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Andrew Viterbi and Ming Hsieh Named 2017 NAI Fellows

| December 14, 2017

The two will be inducted as part of the Seventh Annual NAI Conference of the National Academy of Inventors On  April 5th, 2018, in Washington D.C.

Dr. Andrew Viterbi, left, and Ming Hsieh, right. Photo Credit: USC Viterbi

Andrew Viterbi, USC Trustee, Presidential Chair, professor of electrical engineering, and namesake of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, and Ming Hsieh, USC Trustee, Doctor of Humane Letters from USC Viterbi, and namesake of the Ming Hsieh department of electrical engineering at USC Viterbi have been named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). The honor is considered one of the highest professional accolades bestowed solely to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society.

Andrew Viterbi, co-founder of QUALCOMM, a developer and manufacturer of mobile satellite communications and digital wireless telephony, received his PhD in 1962 from USC and remains a dedicated supporter of the school. Under his leadership, QUALCOMM received international recognition for innovative technology in the areas of digital wireless communication systems and products based on Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technologies.

Fifty years ago, his groundbreaking Viterbi Algorithm changed the face of mobile communication and today all standards of digital cellular communication use his algorithm. Viterbi is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a Marconi fellow, a Franklin Medalist and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2007, he received the National Medal of Science, one of the nation’s highest honors for science and technology.

He currently serves as President of the Viterbi Group, LLC, a company founded in 2000, which advises and invests in startup companies, predominantly in wireless communications, network infrastructure, voice recognition and digital recording.


“Andrew Viterbi and Ming Hsieh have revolutionized the fields of communication and of biometric identification. Their accomplishments are awe-inspiring and have helped create our modern world.”
– Yannis Yortsos, Dean, USC Viterbi School of Engineering


Ming Hsieh is also a graduate of USC electrical engineering (BS ’83, MS ’84). He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the founder of 3M Cogent Inc., which revolutionized fingerprint identification. In 2006, the self-made entrepreneur endowed the department from which he graduated—the department of Electrical Engineering.

In 2010, he generously established the Ming Hsieh Institute to further support the department through initiatives that foster creativity and invention, help define the future of electrical engineering, and create a vibrant and communal intellectual environment. In addition to his ongoing support for his alma mater, he currently serves as the President and CEO of Fulgent Genetics, Inc. “I am very proud to be associated with USC, Viterbi School of Engineering and our department.” Said Hsieh.

Speaking about the NAI’s selection, USC Viterbi School of Engineering Dean, Yannis C. Yortos said, “Andrew Viterbi and Ming Hsieh have revolutionized the fields of communication and of biometric identification. Their accomplishments are awe-inspiring and have helped create our modern world. Their election to the NAI is long overdue and very well deserved. We are thrilled that the USC Viterbi of School of Engineering and the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering carry their names.”

Included among all NAI Fellows are more than 100 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and non-profit research institutes; 439 members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; 36 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame; 52 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation and U.S. National Medal of Science; 29 Nobel Laureates; 261 AAAS Fellows; 168 IEEE Fellows; and 142 Fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, among other awards and distinctions.

The 2017 NAI Fellows will be inducted as part of the Seventh Annual NAI Conference of the National Academy of Inventors On 5 Apr. 2018, in Washington D.C.

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