Terry Welch

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Terry Welch
Born Terry Archer Welch
(1939-01-20)January 20, 1939
Died November 22, 1988(1988-11-22) (aged 49)
Alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Known for Lempel–Ziv–Welch (LZW) compression
Spouse(s) Raylene Welch
Children Kindra Welch Curry, Kerri Welch, Travis Welch
Scientific career
Thesis Bounds on Information Retrieval Efficiency in Static File Structures (1971)
Doctoral advisor Peter Elias
Doctoral students Nick Tredennick

Terry Archer Welch was an American computer scientist. Along with Abraham Lempel and Jacob Ziv, he developed the lossless Lempel–Ziv–Welch (LZW) compression algorithm, which was published in 1984.[1][2]


Welch received a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degree at MIT in electrical engineering. He taught at the University of Texas at Austin and worked in computer design at Honeywell in Waltham, Massachusetts.


He taught at the University of Texas in Austin until joining the Sperry Research Center, Sudbury, Massachusetts, in 1976 where the paper about the LZW algorithm was published. In 1983 he joined DEC where he worked as DEC liaison to MCC's advanced computer architecture program.[3]

He died of a brain tumor in 1988.[4]


  1. ^ Terry Welch author profile page at the ACM Digital Library
  2. ^ Terry Welch's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database, a service provided by Elsevier. (subscription required)
  3. ^ Welch, Terry (1984). "A Technique for High-Performance Data Compression" (PDF). Computer. 17 (6): 8–19. doi:10.1109/MC.1984.1659158. 
  4. ^ "Texas, Death Index, 1964-1998," index, FamilySearch (accessed 06 Mar 2014), Terry Archer Welch, 22 Nov 1988; citing Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin,Texas.