Awarded $100,000; a sculpture.
By Deepak Chitnis
WASHINGTON, DC: Arogyaswami Joseph â€œPaulâ€ Paulraj, a professor at Stanford University, has been named as the winner of the prestigious 2014 Marconi Prize for his innovations in the field of wireless technology and support.
Established in 1975, the Marconi Prize is given out by the Marconi Foundation, named after the famous Italian and Nobel laureate who helped invent the radio. Winners of the prize receive a $100,000 honorarium reward, and are also honored with a sculpture that is preserved with sculptures of all the other previous winners for posterity.
“I am honored to be chosen for the Marconi Prize and join such an illustrious group of pioneers,â€ said Paulraj in a statement after discovering that he had won. â€œIt has taken efforts of thousands of engineers and researchers to make MIMO technology a reality. My role, in comparison, is indeed small.”
Paulraj is best known as the pioneer behind Multiple Input-Multiple Output (MIMO), a cornerstone of modern wireless communication. Every Wi-Fi and 4G device uses MIMO to function; without Paulrajâ€™s innovations, several things we take for granted â€“ iPhones, iPads, laptops â€“ would be unable to function in the way they currently do.
â€œ[He] has made profound contributions to wireless technology, and the resulting benefit to mankind is indisputable,â€Â saidÂ Sir David Payne, chairman of the Marconi Society.
Paulraj is not the first person of Indian origin to win the award; in 1980, the Marconi Prize was bestowed upon Indian scientist Yash Pal, renowned for his contributions to the field of cosmic rays. Pal and Paulraj are the only two Indian winners in the prizeâ€™s nearly 40 year history.
After joining the Indian Navy at the age of 15, Paulraj studied intermittently in India and the UK before immigrating to the US, joining an engineering research group at Stanford. He founded Iospan Wireless in 1998, which is where he developed many of the cutting-edge wireless innovations he has become known for. He is currently a senior adviser at Broadcom and supervises post-doctoral students at Stanford, where he also teaches.
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