Robert G. Gallager

Robert G. Gallager

Fellow: Awarded 1977
Field of Study: Computer Science

Competition: US & Canada

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Robert G. Gallager received the BSEE degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1953, and the S.M. and Sc.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1957 and 1960, respectively. From 1953 to 1956, he was at Bell Telephone Laboratories and then the U.S. Signal Corps. He joined the MIT faculty in 1960, became Fujitsu Professor in 1988 and is now Professor Emeritus.

His Sc.D. thesis on “Low Density Parity Check Codes” won an IEEE IT Society Golden-Jubilee Paper Award in 1998 and is an active area of research today. “A Simple Derivation of the Coding Theorem and Some Applications,” won the 1966 IEEE Baker Prize and an IT Society Golden-Jubilee Paper Award in 1998. His book, Information Theory and Reliable Communication (Wiley, 1968), placed Information Theory on a firm foundation.

In the mid 1970s, Mr. Gallager’s research shifted to data networks. D. Bertsekas and he coauthored the text Data Networks (Prentice Hall, 1988; 2nd ed., 1992). His joint paper in 1993 with Parekh, “A Generalized Processor Sharing Approach to Flow Control in ISN,” won the 93 William Bennett Prize Paper Award and the 93 Infocomm Prize Paper Award. He wrote Discrete Stochastic Processes (Kluwer) in 1996 for graduate students going into the network field. His current interests are in information theory, wireless communication, all optical networks, data networks, and stochastic processes. He has just completed the textbook Principles of Digital Communication (Cambridge UP, 2008) for graduate students in the communication field. He is proud of his many graduate students over the years, and won the MIT Graduate Student Council Teaching Award for 1993.

Robert Gallager was involved in the founding of Codex Corporation in 1962 (now part of Motorola) and consulted there for many years. His fundamental studies on quadrature amplitude modulation and detection led directly to the 9600 bps modems that provided Codex’s commercial success. He has consulted for a number of other companies and has received five patents.

He was President of the Information Theory Society of the IEEE in 1971, Chairman of the Advisory Committee to the NSF Division on Networking and Communication Research from 1989 to 1992, and has been on numerous visiting committees for Electrical Engineering and Computer Science departments. His honors include IEEE Fellow (1968), University of Pennsylvania Moore School Gold Medal Award (1973),  National Academy of Engineering (1979), IEEE IT Soc. Shannon Award (1983), IEEE Centennial Medal (1984), IEEE Medal of Honor (1990), National Academy of Sciences (1992), Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1999), the Technion Harvey Prize in Science and Technology (1999), the Eduard Rhein Prize for basic research (2002), and the Marconi Fellowship Award (2003).

National Academy of Sciences , 1992
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