Sunday, March 25, 2007
Prof. Thomas Kailath
The Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame Award, recognizing area scientists who have demonstrated significant engineering achievements, and provided significant guidance in new and developing fields of engineering, comes at the fag-end of a long and distinguished career for a professor with one of the longest innings at Stanford – 44 years. He is the only Indian-American who is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the National Academy of Engineers (NAE), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Indian National Academy of Engineering. At this point it may be appropriate to consider the overall legacy of Kailath. He has guided 74 doctoral students (eight of them Indians), mentored 40 post-doctoral fellows, co-founded at least six companies, consulted at various levels for US defense agencies, advised the Government of India, and has been honored with at least four doctorates. In addition he was one of the first Indian-Americans to fund a chair in India Studies (in honor of his wife Sara Kailath) at UC Berkeley.Kailath has authored, edited and co-authored several books, including "Linear Systems," "Indefinite Quadratic Estimation and Control" and "Linear Estimation". He has held Guggenheim, Churchill and Humboldt fellowships, among others. He served as president of the IEEE Information Theory Society in 1975 and received its Shannon Award in 2000. He has also received honorary degrees from Sweden's Linkoping University, Scotland's Strathclyde University, Spain's University of Carlos III and France's University of Bordeaux.