Andrew Viterbi Awarded National Medal of Science

In a ceremony held on Monday, September 29 at the White House, longtime Technion-Israel Institute of Technology supporter Andrew J. Viterbi was one of eight recipients awarded the National Medal of Science, the country's highest honor for science and technology. The awards are for the year 2007, but were presented at this time, as is customary for these designations.

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During a White House ceremony held earlier this week, longtime Technion-Israel Institute of Technology supporter Dr. Andrew J. Viterbi (left, foreground) received the National Medal of Science from President George W. Bush. (Credit: Sandy Schaeffer, National Science Foundation)

The National Medal of Science honors individuals for pioneering research in a range of fields that enhance an understanding of the world and lead to innovations and technologies that give the United States a global economic edge. The National Science Foundation administers the award, established by Congress in 1959.

Dr. Viterbi is the developer of a groundbreaking mathematical formula known as the Viterbi Algorithm, which was used to eliminate interference among cell phones, opening the doors to the current wireless revolution. He is the co-founder of cellular telephone giant Qualcomm Inc. Prior to co-founding Qualcomm in 1985, he co-founded digital communications company Linkabit Corp.

Dr. Viterbi's Technion roots date back to 1967, when the retired electrical engineering professor gave a series of lectures while on sabbatical from UCLA. He has long nurtured his ties to the Technion, establishing lifelong relationships with faculty there, where he is a Distinguished Visiting Professor.

Dr. Viterbi and his wife, Erna Finci Viterbi, have long been champions for the Technion. The university's Computech Center bears their names, and their ongoing support recently enabled the establishment of a pair of projects - the Viterbi Family Foundation Faculty Recruitment Program and the Viterbi Family Foundation Fellowship Program - that address high-priority initiatives to recruit new, highly qualified faculty members and graduate students in electrical engineering.

Dr. Viterbi was recognized with an honorary scientific doctorate from the Technion in 2000. For his devotion to the university he has received the Albert Einstein Award -- the American Technion Society's (ATS) highest honor. Dr. Viterbi is a member of the Technion International Board of Governors, and he and Mrs. Viterbi are Technion Guardians, a designation reserved for those ATS supporters who have reached the highest level of giving.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is Israel's leading science and technology university. Home to the country's winners of the Nobel Prize in science, it commands a worldwide reputation for its pioneering work in nanotechnology, computer science, biotechnology, water-resource management, materials engineering, aerospace and medicine. The majority of the founders and managers of Israel's high-tech companies are alumni. Based in New York City, the American Technion Society (ATS) is the leading American organization supporting higher education in Israel, with 22 offices around the country.


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