Prof. Thomas Kailath
Climate Healers

Prof. Thomas Kailath received a B.E. (Telecom) degree in 1956 from the College of Engineering, Pune, India, and S.M. (1959) and Sc.D. (1961) degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then worked at the Jet Propulsion Labs in Pasadena, CA, before being appointed to Stanford University as Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering in 1963. He was promoted to Professor in 1968, and appointed as the first holder of the Hitachi America Professorship in Engineering in 1988. He assumed emeritus status in 2001, but remains active with his research and writing activities. He also held shorter-term appointments at several institutions around the world: UC Berkeley, Indian Statistical Institute, Bell Labs, Indian Institute of Science, Cambridge University, K. U. Leuven, T.U. Delft, Weizmann Institute, Imperial College,  MIT,  UCLA , T. U. Munich.

His research and teaching have ranged over several fields of engineering and mathematics: information theory, communications, linear systems, estimation and control, signal processing, semiconductor manufacturing, probability and statistics, and matrix and operator theory. He has also co-founded and served as a director of several high-technology companies. He has mentored an outstanding array of over a hundred doctoral and postdoctoral scholars. Their joint efforts have led to over 300 journal papers, a dozen patents and several books and monographs, including the major textbooks: Linear Systems (1980) and Linear Estimation (2000).

He received the IEEE Medal of Honor in 2007 for “exceptional contributions to the development of powerful algorithms for communications, control, computing and signal processing.” Among other major honors are the Shannon Award of the IEEE Information Theory Society; the IEEE Education Medal and the IEEE Signal Processing Medal; the 2009 BBVA Foundation Prize for Information and Communication Technologies; the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award; election to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; foreign membership of the Royal Society of London, the Royal Spanish Academy of Engineering, the Indian National Academy of Engineering, the Indian National Science Academy, the Indian Academy of Sciences, and TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences).

In November 2014, he received a US National Medal of Science from President Obama “for transformative contributions to the fields of information and system science, for distinctive and sustained mentoring of young scholars, and for translation of scientific ideas into entrepreneurial ventures that have had a significant impact on industry.”