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Archive for September, 2012

Irving S. Reed

Prof. Irving S. Reed, noted for his various contributions to Signal Processing, Coding Theory and many other areas and perhaps most well known for the Reed-Solomon codes passed away yesterday. His ideas have found applications from CDs to cell phones to deep space communications. USC announced his passing in a press release yesterday. It rightly ends as: Millions of people today enjoy the benefits of Reed’s many inventions and contributions to technology without being aware of their remarkable benefactor. Oftentimes I feel really sad at thinking of such inventions and people, but at other times I tend to think that this is the highest possible compliment an idea or an invention can get. After all, perhaps one mark of an idea/invention to be truly great is that it becomes so obvious/widespread that its origins are more or less forgotten.

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