NRI scientist Arogyaswami Joseph Paulraj wins Marconi Prize (tech ‘Nobel’)

WASHINGTON: An India-born engineer-scientist, who was disdained by the Indian system despite his yeoman contribution to the country’s naval defense, and whose subsequent work in the United States is at the heart of the current high speed Wi-Fi and 4G mobile systems, has been awarded the 2014 Marconi Prize, a Nobel equivalent for technology pioneers.

AJ Paulraj

Coimbatore-native and Stanford University Professor Emeritus Arogyaswami Joseph Paulraj, simply known as ”Paul” to his legion of friends and admirers, has been recognized for his work in inventing and advancing MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology, a key enabler of wireless broadband services that has revolutionized high speed delivery of multimedia across the world.

The Marconi Prize, whose previous winners include World Wide Web pioneer Tim Berners-Lee, Internet legend Vint Cerf, Google search maestro Larry Page, and cell phone inventor Martin Cooper, comes with a $ 100,000 prize, but prestige and recognition worth a lot more for these people who are already millionaires. Uncommonly, the Marconi Prize comes just three years after Paulraj was honored with the other major Telecom technology award – the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal for his work on theoretical foundations of MIMO.

Paul has made profound contributions to wireless technology, and the resulting benefit to mankind is indisputable. Every Wi-Fi router and 4G phone today uses MIMO technology pioneered by him,” says Professor Sir David Payne, Chairman of the Marconi Society and Director of the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton.

The Marconi Society, celebrating its 50th year in 2014, was founded by Gioia Marconi Braga, daughter of the legendary radio inventor Guglielmo Marconi. Winners typically include scientists whose mathematical theories and inventions have shaped the Internet and broadband access, public key encryption, Web search, wired and wireless transmission, multimedia publishing, optical fiber and satellite communications.

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