Robert W. Lucky
1st William Gould Dow Distinguished Lecture
“Disruptive Technologies Amidst the Storm in Telecommunications”
Robert W. Lucky
Corporate Vice President
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
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,
Man, 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.
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