G. Clifford Carter, an engineer whose pioneering contributions to determining and using coherence and time-delay estimation have had lasting impact on the field of signal processing – including sonar detection, classification and localization, was honored by IEEE with the TI-sponsored 2012 IEEE Jack S. Kilby Signal Processing Medal. The medal was presented on Saturday, June 30, at the IEEE Honors Ceremony in Boston.
The impetus for Carter’s push into engineering was a stint in the U.S. Coast Guard. That sparked a career that started as a civilian employee in the Navy Lab system and led to serving a couple of tours at the Office of Naval Research in Washington, D.C.
Carter spent some time with Around TI talking about his work in underwater acoustics signal processing and the impact that Jack Kilby has had on the semiconductor industry:
How has TI been integral to you in your study of underwater acoustics signal processing?
The challenges of slide rules gave way to TI digital calculators. For larger problems, in the early days of the cold war, the Defense Department requirements drove the advancement of digital technology. The Navy, in particular, had challenging computational requirements with regards to ocean surveillance and underwater acoustics signal processing. TI was the leader in the field important to the successful conclusion of the cold war. One of my close relatives had the opportunity to hear an inspirational talk by Jack Kilby on electronics. One of my colleagues left the Navy after a tour in Washington, D.C., and went to TI to contribute to the Navy’s efforts through the private sector.
Since that time when the Navy drove technology, cost containment has caused the Defense Department to leverage the growing commercial sectors use of digital technology for cell phones and GPS with what is called commercial off the shelf or COTS. TI continues its leadership in these areas.
What does it mean to you to win an award with Jack Kilby’s name attached to it?
I am deeply honored to be the winner of the Jack S. Kilby award for 2012. I note that Jack Kilby was born 22 years before me and was elected a Fellow of the IEEE 22 years before me. His work, like mine, has been useful both in defense and other applied fields, but then Jack Kilby went on to win a Nobel prize and – with TI support established – an IEEE medal. I am delighted to culminate a long career with receipt of this IEEE Medal.
The Jack Kilby Medal has been awarded to several signal processing experts whom I greatly admire. I am deeply honored and humbled to be in the company of previous Kilby award winners.
I worked in a field of signal processing where much of the work that I participated in with the collaboration of many others was not publicly distributed, but I am pleased that some of it has been appropriately released and found wide spread application even beyond underwater acoustics.
Describe Jack Kilby’s impact on the semiconductor industry?
In a word: “immense.” The industry has changed but more than that the world we live in has changed based on Jack Kilby’s accomplishments.
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