Prof. Alan Eli Willner
Steven and Kathryn Sample Chair in Engineering
Alan Willner received the Ph.D. (1988) in
Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, as well as a B.A. (1982)
in Physics and an Honorary Degree (Honoris Causa, 2012) from Yeshiva
University. Prof. Willner was a Postdoctoral Member of the Technical Staff
at AT&T Bell Laboratories and a Member of Technical Staff at Bellcore. He is currently the Steven and Kathryn Sample Chaired
Professor in Engineering and Distinguished Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering in the Ming Hsieh Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering of the
Viterbi School of Engineering at the Univ. of Southern California; he also has a joint appointment with the Dept. of Physics & Astronomy in the USC Dornsife College. Prof. Willner has been: a Visiting Professor at Columbia University, the Univ. College London, and the Weizmann Institute of Science; and a Visiting Scholar at Yeshiva University. He is a Member of the U.S. Army Science Board, was a
Member of the Defense Sciences Research
Council (a 16-member body that provided reports to the DARPA Director and Office
Directors), has served on many scientific advisory boards for small
companies, and has advised several venture capital firms. Additionally, Prof. Willner
was Founder and CTO of Phaethon Communications, a company whose technology was acquired by
Teraxion, that created the ClearSpectrum® dispersion compensator product
line which is presently deployed in many commercial 40-Gbit/s systems
Prof. Willner's professional activities have included: Co-Chair of the U.S. National Academies Committee on the Optics and Photonics Study, President of The Optical Society (OSA), President of the IEEE Photonics Society (formerly LEOS), Co-Chair of the Science & Engineering Council of the OSA, Vice-President for Technical Affairs of the IEEE Photonics Society, Photonics Division Chair of OSA, Chair of the IEEE TAB Ethics and Member Conduct Committee, General & Program Co-Chair of the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO), Program Co-Chair of the OSA Annual Meeting, General Chair of the IEEE LEOS Annual Meeting, Program Chair of Telecommunications Engineering at SPIE's Photonics West, Chair of the Unclassified Technical Program for IEEE MILCOM, Elected Member of the Board of Governors for the IEEE Photonics Society, General Co-Chair of the IEEE Photonics Society Topical Meeting on Broadband Networks, Steering Committee and Technical Committee Member of the Conference on Optical Fiber Communications (OFC), and Member of the US Advisory Committee for Int'l Commission for Optics (activity of the National Academies, IEEE, OSA and SPIE).
Prof. Willner's editorial positions have included: Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE/OSA Journal of Lightwave Technology (JLT), Editor-in-Chief of OSA Optics Letters, Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, Associate Editor of the IEEE Journal of Selected Areas in Communications Series on Optical Networks (now IEEE/OSA JOCN), Guest Editor of JLT and JSAC for the Joint Special Issue on Multiple-Wavelength Technologies & Networks, and Guest Editor of IEEE J. of Quantum Electronics Focus Issue on High-Capacity Optical Transmission Systems.
Prof. Willner has >1500 publications, including one
book, 10 edited books, ~44 U.S. patents, ~47 keynotes/plenaries, ~24 book chapters, >400
refereed journal papers, and >300 invited papers/presentations. His
research is in optical technologies, including: communications, signal processing,
networks, and subsystems.