Logo: University of Southern California

IEEE Honors Viterbi Audio Maestro For Second Year in a Row

2007 Masaru Ibuka Award is followed by 2008 Election as Fellow
Eric Mankin
January 08, 2008 — Tomlinson Holman, whose THX theater system revolutionized sound in movie theaters, has again been recognized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for his achievements in audio recording and reproduction.

Holman is a professor with appointments in both the Viterbi School's Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering and in the School of Cinematic Arts.  He has been at USC since 1987, and has been a principal investigator in the Integrated Media Systems Center (IMSC) Immersive Audio Lab since its inception in 1996.   

THXceptional: Tomlinson Holm
With his background in electrical engineering, he has been the main person providing a link between the entertainment world and the engineering world for IMSC.

He is internationally known for his invention and development of the THX ("Tom Holman Xperimental") audio system used in theaters worldwide.  This single achievement has had a tremendous impact on society in terms of entertainment, education, interpersonal interaction, and other applications of immersive technology.  

He has a long history of achievement in the audio industry, with many books and publications, and seven US and 23 world-wide patents.  He was the chief designer of many commercial products and systems while employed at Advent, Lucasfilm, Apt Corporation, and TMH Corporation.  More recently, he is known as the developer of many advanced standards for audio, including 5.1 surround sound and 10.2 channel audio.

"I am very pleased that Tom Holman has been honored by his election as a Fellow of IEEE, and our department joins me in congratulating him." said Alexander Sawchuk, systems chair in the Hsieh Department.  "His election is a recognition of his stature and significant contributions in audio recording and reproduction technology."

The IEEE Fellow distinction honors those who have outstanding professional and technical achievements in the broad fields of electrical engineering.  IEEE is the leading organization in these fields, with 39 professional societies and publishing of 128 transactions, journals and magazines representing a wide spectrum of technical interests.  The IEEE traces its history to 1884 and has approximately 365,000 members in over 150 countries world wide.

Just one year ago, in January 2007, Holman won the 2007 Masaru Ibuka Award for his sound work. Sponsored by the Masaru Ibuka Fund, the prize highlights outstanding contributions in the field of consumer electronics technology.