Logo: University of Southern California

Andrew J. Viterbi Engages Capacity Crowd of Faculty and Students

Standing room only for "Markov, Wiener and Shannon: a Progression"

November 18, 2010 —

No room in the hall November 11.
Andrew J. Viterbi was the speaker November 11 for the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering-Systems Distinguished Lecture.

Introduced by department chair Alexander A. (Sandy) Sawchuk, Viterbi spoke about "Markov, Wiener and Shannon: a Progression."

The Russian mathematician A.A. Markov proposed and developed a statistical concept which suggests that future action should depend only on the current state of the system or process.

Exploitation of the statistical properties of Markov processes has produced important results in optimum linear (Wiener) filtering, with principal applications to navigation, tracking, orbit determination and even economics; and in finite-state sequence determination, with applications to information (Shannon) theory, digital communication, voice and optical character recognition, data recording, search engines, and DNA sequence analysis.

Sol@andy 2
Sol Golomb, left, was Andrew Viterbi's teacher decades ago, and was in the front row for his former student's speech.
Viterbi discussed and compared both areas, as well as the merits of any societal implications of the Markov concept quoting to the famous admonition that "those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it."