David A. Huffman
David A. Huffman
|Died||October 7, 1999 (aged 74)|
|Alma mater||Ohio State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|Known for||Huffman coding|
|Awards||IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal (1999)|
|Fields||Information theory, Coding theory|
|Thesis||The Synthesis of Sequential Switching Circuits (1953)|
|Doctoral advisor||Samuel H. Caldwell|
David Albert Huffman (August 9, 1925 – October 7, 1999) was an American pioneer in computer science, known for his Huffman coding. He was also one of the pioneers in the field of mathematical origami.
Huffman earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Ohio State University in 1944. Then, he served two years as an officer in the United States Navy. He returned to Ohio State to earn his master's degree in electrical engineering in 1949. In 1953, he earned 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.
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.
Huffman is best known for Huffman coding, which he published while a ScD student at MIT in 1952. However, he reportedly was more proud of his work "The Synthesis of Sequential Switching Circuits," which was the topic of his 1953 MIT thesis (an abridged version of which was published by in the Journal of the Franklin Institute in 1954.)
Awards and honors
- 1955: The Louis E. Levy Medal from the Franklin Institute for his doctoral thesis on sequential switching circuits.
- 1973: The W. Wallace McDowell Award from the IEEE Computer Society.
- 1981: Charter recipient of the Computer Pioneer Award from the IEEE Computer Society.
- 1998: A Golden Jubilee Award for Technological Innovation from the IEEE Information Theory Society, for "the invention of the Huffman minimum-length lossless data-compression code".
- 1999: The IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal.
- Gary Stix (September 1991). "Profile: Information Theorist David A. Huffman". Scientific American. Vol. 265, no. 3. Nature Publishing Group. pp. 54–58. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- Stephens, Tim; Burns, Jim (October 11, 1999). "Eminent UCSC computer scientist David Huffman dies at age 74". Currents Online. University of California, Santa Cruz. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- Lang, Robert. "Origami Science Links".
- David Albert Huffman at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- "The Synthesis of Sequential Switching Circuits". Journal of the Franklin Institute. 257 (3): 160–191, 275–303. March–April 1954.
- "Franklin Laureate Database – Louis E. Levy Medal Laureates". Franklin Institute. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "Past recipients for W. Wallace McDowell Award". IEEE Computer Society. Archived from the original on February 17, 2012. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- "Computer Pioneer Charter Recipients". IEEE Computer Society. Archived from the original on September 6, 2013. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- "Golden Jubilee Awards for Technological Innovation". IEEE Information Theory Society. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
- "IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal Recipients" (PDF). IEEE. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- Huffman, Ken (April 9, 2010). "My Uncle". Huffman Coding. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
- Haeberli, Paul (November 1996). "Geometric Paper Folding: Dr. David Huffman". GRAFICA Obscura. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
- Wertheim, Margaret (June 22, 2004). "Cones, Curves, Shells, Towers: He Made Paper Jump to Life". The New York Times. Retrieved June 17, 2011.