Imre Csiszár: A Champion of Data Security

The Life Fellow will receive the IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal

1 April 2015

For more than 50 years, IEEE Life Fellow Imre Csiszár’s research in information theory and statistics has been crucial to secure data transmission and compression. His work has impacted several fields, including economics, genetics, pattern recognition, and signal processing.

A professor emeritus at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, in Budapest, Csiszár will receive this year’s IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal. He is being cited for “contributions to information theory, information-theoretic security, and statistics.” The award is named for the computer pioneer who developed synonymous error-correcting codes for punched-card computers. It will be presented to Csiszár at the IEEE Honors Ceremony in June in New York City.

Csiszár is best known for developing the method of types, an approach to proving coding theorems for discrete memoryless communications systems, which are systems that are not influenced by data collected in the past. He worked with Janos Körner, a colleague at the Hungarian Academy, on improving physical-layer security in wireless communications networks.

In 1981 Csiszár coauthored the book Information Theory: Coding Theorems for Discrete Memoryless Systems, which along with its later editions has become an important resource for researchers in the field. His current research involves secret key extraction algorithms and network coding schemes, which optimize the secure flow of data through communications networks.

Read about the rest of the pioneers who will be recognized at this year’s Honors Ceremony and find out how to nominate someone for IEEE’s most prestigious awards. 

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