Logo: University of Southern California

USC Viterbi Dean Remembers Legendary Professor Solomon Golomb

“Brilliant mind” helped elevate school to elite status, served as trusted colleague and teacher for more than 50 years.
By: Yannis C. Yortsos
May 02, 2016 —

Professor Solomon Golomb, who devoted more than 50 years of service to the University of Southern California, was a giant in the field of engineering and mathematics. 
Editor’s note: the following is a personal memo by Yannis C. Yortsos, dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, to mark the passing of Professor Solomon Golomb on May 1, 2016.

It is with great sadness that I share the news that University and Distinguished Professor Solomon Golomb, holder of the Andrew Viterbi Chair in Electrical Engineering, passed away peacefully yesterday morning in his home.

With unparalleled scholarly contributions and distinction to the field of engineering and mathematics, Sol’s impact has been extraordinary, transformative and impossible to measure. His academic and scholarly work on the theory of communications built the pillars upon which our modern technological life rests. His work on cryptography ushered in new approaches for securing communications signals. And his awe-inspiring inventiveness in mathematical reasoning has led to wonderfully playful discoveries of mind-twisting games, such as polyominoes.

Sol’s genius mind was complemented by unshaken devotion and service of more than 50 years to his home department, the school and the university. By choosing USC to be his lifetime and only academic home, he honored and impacted our institution in countless ways. With creativity, perseverance, imagination and strategic advice to faculty, chairs, and deans, he helped transform the USC Viterbi School and elevate it to elite status. His fertile mind never ceased to amaze and his kindness and humanity never ceased to inspire. Sol Golomb’s presence was catalytic, inspirational and ingenious.

We have lost a brilliant mind, a mentor, a trusted colleague and advisor, a wonderful and kind human being, a steadfast supporter of the school and the university. But we also have been truly fortunate to be part of his life and to follow the paths that he traced for us, to be inspired and enlightened, and to have his brilliance and impact reflected on our achievements and on our aspirations. His legacy will be forever part of the university and the Viterbi School, and for this, we, and future generations, always will be thankful and proud.

Funeral services are being arranged and details will be communicated as soon as they become available.