. Hailed as a milestone in communication technology, their discovery allowed researchers to overcome what had seemed to be the practical limits on the maximum rate at which coding systems could operate. Turbo codes have since been widely adopted in such applications as mobile telephony and satellite links.

Professor Berrou joined ENST in 1978 as professor and deputy head of the electronics department. He helped organize ENST's curriculum in physics and electronics and led the development of the Laboratory for Integrated Circuits. A member of the IEEE, Professor Berrou has written or co-written eight patents and has contributed to more than 40 publications. In addition to the honors he has received with Professor Glavieux, Professor Berrou has been awarded the Médaille Ampère of the Société des Electriciens et des Electroniciens.

Professor Glavieux has been a professor at ENST, since 1979. There, he was instrumental in developing a digital communication program and laboratory. He also created a research group focused on high performance communications systems and became head of the Signal
and Communications Department. Professor Glavieux has written or cowritten, more than 30 papers and the book Communications Numeriques-Introduction. He holds four patents.

Professors Berrou and Glavieux have received the Stephen O. Rice Award for best paper in the IEEE Transactions on Communications, the IEEE Information Theory Society Paper Award and an IEEE Information Theory Society Golden Jubilee Award for Technological Innovation. 

Alain Glavieux
In the late 1980s, Professors Claude Berrou and Alain Glavieux, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications (ENST) de Bretagne in Brest, France, developed a new family of error-correction codes, called turbo codes, and forever changed the field of digital communications. They then extended the turbo code principle to joint detection and decoding processing. Hailed as a milestone in communication technology, their discovery allowed researchers to overcome what had seemed to be the practical limits on the maximum rate at which coding systems could operate. Turbo codes have since been widely adopted in such applications as mobile telephony and satellite links.

Professor Berrou joined ENST in 1978 as professor and deputy head of the electronics department. He helped organize ENST's curriculum in physics and electronics and led the development of the Laboratory for Integrated Circuits. A member of the IEEE, Professor Berrou has written or co-written eight patents and has contributed to more than 40 publications. In addition to the honors he has received with Professor Glavieux, Professor Berrou has been awarded the Médaille Ampère of the Société des Electriciens et des Electroniciens.

Professor Glavieux has been a professor at ENST, since 1979. There, he was instrumental in developing a digital communication program and laboratory. He also created a research group focused on high performance communications systems and became head of the Signal
and Communications Department. Professor Glavieux has written or cowritten, more than 30 papers and the book Communications Numeriques-Introduction. He holds four patents.

Professors Berrou and Glavieux have received the Stephen O. Rice Award for best paper in the IEEE Transactions on Communications, the IEEE Information Theory Society Paper Award and an IEEE Information Theory Society Golden Jubilee Award for Technological Innovation.

2002 - Peter Elias

Dr. Peter Elias is one of the earliest and most important contributors to the field of information theory. Nearly all of today's coding techniques in practice stem from his research at Harvard University in the early 1950s and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from the mid-1950s through the early 1990s. One of his major contributions was the introduction of convolutional codes, which are now the workhorse of communications systems. He also established the binary erasive channel, which not only demonstrates the fundamental results of information theory, but also is a good model for the study of magnetic recording systems.

Dr. Elias joined the faculty at MIT in 1953. By 1960, he was the head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, a position he held until 1966. He remained active in numerous roles there until his death in December 2001. He also held visiting professorships at the University of California at Berkeley, the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London and at Harvard University in Boston. He served on the U.S. President's Science Advisory Committee panel on Computers in Higher Education and chaired the IEEE Information Theory Group. He also sat on the editorial boards of the Proceedings of the IEEE and IEEE Spectrum and was a founding editor of the journal Information and Control (now known as Information and Computation).

Dr. Elias was an IEEE Life Fellow, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of U.S. National Academy of Engineering.

2001 - A. G. Fraser

Currently the Chief Scientist of AT&T Labs Research, Dr. Alexander G. (Sandy) Fraser pioneered virtual circuit switching, a key data communications technology that opened the door to the many advantages of asynchronous transfer mode communications.

Dr. Fraser joined AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1969, where he pioneered the Datakit Virtual Circuit Switch and the Spider ring network, both of which are cell-based networks that anticipated the development of ATM networking. He spearheaded the UNIX Circuit Design Aids System, and played a key role in developing a technique for computer instruction set optimization using a portable compiler, which led to the design of a reduced instruction set machine. He also helped to develop the Universal Receiver Protocol and INCON, a cell-based network designed for use in the home.

In 1982, Dr. Fraser became Director of the Computing Science Research Center, and five years later was named Executive Director responsible for the information sciences including mathematics, signal processing, computing, and software production. In 1994, he became Associate Vice President for Information Sciences Research where he focused on research initiatives that included electronic commerce for digital audio, billing, broadband access, and home networks.

Before joining Bell Labs, Dr. Fraser was Assistant Director of Research at Cambridge University, where he wrote a file system for the groundbreaking Atlas 2 computer. He also developed file back-up and privacy mechanisms for that system. Earlier he did important work on the Ferranti Orion computer system.

Born in England, Dr. Fraser came to the United States in 1969. He received his B.Sc. in Aeronautical Engineering from Bristol University, and a Ph.D. in Computing Science from Cambridge University.

An IEEE Fellow and a member of ACM, Dr. Fraser has also been a Fellow and council member of the British Computer Society. He holds 15 patents, has contributed to 30 publications, and has been named an AT&T Fellow. His many awards include the Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award and the Sigcomm Award for outstanding technical achievements in the fields of data and computer communications. He has served on advisory boards for Columbia University, Rutgers University, and the University of Texas.