UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering University of California San Diego
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Jack Wolf Wins Hamming Medal

Jack Keil Wolf

Jack Keil Wolf was an early proponent of applying information and communications theory to the construction of ultra-high-density information storage. But it's not just theory: The research results of Wolf and his students are incorporated in a number of current hard disk drives.

Now, those contributions have earned ECE professor Wolf – who has been at UCSD since 1984 – the 2004 Richard W. Hamming Medal. Sponsored by AT&T Labs, the award is given annually by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for exceptional contributions to information sciences, systems and technology. The organization cited Wolf for his "fundamental contributions to the theory and practice of information transmission and storage."

Wolf 's current research interest is in signal processing for storage systems, and he supervises the research of five graduate students who are members of the Signal Processing Group within the university's Center for Magnetic Recording Research (CMRR). "Professor Wolf and his team of researchers are in the forefront of the design of signal processing systems for the storage of digital data, particularly high-density magnetic recording systems," says ECE chair Paul Yu. "This award is richly deserved and recognizes Wolf 's long-standing contributions to a field that is at the intersection of two revolutions – communications, and information storage."

Currently the Stephen O. Rice Professor of Magnetics, Wolf was the first chaired professor in CMRR. In addition to his regular undergraduate and graduate courses, Wolf, together with his grad students, also teaches an undergraduate course in signal processing for magnetic recording, to introduce students to the skills necessary to conduct research in the area.

The Hamming Medal is Wolf 's third IEEE award in five years. He was the recipient of its Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communication Award in 1998, and the Information Theory Society's Shannon Award in 2001.