Signal Processing: How Did We Get Here?

On May 24, Ford Engineering Professor Al Oppenheim addressed a sold-out audience at MIT to deliver the lecture of his life. Entitled “Signal Processing: How Did We Get to Where We’re Going?” Oppenheim’s personal account of his involvement in the early years of the field of digital signal processing included a photographic retrospective—and a few wearable historical artifacts—that showed how far the field has come since its birth at MIT and Lincoln Laboratory. Moderated by Anantha Chandrakasan, chief innovation and strategy officer, dean of the School of Engineering, and Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the event included a lively Q&A session, giving students the opportunity to get Oppenheim’s perspective on the trajectory of this rapidly expanding field.

Al Oppenheim: “Signal Processing: How Did We Get to Where We’re Going?”

Al Oppenheim received his Ph.D. in 1964 from MIT and also holds an honorary doctorate from Tel Aviv University. During his career, he has been a member of the Electronics Research Laboratory and has been closely affiliated with MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. His research interests lie in the general area of ​​signal processing algorithms, systems, and applications. He is co-author of the widely used textbooks Digital Signal Processing, Discrete-Time Signal Processing (currently in its third edition), Signals and Systems (currently in its second edition), and, most recently, Signals, Systems & Interference, published in 2016. He is also the author of several video courses available online. He is the editor of several advanced textbooks on signal processing. Throughout his career, he has published numerous articles in research journals and conference proceedings.

Oppenheim is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an IEEE Life Fellow, and has been a Guggenheim Fellow in France and a Sackler Fellow in Israel. He has received numerous IEEE awards for his outstanding research, teaching, and mentoring, including the IEEE Kilby Medal; the IEEE Education Medal; the IEEE Centennial Award; the IEEE Third Millennium Medal; the Norbert Wiener Society Award; and the Society, Technical Achievement, and Senior Awards of the IEEE Society on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing; as well as numerous research, teaching, and mentoring awards at MIT.

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