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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers honors awarded to two Georgia Tech members

Amy Cheribelle
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ATLANTA — John D. Cressler and Justin K. Romberg, Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering members, have been honored with two awards presented by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to benefiting humanity in terms of technological advancements.

Cressler and Romberg were awarded Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) medals at the IEEE Vision, Innovation, and Challenges Summit (IEEE VIC Summit) and Honors Ceremony, held virtually on May 11-13, 2021.

Cressler was honored with the 2021 IEEE James H. Mulligan, Jr. Education Medal for a career of outstanding contributions to education. On the other hand, Romberg was acknowledged as a co-recipient of the 2021 IEEE Jack S. Kilby Signal Processing Medal for outstanding contributions in signal processing.

  • John D. Cressler

“This is a tremendous honor for John, and his commitment to teaching and mentoring — and to the success and well-being of our students – is a tremendous model for all of us to follow,” said Magnus Egerstedt, Steve W. Chaddick School Chair and Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE).

Cressler is not the only one who has received this distinguished honor within the ECE members. Previous recipients include Ronald W. Schafer in 1992 and James D. Meindl in 1990, while he was still with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The James H. Mulligan, Jr. Education Medal was established in 1956 and is sponsored by the IEEE Life Members Fund, Lockheed Martin, MathWorks, and Pearson.

As the President-Elect of IEEE, Ray Liu presented the 2021 IEEE James H. Mulligan, Jr. Education Medal to Cressler for “inspirational teaching and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students.”

Cressler joined the Georgia Tech Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty in 2002 after serving about 10 years as a faculty member in the Department of ECE at Auburn University.

Cressler completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Georgia Tech in 1984. He graduated from Columbia University to earn his Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Physics.

  • Justin K. Romberg

IEEE President-Elect Liu honored Romberg and his colleagues with the 2021 IEEE Jack S. Kilby Signal Processing Medal “for groundbreaking contributions to compressed sensing.”

His colleagues who received this award with Romberg are Emmanuel Candes, who holds The Barnum-Simons Chair in Mathematics and Statistics at Stanford University, and Terence Tao, a professor of mathematics at the University of California at Los Angeles.

“This is a tremendous honor for Justin, and our amazing faculty track record in receiving this award speaks of the high regard in which our digital signal processing program is held around the world,” said Egerstedt.

Romberg, Candes and Tao were recognized for their 2006 paper, “Robust Uncertainty Principles: Exact Reconstruction from Highly Incomplete Frequency Information,” which demonstrated that very few samples could reconstruct structured signal samples perfectly.

Romberg joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty back in 2006 after working as a postdoctoral scholar in Applied and Computational Mathematics at California Institute of Technology from 2003. He received his BSEE, Master of Science, and Ph.D. degrees from Rice University.

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