Robert W. Lucky
A Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, native, Dr. Robert W. Lucky earned his PhD in engineering from Purdue University in 1961. He then joined AT&T Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey, where he initially researched ways to send digital information over telephone lines. His invention of an adaptive equalizer technique for correcting telephone signal distortions is used in all high-speed data transmission today.
The data-transmission textbook he coauthored became the most-cited reference in the communications field over a decade-long period. He became Bell Labs’ research leader on methods and technologies for future communications systems. He then joined Bellcore position in 1992.
Dr. Lucky received the prestigious Marconi Prize (1987) for his contributions to data communications and has been awarded honorary doctorates from Purdue and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He was been awarded the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Edison Medal and the U.S. Air Force Exceptional Civilian Contributions Medal.
He has been an editor of several technical journals. Since 1982 he has written the bimonthly “Reflections” column of personalized observations about the engineering profession in Spectrum magazine. These columns were anthologized in the IEEE Press book Lucky Strikes . . . Again (1993). Among his several books, the popular Silicon Dreams is a semitechnical and philosophical discussion of the ways in which both humans and computers deal with information.