Edward J. McCluskey
Edward J. McCluskey
|Born||October 16, 1929|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||February 13, 2016(aged 86)|
|Alma mater||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|Known for||Quine–McCluskey algorithm|
|Thesis||Algebraic Minimization and the Design of Two-Terminal Contact Networks (1956)|
|Doctoral advisor||Samuel H. Caldwell|
|Notable students||Alvy Ray Smith|
McCluskey worked on electronic switching systems at the Bell Telephone Laboratories from 1955 to 1959. In 1959, he moved to Princeton University, where he was Professor of Electrical Engineering and Director of the University Computer Center. In 1966, he joined Stanford University, where he was Emeritus Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, as well as Director of the Center for Reliable Computing. He founded the Stanford Digital Systems Laboratory (now the Computer Systems Laboratory) in 1969 and the Stanford Computer Engineering Program (now the Computer Science MS Degree Program) in 1970. The Stanford Computer Forum (an Industrial Affiliates Program) was started by McCluskey and two colleagues in 1970 and he was its Director until 1978. Professor McCluskey led the Reliability and Testing Symposium (RATS). McCluskey served as the first President of the IEEE Computer Society. He died on February 13, 2016.
He was known for his disarming wit and occasional eccentric habits, like his hat collection.
Focus of research
McCluskey developed the first algorithm for designing combinational circuits – the Quine–McCluskey logic minimization procedure – as a doctoral student at MIT. His thesis, supervised by Samuel H. Caldwell, was entitled Algebraic Minimization and the Design of Two-Terminal Contact Networks (1956). At Bell Labs and Princeton, he developed the modern theory of transients (hazards) in logic networks and formulated the concept of operating modes of sequential circuits. He collaborated with Signetics researchers in developing one of the first practical multivalued logic implementations and then worked out a design technique for such circuitry.
His Stanford research focuses on logic testing, synthesis, design for testability, and fault-tolerant computing. Professor McCluskey and his students at the Center for Reliable Computing worked out many key ideas for fault equivalence, probabilistic modeling of logic networks, pseudo-exhaustive testing, and watchdog processors.
He proudly claimed his students as his main product. He had mentored over 70 PhD students and has an expanding family of academic 'grandchildren'. His direct students include Jacob A. Abraham, Daniel Siewiorek, Nur Touba, Jacob Savir, Ken Wagner, and academic 'grandchildren' include Prithviraj Banerjee, Wesley Kent Fuchs, Mario Barbacci, and more.
Awards and honors
He is also the recipient of the 2012 IEEE John von Neumann Medal, "for fundamental contributions that shaped the design and testing of digital systems."
McCluskey received the 2008 Computer Pioneer Award from the IEEE Computer Society "for seminal contributions to the design and synthesis of digital systems over five decades, including the first algorithm for logic synthesis (the Quine–McCluskey method);" he also earned the 1991 Taylor Booth Award for "outstanding service as a computer science & engineering educator and for inspiring students and educators alike through his prolific contribution as a teacher, author, curriculum developer & graduate research supervisor."
The IEEE Computer Society named its Technical Achievement Award in honor of McCluskey: The IEEE Computer Society Edward J. McCluskey Technical Achievement Award 
He was a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM); and an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) (1998).
He was honored at a special session of 2008 ACM/SIGDA San Jose, California on November 10–13, 2008, where tributes were shared by distinguished researchers Robert K. Brayton, Bernard Courtois, Giovanni De Micheli, Ravishankar K. Iyer, Daniel P. Siewiorek, Tom Williams and Yervant Zorian.
- Hats at Stanford Archived May 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Edward Joseph McCluskey, Jr. at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- "IEEE Emanuel R. Piore Award Recipients" (PDF). IEEE. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 24, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
- "IEEE John von Neumann Medal Recipients" (PDF). IEEE. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
- "Edward McCluskey 1970–1971 IEEE Computer Society President and Award Recipient". IEEE Computer Society. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
- "NAE Members Directory - Dr. Edward J. McCluskey". NAE. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
- Tributes to Prof. Edward J. McCluskey, Video Recording, 2008 ACM/SIGDA Dinner and Open Member Meeting, November 10 - 13, 2008