W. Wesley Peterson

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William Wesley Peterson (April 22, 1924 – May 6, 2009) was an American mathematician and computer scientist. He was best known for discovering the Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC),[1] for which research he was awarded the Japan Prize in 1999.[2]

Peterson was born on April 22, 1924 in Muskegon, Michigan and earned his Ph.D. in 1954 from the University of Michigan.[2][3] Peterson was a professor of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, joining the faculty in 1964.[4] He started work at IBM in 1954.[4] He authored the publication of algebraic coding theory Error Correcting Codes in 1961. He co-authored a number of books on the topic of error correcting codes, including the revised 2nd edition of Error Correcting Codes[5] (co-authored with Edward J. Weldon). In the early 1950s he contributed significantly to the development of signal detection theory through participation in the IRE Professional Group on Information Theory.[6] He has also done research and published in the fields of programming languages,[7] systems programming, and networks. As well as the Japan Prize in 1999,[2][8] he was awarded the Claude E. Shannon Award in 1981,[4] and the IEEE Centennial Medal in 1984.[4]

Dr. Peterson finished 16th in the 2005 Honolulu Marathon for males ages 80 to 84.[9] He died May 6, 2009 in Honolulu, Hawaii.[3]


  1. ^ Peterson, W. W. and Brown, D. T. (January 1961). "Cyclic Codes for Error Detection". Proceedings of the IRE 49: 228. doi:10.1109/JRPROC.1961.287814.  - The original paper on CRCs
  2. ^ a b c "Dr. W. Wesley Peterson, 1999 (15th) Japan Prize Laureate". Japan Prize Foundation. Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Obituaries, Dr. William Wesley Peterson". The Honolulu Advertiser. May 17, 2009. Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d The Newsletter of the Colleges of Arts & Sciences at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Summer 1999, Volume 5, Number One Retrieved 24 November 2011
  5. ^ Peterson, W. W. and Weldon, E. J. (1971). Error Correcting Codes, Revised 2nd Edition. MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-16039-0. 
  6. ^ Peterson,W.W., Birdsall, T. G. & Fox, W. C. (1954) The theory of signal detectability. Proceedings of the IRE Professional Group on Information Theory 4, 171-212.
  7. ^ Peterson, W. W. (June 1974). Introduction to Programming Languages. Prentice Hall College Div. ISBN 978-0-13-493486-0. 
  8. ^ Mary Adamski (December 16, 1998). "W. Wesley Peterson receives Japan Prize for work in digital error control". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Honolulu Marathon Updates - Results by division - Males 80 to 84". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. December 11, 2005. Retrieved November 24, 2011. 

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