USC Trustees Andrew J. Viterbi and Ming Hsieh have been named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors. The honor is one of the highest professional accolades given to people who have created or facilitated outstanding inventions that benefited society.
Viterbi, co-founder of Qualcomm Inc., is a professor of electrical engineering and namesake of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Fifty years ago, his groundbreaking Viterbi Algorithm, a mathematical formula to eliminate signal interference, paved the way for the widespread use of cellular technology.
He is a developer and manufacturer of mobile satellite communications and digital wireless telephony who received his PhD in 1962 from USC and remains a dedicated supporter of the school. Under his leadership, Qualcomm received international recognition for innovative technology in digital wireless communication systems.
Viterbi is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a Marconi fellow, a Franklin Medalist and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2007, he received the National Medal of Science, one of the nation’s highest honors for science and technology.
He currently serves as president of the Viterbi Group, LLC, a company founded in 2000 that advises and invests in startup companies, predominantly in wireless communications, network infrastructure, voice recognition and digital recording.
Hsieh ’83, MS ’84 is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the founder of 3M Cogent Inc., which revolutionized fingerprint identification. In 2006, the self-made entrepreneur endowed the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering, which was named in his honor.
In 2010, he established the Ming Hsieh Institute to further support the department through initiatives that foster creativity and invention. He currently serves as president and CEO of Fulgent Genetics Inc.
“Andrew Viterbi and Ming Hsieh have revolutionized the fields of communication and biometric identification,” said USC Viterbi Dean Yannis C. Yortsos. “Their accomplishments are awe-inspiring and have helped create our modern world. Their election to the NAI is long overdue and very well deserved. We are thrilled that the USC Viterbi of School of Engineering and the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering carry their names.”
The National Academy of Inventor fellows will be inducted on April 5 in Washington, D.C.