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Celebrating the 2021 IEEE Medal and Recognition Recipients
Thursday, June 17, 2021 10:00:00 AM


Celebrating the 2021 IEEE Medal and Recognition recipients whose groundbreaking technological advances shape our lives and the future of the profession is a privilege and a responsibility that IEEE takes very seriously. The 2021 IEEE Vision, Innovation, and Challenges Summit and Honors Ceremony is an annual highlight for IEEE that recognizes the accomplishments and contributions of technology “Giants.” The event was held as a virtual celebration 11–13 May. Videos of all speakers, Q&A sessions, and award presentations can be viewed on the Awards Channel on IEEE.tv

To kick off the events on 10 May a Virtual Toast, sponsored by the IEEE Foundation, congratulated and celebrated awardees, donors and sponsors. IEEE President and CEO Susan Kathy Land, Foundation Vice President of Programs Marko Delimar, IEEE Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Stephen Welby, and IEEE Awards Board Chair Karen Panetta welcomed the attendees and IEEE medalists whose engineering achievements are driving our society forward in ways never imagined even 50 years ago.

IEEE’s highest honor, the Medal of Honor is supported by the IEEE Foundation. This year it was awarded to Jacob Ziv (LFIEEE), an international icon of information theory, “for fundamental contributions to information theory and data compression technology, and for distinguished research leadership.” Ziv’s innovative tools for practical data compression enable the fast and efficient transfer of files over the Internet that we now take for granted and revolutionized how we store information. Ziv is best known for his development, with Abraham Lempel, of the Lempel-Ziv (LZ) algorithms, which have an immense impact on the daily lives of computer users and on the operations of commercial electronic products worldwide. Read more about Ziv in an IEEE Spectrum article and in the annual IEEE Awards Booklet, which features all of the 2021 Medal and Award recipients.

The celebration also included the inaugural presentation of the IEEE Mildred Dresselhaus Medal, supported by Google. Kristina M. Johnson, President, The Ohio State University, is the first recipient of this award. A role model for women in engineering and a champion for increasing the participation of underserved populations in science and technology fields, Johnson is an internationally recognized leader in engineering, education, the private sector, government, and has impacted the movie industry.

Our ability to energize innovation through the celebration of those who push the boundaries of thinking, break new ground, and improve lives takes the dedication and commitment of many individuals and organizations. We extend our sincere gratitude to our generous award sponsors, donors, nominators, endorsers, volunteers, the IEEE Awards Board and Committees, IEEE Presidents, IEEE Board of Directors, and IEEE professional staff for their continued support of IEEE Awards.

We also thank and recognize the philanthropy of the following 2021 Medal & Recognition recipients for donating their cash prize back to IEEE: IEEE Founders Medal Recipient Henry Samueli, IEEE Robert N. Noyce Medal Recipient Lisa Su, IEEE Richard M. Emberson Award Recipient Lew Terman and IEEE Jack S. Kilby Signal Processing Medal Recipient Emmanuel Candès. Their donations improve the human condition, empower the next generation of engineers and scientists, educate and raise awareness, energize and recognize innovation, and preserve the history of technology.

Take a moment to read about how to nominate a colleague who has made exceptional contributions to IEEE fields of interest. Nominations for an IEEE Medal or Recognition are due 15 June annually. Nominations for an IEEE Technical Field Award are due 15 January annually.

In addition to the IEEE Medal of Honor, the IEEE Foundation supports the IEEE Haraden Pratt Award and the IEEE Founders Medal.

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