February 11, 2008 —
USC Provost C. L. Max Nikias
USC Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs C. L. Max Nikias is among the 65 new members elected to the
National Academy of Engineering (NAE), the highest professional distinction that can be accorded to an engineer.
"This is a great day for USC, for USC engineering and for two of USC's finest leaders, Provost Max Nikias and Dean Yannis Yortsos," said USC President Steven B. Sample, acknowledging Nikias and Yortsos' election. "National Academy memberships not only testify to the superb achievements of individual scholars, they also serve as indicators of excellence for an entire university. Their election to membership in the NAE is a credit to them both, but it is an honor to the entire USC community as well."
Nikias, an electrical engineer, was cited "for contributions to the development and diverse applications of adaptive signal processing, and for leadership in engineering education."
Nikias became USC provost and senior vice president for academic affairs on June 1, 2005. He is USC's chief academic officer and the second-ranking officer under the president.
He has been on the USC Viterbi faculty since 1991, serving as dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering from 2001 to 2005. Before becoming dean, he was the founding director of the Integrated Media Systems Center, USC's first National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center (ERC) and the sole ERC for multimedia and Internet research.
Nikias has been internationally recognized for pioneering research in digital communications and signal processing, digital media systems and biomedicine. He has been a high-level consultant to the U.S. government and his innovations in signal processing have been adopted by the U.S. Navy in sonar, radar and mobile communication systems.
He has authored more than 95 peer-reviewed journal articles, 180 refereed conference papers, three textbooks and holds eight patents. He became an IEEE Fellow at the age of 38, an honor that fewer than two percent of the organization's 370,000 members achieve. Viterbi Board of Councilors member Alexis Livanos, who is president of Northrop Grumman Space Technology.
Most recently, Nikias was awarded the 2008 IEEE Simon Ramo Medal for "outstanding leadership in engineering systems research and education, and for pioneering contributions to integrated media systems for the entertainment industry."
Nikias received a diploma from the National Technical University of Athens and earned an M.S. and Ph.D. from the State University of New York.