Logo: University of Southern California

Famous Friends and Followers Fete Sol Golomb

John Cohoon
June 12, 2007 —

 University Professor Golomb with family, friends and colleagues.
The Viterbi School’s Communication Sciences Institute held a special three-day workshop to mark the 75th birthday of USC university professor Solomon Golomb, the mathematician/information theorist whose brilliant explorations of shift register sequences opened a path for the communications revolution. Golomb is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The workshop, appropriately entitled “Sequences, Subsequences and Consequences,” drew an international field of luminaries to present papers drawing and expanding on Golomb’s work. As usual, Sol Golomb was the star of his own conference, setting the tone and agenda for the rest of the workshop with his droll and penetrating opening keynote, “Solved and Unsolved Problems Involving Sequences.”

Scholars from near – Robert McEliece, an IEEE Shannon Lecturer from Caltech – and far – Tor Helleseth from Norway, Tuvi Etzion from Israel and Lei Hui of the Chinese Academy of Sciences – eagerly followed him to the podium. Prominent among them was Golomb’s longtime friend and colleague, Andrew Viterbi, the originator of the powerfully influential Viterbi Algorithm who graced the Viterbi School with his name.

Andrew and Erna Viterbi along with Bo and Sol Golomb.
Along with McEliece, Lloyd Welch of USC and Golomb, Viterbi was one of the four winners of the Shannon Award, the highest honor in information theory, attending the workshop and festivities.

At a closing banquet, Yannis Yortsos, dean of the Viterbi School, presented a gift from the school, and said, “Sol Golomb would have been a star of the faculty at any institution of his choosing… He chose us, and helped put us on the road to greatness.” 

Golomb’s wife, Bo, and his daughter Beatrice also attended the banquet.

C.L. Max Nikias, the provost of the University of Southern California, called Golomb “a beloved character, a unique genius and a leader of the generation of faculty who built USC into a great research university.”