David A. Huffman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
David A. Huffman
Born (1925-08-09)August 9, 1925
Died October 7, 1999(1999-10-07) (aged 74)
Santa Cruz, California
Residence USA
Fields Information theory, Coding theory
Alma mater Ohio State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Thesis The Synthesis of Sequential Switching Circuits (1953)
Doctoral advisor Samuel H. Caldwell
Known for Huffman coding
Notable awards IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal (1999)

David Albert Huffman (August 9, 1925 – October 7, 1999) was a pioneer in computer science, known for his Huffman coding.[1][2] He was also one of the pioneers in the field of mathematical origami.[3] David Huffman died at the age of 74, ten months after being diagnosed with cancer.


Huffman earned in 1944 his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Ohio State University, then served two years as an officer in the United States Navy. He returned to Ohio State to earn in 1949 his master’s degree in electrical engineering. In 1953, he collected his Doctor of Science in electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with the thesis The Synthesis of Sequential Switching Circuits, advised by Samuel H. Caldwell.[1][2][4]


Huffman joined the faculty at MIT in 1953. In 1967, he joined the faculty of University of California, Santa Cruz and helped found its Computer Science Department, where he served as chair from 1970 to 1973. He retired in 1994.[2]

Awards and honors[edit]


External links[edit]