The Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announces that John M. Wozencraft, Professor of Electrical Engineering emeritus, is the 2006 recipient of the Alexander Graham Bell Medal of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The Medal is one of the most prestigious awards of the IEEE, and recognizes Professor Wozencraft for his pioneering work in the development of sequential decoding and the signal space approach to digital communication.

In 1957, Professor Wozencraft invented sequential decoding, providing the first practical technique for the reception of convolutional error-correcting codes and, thus, spurring the use of error correction in digital communications. In 1965, Professor Wozencraft, together with his then-RLE colleague Professor Irwin Jacobs, authored the text, “Principles of Communication Engineering.” This landmark publication, which was reprinted in 1990, has educated generations of students and researchers throughout the world in the fundamentals of digital communications. Its geometric view of signal constellations and decision rules still remains at the foundation of all digital communication analyses.

Jeffrey H. Shapiro, RLE Director and Julius A. Stratton Professor of Electrical Engineering, commented that, “Honoring John Wozencraft for his research and for his educational contributions is long overdue. Like so many others, my introduction to communication theory came from the Wozencraft and Jacobs text, a book that is a model of clarity and which I still keep proudly on my bookshelf.”

The IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal was established by the IEEE Board of Directors in 1976 to commemorate the centennial of the telephone’s invention and to provide recognition for outstanding contributions to telecommunications. The Medal is sponsored by Lucent Technologies.

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