Wi-Fi Innovator Arthur Astrin Honored with IEEE Computer Society Hans Karlsson Award

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Astrin received the award “for leadership and diplomatic skills applied to LAN/MAN wireless personal area network standards; mediating rivalry of competing corporate entities and personal aspirations by promoting the value of IEEE wireless standards-based approaches.”

Communication engineer Arthur W. Astrin, whose innovations and efforts contributed to the birth and development of the Wi-Fi industry, is the 2011 recipient of the Hans Karlsson award.

Established in 1992 in memory of Hans Karlsson, chairman and father of the IEEE 1301 family of standards, the Karlsson is one of the Computer Society’s highest honors. The award recognizes outstanding skills and dedication to diplomacy, team facilitation, and joint achievement, in the development or promotion of standards in the computer industry where individual aspirations, corporate competition, and organizational rivalry could otherwise be counter to the benefit of society.

Astrin received the award “for leadership and diplomatic skills applied to LAN/MAN wireless personal area network standards; mediating rivalry of competing corporate entities and personal aspirations by promoting the value of IEEE wireless standards-based approaches.”

Astrin has held technical and management positions and developed computer and communication systems at Apple Computer, IBM, Siemens, ROLM, Memorex, and Citicorp. At Apple, he assisted in birthing the Wi-Fi industry by developing the AirPort, the first consumer oriented, wireless solution for PCs. He also worked toward creating industry compatibility with testing compliance for the IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi standard.

In 1967, he built the first “bit-slice” architecture computer using transistor-transistor logic (TTL) technology and received an award from US Navy Captain Grace Hopper. In 1969, he built the world’s first digital signal processing (DSP) and hardware Fast-Fourier Transform (FFT) processor with sufficient speed to allow for orthogonal frequency-division-multiplexing (OFDM) modulation.

He also has taught communication and computer engineering at San Jose State University and University of California Berkeley. Keeping one foot in academic world has allowed him to work on theoretical engineering problems, such as coexistence of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless communications, as well as mentoring many students into the Silicon Valley industry.

Astrin is chair of the IEEE Information Theory Group in Santa Clara, a recipient of the IEEE Third Millennium Medal, and a Senior Member of IEEE. He was a member of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group and has been a member of the IEEE 802.11/15 standards committee since 1997. He currently chairs the Body Area Network Task Group 6 of IEEE 802.15.

Astrin holds seven patents, with another one forthcoming. He holds a master’s degree in mathematics from University of California San Diego and a PhD in communication engineering from University of California Los Angeles.

The award will be presented on Wednesday, 25 May at an awards dinner in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Karlsson Award Selection Committee is chaired by David J. Schultz of Computer Sciences Corp.

James W. Moore, CSDP, received the Hans Karlsson Award in 2009 “for charting the road maps and leading the harmonization of IEEE and ISO systems and software engineering standards.” Moore is 2011 IEEE Division V Director-Elect. He served as an executive editor of the Society’s 2004 Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK), and was a member of the editorial board of the recent revision of “The Encyclopedia of Software Engineering.”

Katherine L. Morse was recognized with a Karlssson in 2008 for her leadership in developing modeling and simulation standards and her collaboration in establishing the Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization Standards Activity Committee as an IEEE standards sponsor.

John L. (Jack) Cole received the award in 2006 for bringing together diverse interests with leadership, dedication, and vision in producing five storage system standards and forming the first information assurance standards committee. In 1994, Computer Society 2010 President James D. Isaak received the first Karlsson award for his leadership and achievement in collaboration.

Other past recipients can be found at http://www.computer.org/portal/web/awards/karlsson.
The IEEE Computer Society awards program honors outstanding technical achievements, innovation, and service to the computer profession and to the society. Award and nomination information is available at http://www.computer.org/portal/web/awards. For more information, contact Thomas M. Conte, 2011 Awards Committee Chair, at awards(at)computer(dot)org.

About the IEEE Computer Society

With nearly 85,000 members, the IEEE Computer Society is the world’s leading organization of computing professionals. Founded in 1946, and the largest of IEEE’s 38 societies, the Computer Society is dedicated to advancing the theory and application of computer and information-processing technology. The Society serves the information and career-development needs of today’s computing researchers and practitioners with technical journals, magazines, conferences, books, conference publications, certifications, and online courses. For more information, visit http://www.computer.org.

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