Mario Kovač (scientist)
Mario Kovač is a Croatian computer engineering professor and inventor. He is a professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER) at the University of Zagreb who specialized in VLSI and was also involved in the creation of the early AMP MP3 player.
Kovač graduated from the aforementioned university faculty in 1988, and obtained a master's degree in 1991. In 1991 he received a VLSI and Computer Architecture Scholarship at the University of South Florida, and he subsequently received the Fulbright Award in 1993. Kovač obtained a doctorate at FER in 1995. He holds U.S. Patent 5,659,362 for a VLSI circuit structure for implementing the JPEG image compression standard, among others. In 1995 he received the Best Paper Award at the 8th International Conference on VLSI Design. In 1997, Kovač's student Tomislav Uzelac created AMP, the first MP3 player.
Between 1998 and 2000 Kovač was the head of the Department of Control and Computer Engineering at FER, and between 2000 and 2002 he was the vice-dean for management.
In 2008, Croatian President awarded him with the Order of Danica Hrvatska with the image of Ruđer Bošković for special merit in science.