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Brad Petersen
Director of
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53 Everitt Lab
1406 W. Green St.
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 244-6376
bradp@illinois.edu

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Meg Dickinson
Communications Specialist
56 Everitt Lab
1406 W. Green St.
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 300-6664
megd@illinois.edu

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Wong and Shanbhag invested as endowed professors

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By Hayley Eselevsky, ECE ILLINOIS
November 29, 2012

  • On October 31, Martin Wong was invested as the Edward C. Jordan Professor, and Naresh Shanbhag as the Jack S. Kilby Professor.
  • Wong is an expert in integrated circuit design who has published nearly 400 papers over his career.
  • Shanbhag also works in circuit design and was an early proponent of what is now called stochastic computing.

Recently, Naresh Shanbhag (left) was invested as the Jack S. Kilby Professor of Electrical and Engineering, and Martin D. F. Wong was invested as the Edward C. Jordan Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Recently, Naresh Shanbhag (left) was invested as the Jack S. Kilby Professor of Electrical and Engineering, and Martin D. F. Wong was invested as the Edward C. Jordan Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

On October 31, 2012, an investiture ceremony was held at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. There, ECE Professor Martin D F Wong was invested as the Edward C. Jordan Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and ECE Professor Naresh R. Shanbhag was invested as the Jack S. Kilby Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Edward C. Jordan came to the University of Illinois in 1945. In 1954 he was named department head. He served as this position until he retired in 1979. Jordan was the author or editor of nine books, including the popular Electromagnetic Waves and Radiating Systems.

Wong, an expert in the area of integrated circuit design, received his PhD in computer science from the University of Illinois in 1987. He returned to Illinoi as an ECE faculty member in 2002. Over his career he has published nearly 400 technical papers and mentored over 40 PhD students, several of whom attended the investiture ceremony. Wong was introduced by long-time friend and colleague, Computer Science Department Head Rob Rutenbar. In describing Wong’s many accomplishments and recognitions, Rutenbar joked that Wong has “essentially won every award there is from essentially every organization.”

According to Rutenbar, over the past 25 years, Wong’s contributions across circuit system layout have demonstrated three things: “First, his remarkable range of interests across the discipline; second, his ability to comprehensibly solve problems he chooses to attack, in useful and practical ways; and third, the beauty of his mathematics.”

As Wong accepted this investiture, he joked that he hoped that “half of what he said was true.” Wong thanked his family for supporting him through the years and his PhD students, expressing that “without them, I wouldn’t have been able to do so much.”

In addition to continuing his research activity, Wong is now serving as acting associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Engineering.

Jack S. Kilby received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Illinois in 1947. In 1958, he joined the Texas Instrument team in Dallas, and during his first summer there he built the first integrated circuit in which all of the components were fabricated into a single piece of semiconductor, smaller than a paperclip. This invention has impacted modern communications, medical science, radar, entertainment and the computer industry.

Shanbhag, who like Wong is an expert the area of circuit design, was introduced by his colleague, ECE Professor [profile:acsing]. Singer gave an outline of Shanbhag’s accomplishments and work while at the University. “He really was the first in the circuit’s area talking about building systems on integrated circuits, bringing applications, theory and practice all together in an integrated circuit,” Singer said. “You now see a host of researchers all around the country and all around the world rediscovering this idea. They’re all talking about what’s now called stochastic computing, which was basically Naresh’s vision in the late 1990s.”

Shanbhag expressed his gratitude to the University for selecting him from among his “high-caliber” colleagues, and thanked his family and graduate students, as well as the ECE department and college for investing in this professorship. His concluding remarks focused on what the future holds. “This professorship brings a new beginning,” Shanbhag said. It’s a professional rebirth. I see my career expanding. This gives me a great foundation on which to launch this journey.”

Editor's note: media inquiries should be directed to Brad Petersen, Director of Communications, at bradp@illinois.edu or (217) 244-6376.

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