IEEE Awards Booklet - 2014 - 9

2014 IEEE MEDALS

IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal

IEEE Medal for Innovations
in Healthcare Technology

Sponsored by Qualcomm, Inc.

Sponsored by the IEEE Engineering
in Medicine and Biology Society

Thomas J.
Richardson and
Rüdiger Urbanke

Leroy Hood

For fundamental
contributions to coding
theory, iterative
information processing,
and applications

For pioneering contributions to
DNA sequencing technologies that
revolutionized life and health sciences

Considered the world's leading experts on iterative decoding,
Thomas J. Richardson and Rüdiger Urbanke have helped optimize data transmission rates for wireless and optical communications with techniques that realize near-channel capacity. To
approach "Shannon's limit," which established the maximum
rate for communications over a noisy channel, they expanded on
low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes and provided a better
understanding of iterative decoding procedures. The result has
been reliable data transmission at rates close to channel capacity
with low errors. Known for the ability to transfer coding theory
to practical applications, their work has been integral to today's
high-speed communications and data storage systems. LDPC
codes are components of many communications standards: WiFi
(IEEE 802.11); Digital Video Broadcasting standards; 10GBase-T
Ethernet; and the ITU-T standard for networking over power
lines, phone lines, and coaxial cable.Three landmark papers by Drs.
Richardson and Urbanke, one coauthored by Amin Shokrollahi,
that appeared in the February 2001 issue of the IEEE Transactions
on Information Theory, successfully addressed the obstacles facing
the development of capacity-approaching codes. They demonstrated that LDPC codes could very closely approach Shannon's
limit, showed how to design irregular LDPC codes, and provided methods for efficiently encoding LDPC codes. They also
introduced the density evolution technique, which is a primary
tool in the design of iterative systems that allows engineers to
quickly assess the quality of code structure. The error-floor prediction technique developed by Dr. Richardson enabled the use
of LDPC codes for data storage devices and has found commercial application in computer hard drives. More recently (2014), in
a paper coauthored with Shrinivas Kudekar, Drs. Richardson and
Urbanke showed that a special class of LDPC codes can achieve
the Shannon limit with iterative decoding.
An IEEE Fellow and member of the U.S. National Academy
of Engineering, Dr. Richardson is currently vice president of
engineering at Qualcomm, Inc., Bridgewater, N.J. An IEEE
Senior Member and co-recipient (with Dr. Richardson) of the
2011 IEEE Kobayashi Award, Dr. Urbanke is currently a professor
with the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland.

Leroy Hood's development of five groundbreaking instruments,
including the automated DNA sequencer, has helped unlock the
mysteries of human biology and provided the foundation for the
field of genomics, revolutionizing our understanding of genetics
in the process. Moreover, two of these instruments-the automated DNA sequencer and the ink-jet DNA synthesizer-led to
the concepts of high throughput biology and big data. A pioneer
in bringing engineering to biology, Dr. Hood's development of
the DNA sequencer in 1986 allowed the rapid automated sequencing of human genomes. This instrument became the driving force of the Human Genome Project, enabling the reading
of the entire human genetic code. Prior to the DNA sequencer,
it took 30 years to map the genome of the cold virus. With the
DNA sequencer, genomes of some viruses can now be mapped
in less than an hour. Dr. Hood's creation of the DNA synthesizer
in 1987 made it possible to synthesize DNA fragments for sequencing and cloning complete genes. His development of the
inkjet DNA synthesizer in 2004 enabled the creation of DNA
chips that can measure the expression levels of tens of thousands
of genes. Dr. Hood also developed a protein synthesizer (1981)
and protein sequencer (1985) that helped establish the field of
proteomics. His protein sequencer made it possible to determine
the amino acid sequence of proteins present at vanishingly small
concentrations.This resulted in the characterization of many new
proteins and the cloning of their corresponding genes-opening
up many new biological fields including the identification of the
first oncogene. His protein synthesizer enabled the creation of
an AIDS protease inhibitor, which was highly effective in treating AIDS. Dr. Hood has combined his genomic and proteomic
expertise with mathematical modeling to form the discipline of
systems biology, which has transformed biology and will be a key
enabler of predictive and personalized medicine.
One of only 15 individuals elected to all three U.S. National Academies (the National Academy of Science, the National
Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine), Dr.
Hood is president and co-founder of the Institute for Systems
Biology, Seattle, Wash.

Scope: For exceptional contributions to information sciences,
systems, and technology

Scope: For outstanding contributions and/or innovations in
engineering within the fields of medicine, biology, and healthcare
technology

9 | 2014 IEEE AWARDS BOOKLET



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