Dr. Bernard Widrow 1999

Professor of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University

Bernard Widrow is Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. His fields of teaching and research are signal processing, neural networks, acoustics, and control systems. Before coming to Stanford in 1959, he taught at MIT where he received the Doctor of Science Degree in 1956. Dr. Widrow is the author of two books: “Adaptive Signal Processing,” and “Adaptive Inverse Control,” both published by Prentice-Hall. Each is the first of its kind, establishing new fields of research and engineering that are being pursued worldwide by students, faculty, and practicing engineers.

Dr. Widrow is the inventor or co-inventor of 17 patents. One of his inventions, an adaptive filter based on the LMS (least mean square) algorithm, is used in almost all the computer modems in the world, making high-speed digital communications (such as the internet) possible. He is co-inventor of a directional hearing aid that will enable many people with severe to profound hearing loss to regain speech recognition and communication ability. Dr. Widrow has started Cardinal Sound Labs to develop and commercialize the technology.

He has been honored many times for his research. The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), elected him a Fellow in 1976. In 1984, he received the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal. He was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 1995.

Dr. Widrow is currently supervising ten doctoral students at Stanford. Over the years, more than sixty students have completed their Ph.D.s under his supervision. Many of his former students have become founders and top scientists in Silicon Valley companies. About ten have become university professors, four have gone on to medical school and become MDs, and two have become Admirals in the U. S. Navy.