IEEE Awards Booklet - 2016 - 17

Modem
Maestro

G. David Forney Jr.,
the 2016 IEEE
Medal of Honor
recipient, turns
information theory
into practice
By M ark anDErson

pHotograpH BY

Mike Mcgregor

I t c a n s o m e t I m e s s e e m a s t h o ug h there's
a gaping chasm between theory and reality. But G. David
Forney Jr., the recipient of this year's IEEE Medal of Honor,
masterfully straddles both realms, his colleagues say. A key
figure in the development of the high-speed modem, a device
that opened up the Internet and all its associated world-changing
technologies, Forney has balanced the practical and the theoretical
throughout his career. Over the years, he has not only made
critical contributions to communications and information theory
but also put some of this recondite mathematical theory into
practice. And as a result, he can claim a key role in the greatest
communications revolution in modern history. * "He's one of the
people who gets to the heart of abstract subjects very quickly," says
Thomas Kailath, an emeritus professor of engineering at Stanford
and the 2007 IEEE Medal of Honor recipient. "But uniquely, when
needed, he also designed and built circuits, wrote code, and got
things working. Everything Dave does, he does well." * And yet, as
17 | 2016 IEEE AWARDS BooKLET



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Awards Booklet - 2016

IEEE Awards Booklet - 2016 - Cover1
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IEEE Awards Booklet - 2016 - Cover3
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