The Process of Making Breakthroughs in Engineering

Date: 28 September 2016
Speaker: Prof. Thomas Kailath


This presumptuous title was first suggested as a challenge, followed by an offer that I could not refuse.

While there is no magic formula for making breakthroughs in any field, it is possible to gather some useful pointers from past experiences. Several factors come into play, technology being only one of them; the talk will introduce them via several case histories.

Speaker Bio

Prof. Thomas Kailath

Hitachi America Professor of Engineering, Emeritus
Stanford University

Professor Thomas Kailath is the Hitachi America Professor of Electrical Engineering, Emeritus, at Stanford University.

Since he joined the university in 1963, his research has ranged over several fields: information theory, detection and filtering theory, linear systems, control, statistical signal processing, semiconductor manufacturing, probability and statistics, matrix and operator theory.

His major honors include the IEEE Medal of Honor, and its Education and Signal Processing Medals; election to all the US and Indian science and engineering national academies; Foreign Membership of the Royal Society of London; Guggenheim and Churchill fellowships; several honorary degrees, most recently from the Technion; a Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award; and a US National Medal of Science, presented by President Obama, for "transformative contributions to the fields of information and system science, distinctive and sustained mentoring of young scholars, and translation of scientific ideas into entrepreneurial ventures that have had a significant impact on industry."