Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Robert W. Lucky


1st William Gould Dow Distinguished Lecture

“Disruptive Technologies Amidst the Storm in Telecommunications”

Robert W. Lucky
Corporate Vice President
Applied Research
Telcordia Technologies

Biographical Sketch
Robert W. Lucky, Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, Purdue University, 1961, began his career in telecommunications at AT&T Bell Laboratories. His work in correcting distortion in telephone signals, called the adaptive equalizer, is used in all high speed data transmission today. The textbook, Principles of Data Communications, 1968, which he co-authored, became the most cited reference in the communications field over the period of a decade.

At Bell Labs he moved through a number of levels to become Executive Director of the Communications Sciences Research Division in 1982, where he was responsible for research on the methods and technologies for future communication systems. Dr. Lucky joined Telcordia Technologies in 1992.

Dr. Lucky has served as President of the Communications Society of the IEEE, and as Vice President and Executive Vice President of the IEEE. He has served as editor of several technical journals, including the Proceedings of the IEEE.

He is a Fellow of the IEEE, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is a consulting editor for a series of books on communications through Plenum Press. He has been on the advisory boards or committees of many universities and government organizations, and was Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the United States Air Force from 1986-89. He was the 1987 recipient of the prestigious Marconi Prize for his contributions to data communications. He has also been awarded the Edison Medal of the IEEE and the Exceptional Civilian Contributions Medal of the U.S. Air Force. He holds 11 patents.

Dr. Lucky is a frequent speaker before both scientific and general audiences. He has been an invited lecturer at more than 125 different universities, and has been the guest on a number of network television shows, including Bill Moyers’ “A World of Ideas,” where he has discussed the impacts of future technological advances. He is the author of the popular book Silicon Dreams: Information, an, and Machine, 1993, a semi-technical and philosophical discussion of the ways in which both humans and computers deal with information. Since 1982, Dr. Lucky has written the bimonthly “Reflections” column of personalized observations about the engineering profession in Spectrum magazine. These reflections were collected in the IEEE Press book, “Lucky Strikes ... Again,” in 1993. You can still read Bob Lucky’s reflections in Spectrum.

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Dr. Lucky also spoke at the dedication and installation of the Claude E. Shannon bust on Friday, November 9, 2001, at noon, outside the west entrance of the EECS atrium.