Electronic Design

Viterbi: A Modest Man's Giant Accomplishments

In 2000, at 65, Andrew Viterbi retired from Qualcomm, where he had been chief technical officer and vice chairman. Since then, he has devoted his time to many philanthropic programs, serving on 10 different boards (both professional and philanthropic) and running the Viterbi Group, a venture capital company whose leadership he shares with his daughter, Audrey Viterbi. His philanthropic works are focused in education, from kindergarten through graduate school, healthcare, and the arts. Viterbi certainly has earned the right to follow his passions after such an illustrious career, which includes:

  • BS and MS in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of technology in 1957
  • PhD from the University of Southern California in electrical engineering in 1962
  • Invented the Viterbi Algorithm, a decoding algorithm used in most digital wireless communication systems
  • Author of many scientific articles, including "Error bounds for convolutional codes and an asymptotically optimum decoding algorithm" in IEEE Transactions on Information Theory (1967), which revealed the subsequently named Viterbi Algorithm
  • Fellow of the IEEE
  • Marconi Fellow
  • Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering
  • Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences
  • Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Member of the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee
  • Member of the California Council on Science and Technology
  • Chair of the Computer and Information Sciences Section of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Professor of electrical engineering at UCLA, UCSD, and USC
  • C-founder of Linkabit Corp. with Irwin Jacobs and Leonard Kleinrock in 1968
  • C-founder of Qualcomm Inc. with Irwin Jacobs in 1985
  • President of the Viterbi Group since 2000.
  • Donated $52 million tthe University of Southern California School of Engineering.
  • Recipient of the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering
  • Recipient of the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Award
  • Recipient of the Claude Shannon Award
  • Recipient of the Christopher Columbus Medal and other international awards
  • Trustee of the Scripps Research Institute
  • Trustee of the Mathematical Science Research Institute
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