Solomon W. Golomb
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2013)|
|Solomon W. Golomb|
May 30, 1932 |
|Institutions||University of Southern California|
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
|Doctoral advisor||David Widder|
|Doctoral students||Hal Fredricksen|
|Notable awards||National Medal of Science (2011)
IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal (2000)
Solomon Wolf Golomb (born May 30, 1932) is an American mathematician and engineer and a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Southern California, best known to the general public and fans of mathematical games as the inventor of polyominoes, the inspiration for the computer game Tetris. He has specialized in problems of combinatorial analysis, number theory, coding theory and communications. Golomb invented Cheskers and the pentominoes in 1948 and 1953 respectively.
Academic achievements 
Golomb, a graduate of the Baltimore City College high school, received a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and an M.A. and a Ph.D. degree in mathematics from Harvard University in 1957 with a dissertation on "Problems in the Distribution of the Prime Numbers".
While working at the Glenn L. Martin Company he became interested in communications theory and began his work on shift register sequences. He spent his Fulbright year at the University of Oslo and then joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech, where he researched military and space communications. He joined the faculty of USC University of Southern California in 1963 and had tenure within two years following.
Golomb pioneered the identification of the characteristics and merits of maximum length shift register sequences, also known as pseudorandom or pseudonoise sequences, which have extensive military, industrial and consumer applications. Today, millions of cordless and cellular phones employ pseudorandom direct-sequence spread spectrum implemented with shift register sequences. His efforts made USC a center for communications research.
He is a regular columnist, writing Golomb's Puzzle Column in IEEE Information Society Newsletter. He was a frequent contributor to Scientific American's Mathematical Games column. Among his contributions to recreational mathematics are Rep-tiles. He also contributes a puzzle to each issue of Johns Hopkins Magazine, a monthly publication of his alma mater, for a column called "Golomb's Gambits."
In 1992, he received the medal of the U.S. National Security Agency for his research, and has also been the recipient of the Lomonosov Medal of the Russian Academy of Science and the Kapitsa Medal of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.
In 2000 he was awarded the IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal for his exceptional contributions to information sciences and systems. He was singled out as a major figure of coding and information theory for over four decades, specifically for his ability to apply advanced mathematics to problems in digital communications.
Golomb was one of the first high profile professors to attempt the Ronald K. Hoeflin Mega IQ power test, which originally appeared in Omni Magazine. He scored at least IQ 176, which represents 1⁄1,000,000 of the unselected population.
Selected books 
- Signal Design for Good Correlation (ISBN 0-521-82104-5)
- Polyominoes, Princeton University Press; 2nd edition 1996, ISBN 0-691-02444-8
- Shift Register Sequences, San Francisco, Holden-Day, 1967. ISBN 0-89412-048-4
- "IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal Recipients". IEEE. Retrieved May 29, 2011.
- List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2013-01-19.
- Biography of Dr. Golomb at the USC Electrical Engineering Department's website
- Solomon W. Golomb at the Mathematics Genealogy Project