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Honorary degree citation - Vahid Tarokh

By: William Lynch, November 2013

Mr. Chancellor, it is my honour to present to you Professor Vahid Tarokh, foremost wireless communications expert.

While with AT&T Labs in the 1990s, Professor Tarokh was the principal inventor of the complex mathematical formulas called space-time codes – the breakthrough helped improve the speed, capacity and clarity of wireless voice and data communications, adopted by telecom standards bodies worldwide. It is often said about Professor Tarokh that he works so tirelessly and quickly that by the time people apply his advances, he is often on to something else.

Après avoir obtenu son doctorat en génie électrique à l’Université de Waterloo et travaillé quatre ans à AT&T Labs, il s’est joint au corps professoral de l’Institut de technologie du Massachusetts en 2000. Deux ans plus tard, il a été recruté par l’Université Harvard à titre de professeur Gordon-McKay de génie électrique. Depuis 2005, il est attaché supérieur de recherches Hammond-Vinton-Hayes en génie électrique et professeur Perkins de mathématiques appliquées à l’École de génie et de sciences appliquées de l’Université Harvard. Cette année, il y a été nommé doyen des études en génie électrique.

Professor Tarokh’s current research is focused on signal processing and its applications to radar, interferometry and biology. His past research papers have been cited some 27,500 times by other scholars.

His many previous honours include the Governor General of Canada’s Academic Gold Medal in 1996, 2001 Alan T. Waterman Award, a prestigious 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2013 IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award for outstanding contributions to communications technology. He is the recipient of honorary degrees from Harvard University in 2002 and the University of Windsor in 2003.

Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of Senate and the Board of Governors, it is my privilege and honour to present to you Professor Vahid Tarokh, so that you may confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

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