(photo by Matthew Tierney)

Frank Kschischang awarded the 2023 IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal

Frank Kschischang, distinguished professor of digital communication at the Edward S. Rogers Sr. department of electrical and computer engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, has received the 2023 Richard W. Hamming Medal from IEEE ( Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), the world’s largest professional technical organization. 

The IEEE Medal of Honor is presented to those who have made an exceptional contribution to science and technology. The IEEE recognized Kschischang for his contributions to the theory of error-correcting codes (ECCs), which ensure that digital signals can recover lost bits of information when they travel from a transmitter to a receiver. 

Winning the medal is “a fantastic honour,” Kschischang says. 

“When I was an undergrad, our IEEE student branch showed us Hamming’s video on how to do research, which had a big influence on my decision to continue to graduate studies myself,” he says. “It’s that kind of inspiration that I look to instill in my own students.”

ECCs play a critical role in modern information technology and Kschischang’s factor-graph approach to describing codes and decoding algorithms is now a mainstay in textbooks. Other career highlights include a subspace coding method for network communications that has spawned its own subdiscipline within the field. His more recent work on “staircase” codes for fibre-optic communications is now embedded within a number of international data communication standards.

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Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering