In Memoriam: March 2009

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members

6 March 2009


Council and Section Chair

MEMBER GRADE: Life Senior Member

AGE: 78

DIED: 15 September

Chelur Guruswamy Ravi was an active IEEE volunteer, serving as chair of the IEEE India Council in 2003 and chair of the Bombay Section in 1990.

Ravi began his engineering career as a research assistant at IBM, in Armonk, N.Y., where he worked on the development of high-speed switching circuits, ICs, and thin-film memories. He then returned to his homeland of India, where he worked at IBM, in Bangalore, on component quality assurance and product assurance.

In addition to his chairmanships, Ravi served as the 1994 secretary/treasurer of the India Council. He was also a member of the IEEE Computer Society, the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, and the IEEE Magnetics Society.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1949 from St. Joseph’s College, in Tiruchirapalli, India. He went on to earn a master’s in physics in 1952 and a doctoral degree in electronics engineering in 1954, both from Rhode Island University, in Providence.



Communications Research Expert

MEMBER GRADE: Life Senior Member

AGE: 78

DIED: 15 November

Michael Sablatash was an expert in the field of communications and wireless communication signal processing.

He headed the Local Area Networks group of the Canadian government’s department of communications, in Ottawa, from 1976 to 1978. He joined the Communications Research Center, also in Ottawa, in 1981, where he was a research scientist for its Advanced Video Systems group. He was a consultant and advisor to other departments, including advanced communications sciences, image communications, and communications signal processing, where he developed wavelets and filter banks applied to wireless communications.

Sablatash also was a guest lecturer for the Department of Systems Engineering and Computer Science at Carleton University, in Ottawa, and a visiting professor of electrical engineering at the University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg, Canada.

He also was a member of the Canadian Society of Electrical and Computer Engineers and Sigma Xi, an international honor society for science and engineering students. He was a member of the IEEE Communications Society, the IEEE Information Theory Society, and the IEEE Control Systems Society.

He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering in 1957 and 1964 from the University of Manitoba. He also earned a doctoral degree in electrical engineering in 1968 from the University of Wisconsin, in Madison.



Founder of Statistical Communication Theory


AGE: 88

DIED: 16 November

David Middleton was founder of the field of statistical communication theory. He devoted his career of more than 60 years to studying signal processing and the transfer of information from one point in space-time to another, with numerous applications to radar, underwater listening devices, satellite technology, and signal processing. During the Cold War, his theoretical work for the U.S. government was applied to antisubmarine warfare.

Middleton was an assistant professor of applied physics at Harvard from 1949 to 1954, where he introduced new courses on statistical communication theory. Throughout his career he was also an adjunct professor of statistical communications at several universities, including Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Rice, Rhode Island, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Texas.

He served on the U.S. Naval Advisory Research Committee, in Arlington, Va., from 1970 to 1977 and was on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Supercomputing Research Center for the Institute for Defense Analyses, in Alexandra, Va., from 1988 to 1991.

Middleton was a member of the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Antennas and Propagation, Communications, Electromagnetic, Information Theory, Oceanic Engineering, and Signal Processing societies.

He earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in physics in 1942, 1945, and 1947 from Harvard.

Donations in Middleton’s memory can be made to the IEEE Foundation ( to benefit the IEEE History Center.

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