The Alliance for Engineering Leaders in the Silicon Valley

2006 Hall of Fame Recipients  [print page]

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Mr. Jack Baskin - 2006 Hall of Fame Recipients

Mr. Jack Baskin
Founder of the Jack Baskin School of Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz

Since 1983, the University of California, Santa Cruz has been a direct recipient of Jack Baskin’s time and generosity. In 1983, his support and leadership launched the computer engineering program creating the “Baskin Center for Computer Engineering and Information Sciences.” In 1988, Mr. Baskin created the first endowed professorship in engineering for computer engineering. In 1997, after 14 years, his long-held dream of an engineering school at UCSC was realized. His $5 million gift led to the creation of “The Jack Baskin School of Engineering.” Jack’s on-going commitment to educating Silicon Valley engineers continues, shown by his recent gift to create the School’s newest chair in Biomolecular Engineering and fund the newly built “Baskin Engineering Auditorium,” a state-of-the-art classroom.

Jack Baskin put his engineering talents to work in the Silicon Valley community long before his involvement at UCSC. His leadership led his company to provide thousands of low-income housing units throughout the Silicon Valley region and beyond. In 1960, Jack retired to Santa Cruz and became very involved in the life of the Santa Cruz community. In 1985, Jack and his late wife were named Man and Woman of the Year by the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce for their unselfish and dedicated contributions to the county.

Jack was born in upstate New York, attended the University of Colorado, and received his degree in aeronautical engineering from New York University. In 1948, he obtained his California Professional Engineer’s license and became a general contractor in Southern California working on commercial, industrial, and public construction projects. His life is an example of an engineer’s responsibility to the community.

 Dr. Thomas Kailath - 2006 Hall of Fame Recipients

Dr. Thomas Kailath
Hitachi America Professor of Engineering Emeritus at Stanford University

Thomas Kailath was educated in Pune, India, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sc.D. in EE, 1961). He joined Stanford University in 1963 as an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, was promoted to Professor in 1968, and named to the Hitachi America Chair in 1988. He assumed Emeritus status in June 2001.

His research has spanned a number of fields, emphasizing information theory and communications in the sixties, linear systems, estimation and control in the seventies, VLSI design and sensor array signal processing in the eighties, and finally, applications for semiconductor manufacturing and digital communications.

He has mentored over a hundred doctoral and postdoctoral students, holds several patents, authored over 300 journal papers and several books and monographs. He also co-founded and served as a director of several private and public high-technology companies — the most recent being semiconductor design-for-manufacturing company, Clear Shape Technologies.

He served as President of the IEEE Information Theory Society in 1975 and received its Shannon Award in 2000. His honors include, among others, outstanding paper prizes from the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, on Signal Processing, and on Semiconductor Manufacturing; honorary degrees from universities in Sweden, Scotland, Spain and France; Guggenheim, Churchill and Humboldt fellowships; the Ragazzini Award of the American Control Council; the Technical Achievement and Society Awards of the IEEE Signal Processing Society; a Golden Jubilee Medal of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society, the IEEE Donald G. Fink Prize Award and the IEEE Education and Kilby Medals. He has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Indian National Academy of Engineering, and the Royal Spanish Academy of Engineering.

Dr. Sass Somekh - 2006 Hall of Fame Recipients

Dr. Sass Somekh
President of Novellus Systems, Inc.

Dr. Sass Somekh is responsible for leading the development and driving the business growth of several key products in the Semiconductor-equipment industry. Prior to joining Novellus Systems as President in 2004, he was an Executive VP and a board member at Applied Materials. During his 24-year tenure at the company, he played a critical role in transforming it from a $50-million revenue company to a $10-billion semiconductor-equipment industry leader 2000.

First as an engineer and project manager and then as a senior executive, he helped create a culture of innovation and action. Over the years Sass hired, coached, and promoted hundreds of employees, ranging from new college graduates to managers of billion-dollar product divisions. As a mentor of talent he contributed his insight and counsel to the building of strong management teams in the semiconductor-equipment industry.

In 1993 Sass was recognized as a co-inventor of the Precision 5000 when it became the first semiconductor-manufacturing system to be placed in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution. It is on display in the Information Age exhibit at the National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C. In 1994 Sass received the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials Institute’s SEMI Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his many contributions to the industry.

Sass received his bachelor degree in physics from Tel Aviv University and doctorate in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology. He holds more than 50 U.S. patents. Prior to joining Applied Materials, he worked at Bell Laboratories and Intel Corporation.

Sass Somekh has been a director of Synopsys since 1999, and has recently joined the board of two Nano Technology start-ups, Nanosys and Sol-Gel Technologies.

Dr. Lotfi Zadeh - 2006 Hall of Fame Recipients

Dr. Lotfi Zadeh
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley

Professor Lotfi Zadeh is an eminent figure of Engineering and Science, whose early contributions in Systems Theory and Control Theory are by themselves sufficient to justify his renown. He is a co-developer of the theory of sampled-data systems. He developed the theory of time-varying systems, and his seminal book on “Linear System Theory” with C.A. Desoer was for at least a decade a fundamental graduate engineering textbook.

Professor Zadeh is a Fellow of the U.S. Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, a Life Fellow of the IEEE, a recipient of the IEEE Education Medal, and a Member of the Russian Academy of Science. He is a Professor in the Graduate School at the University of California at Berkeley and was the founding Chair of Berkeley´┐Żs Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Lotfi Zadeh is known as the inventor and “father” of Fuzzy Logic. This concept has received attention in practically all fields of science and engineering, as well as in linguistics, psychology, economics, and in many other fields of the social sciences and the humanities. The INSPEC database reveals more than 15,000 citations to his ideas in the scientific literature. His work has given rise to many well-known applications including the automatic gear-shift system used by Volkswagen.

He is a recipient of eleven honorary doctorates from universities in seven different countries (U.S., Canada, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Azaerbaidjan, Spain), including recent honorary degrees from the University of Toronto (Canada) and the University of Toulouse, France. Prof. Zadeh has also received the Honda Prize which is awarded to one scientist or engineer each year. Because of his many contributions, Lotfi Zadeh has been recognized with major engineering awards including IEEE’s 1992 Richard W. Hamming Medal, the 1995 IEEE Medal of Honor, the 1984 IEEE Centennial Medal, the Eringen Medal of the Society for Engineering Science, and many foreign awards.

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