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Solomon W. Golomb Receives William Procter Prize

The Procter Prize is the highest honor awarded by Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society

January 26, 2012 —

Distinguished University Professor Solomon W. Golomb has been selected to receive Sigma Xi’s 2012 William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement, the society’s highest honor.


The Procter Prize has been presented annually since 1950 to an outstanding scientist or engineer who is known for effective communication of complex ideas. Past recipients include Herbert Simon, Benoit Mandelbrot, Margaret Mead, Jane Goodall, Michael DeBakey and Stephen Jay Gould.

A specialist in communications theory, Golomb completed his Ph.D. while spending a year in Norway as a Fulbright Fellow. He then worked as a Senior Research Mathematician at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, later becoming Research Group Supervisor and then Assistant Chief of the Telecommunications Research Section, where he played a key role in formulating the design of deep-space communications for the subsequent lunar and planetary explorations.

Golomb, who joined USC as a professor in 1963, is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He received the USC Presidential Medallion in 1985, was awarded the title of University Professor in 1993 and won the Shannon Award of the Information Theory Society of the IEEE in 1985. He has received numerous awards and medals, as well as three honorary doctorate degrees. He was appointed the first holder of the Viterbi Chair in Communications in 1999 and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Mathematics.

Sigma Xi was founded in 1886 to honor excellence in scientific investigation and encourage a sense of companionship and cooperation among researchers in all fields of science and engineering. Today, Sigma Xi has nearly 60,000 members in more than 100 countries, seeking to promote the health of the scientific enterprise and honor scientific achievement. The society also publishes the award-winning American Scientist magazine.