Sol Golomb of the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering received the 2011 Sigma Xi William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement. Sigma Xi is an international, multidisciplinary research society whose programs and activities promote the health of the scientific enterprise and honor scientific achievement. The Society endeavors to encourage support of original work across the spectrum of science and technology and to promote an appreciation within society at large for the role research has played in human progress.
Since 1950, the William Procter Prize has been awarded annually to a scientist who has made an outstanding contribution to scientific research and has demonstrated an ability to communicate the significance of this research to scientists in other disciplines. The prize consists of a certificate of award, a Steuben glass sculpture and a $5,000 honorarium. In addition, each recipient is asked to designate a younger scholar, usually working in the same field, to receive a $5,000 Grant-in-Aid of Research award from the Procter Prize Fund.
Sol Golomb received his Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1957 from Harvard. While completing his Ph.D., he spent a year in Norway as a Fulbright Fellow. He then worked as a Senior Research Mathematician at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, later becoming Research Group Supervisor and then Assistant Chief of the Telecommunications Research Section, where he played a key role in formulating the design of deep-space communications for the subsequent lunar and planetary explorations. He joined USC as a Professor in 1963, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of both the IEEE and AAAS. He received the USC Presidential Medallion in 1985, was awarded the title of University Professor in 1993, and won the Shannon Award of the Information Theory Society of the IEEE in 1985 and the Hamming Medal of the IEEE in 2000. He became a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences in 1994. He has received numerous awards and medals, as well as two honorary doctorate degrees. He was appointed the first holder of the Viterbi Chair in Communications in 1999. He holds a joint appointment in the department of Mathematics. Sol’s research interests include signal design for communications and radar, coding theory and cryptography, combinatorial analysis, number theory, and mathematical game theory.
Alexander “Sandy” Sawchuk, Systems Chair of the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering, said: Sol Golomb has a tremendous record of achievement in many diverse fields of mathematics, engineering, and science. He has had a lifelong interest in games and puzzles, and has contributed regularly to the popular literature in these fields, including many books, newspapers and magazines. These broad interests extend to teaching, where he regularly teaches a variety of courses to general non-technical audiences, with topics such as "Puzzles, Patterns, Games and Illusions", and discussions of the Biblical Book of Genesis. Our Department and faculty are proud of these accomplishments and congratulate him on the award of the 2011 Sigma Xi William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement and its recognition of his distinction as a universal scholar."