Fellow Ingrid Daubechies [left to right] and Honorary Member Dean Kamen received the 2011 Benjamin Franklin Medals from the Franklin Institute. The awards recognize individuals whose innovations have benefited humanity, advanced science, launched new fields of study, or improved our understanding of the universe.
Daubechies received the electrical engineering medal for “fundamental discoveries in the field of compact representations of data, leading to efficient image compression as used in digital photography.” She is a professor of mathematics at Princeton University. Her research has greatly improved digital image and signal processing, leading the way to the development of the most common and versatile algorithms for data compression. Her work forms the basis of the JPEG2000 image-processing standard. She is a member of the IEEE Signal Processing Society.
Kamen received the mechanical engineering medal for his “resourcefulness and imagination in creating mechanical devices that broadly benefit society and enable people with disabilities to improve their quality of life and health.” Kamen is founder of DEKA Research and Development, a company in Manchester, N.H., that develops new technologies. Kamen’s innovations include the Segway battery-powered two-wheel vehicle and the AutoSyringe, a device that patients can wear to get timed injections of their medications. He holds more than 440 patents.
Life Fellows Esther M. Conwell [left to right] and Amnon Yariv are recipients of the 2009 National Medal of Science, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government to scientists and engineers. The award is administered by the National Science Foundation, and the recipients were only recently announced.
Conwell was cited for her “broad contributions to understanding electron and hole transport in semiconducting materials—which helped to enable commercial applications of semiconductor and organic electronic devices,” and for “extending her analysis to studying the electronic properties of DNA.” Her work contributed to the advancement of computers by discovering how electrons travel through semiconductors.
A professor of chemistry and physics at the University of Rochester, in New York, Conwell researches the movement of electrons through DNA.
Yariv was cited for “foundational contributions to photonics and quantum electronics, including his demonstration of the semiconductor distributed-feedback laser that underpins today’s high-speed optical fiber communications.” He is a professor of applied physics and electrical engineering at Caltech. In the early 1970s, he led the research team that invented the semiconductor distributed-feedback laser.
Life Fellow Marcian E. Hoff Jr. [left to right] and Life Senior Member Stanley Mazor are two of the three recipients sharing the National Medal of Technology and Innovation for 2009. Along with their colleague Federico Faggin, they were honored for developing the world’s first microprocessor at Intel Corp. in Santa Clara, Calif. The award is administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
In the late 1960s, the three invented the Intel 4004, a four-bit CPU, which went to market in 1971. The device acted as a building block that engineers could buy and then customize with software to perform different functions.
Hoff is vice president and technical officer of Teklicon, an agency in San Jose, Calif., that provides technical experts to serve as witnesses during intellectual property disputes. He is a member of the IEEE Solid-State, Signal Processing, Computer, and Electron Devices societies.
Mazor is the training director at BEA Systems, also in San Jose. The company develops enterprise infrastructure software products that connect software applications to databases. He is a member of the IEEE Computer Society.