Vahid Tarokh wins prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship

Award recognizes "prior achievement and exceptional promise" of Tarokh's contributions to applied mathematics

Vahid Tarokh has won a Guggenheim Fellowship, which will support his research in applied mathematics.

Cambridge, Mass. - May 11, 2011 - Vahid Tarokh, Perkins Professor of Applied Mathematics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow of Electrical Engineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), has been awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship.

Tarokh is among 180 scientists, scholars, and artists chosen this year as Fellows from a group of nearly 3,000 applicants across the United States and Canada.

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation selects candidates on the basis of "prior achievement and exceptional promise."

Tarokh is the only person selected this year in the field of applied mathematics. The $35,000 fellowship will support his research, which aims to understand the spectral properties and pseudo-randomness of matrices constructed from deterministic structures such as codes, block designs, and graphs.

"I'm very grateful to the Guggenheim Foundation for their support," says Tarokh. "It gives me the opportunity to explore a high-risk idea that may have enormous potential applications."

Tarokh received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada in 1995. He worked at AT&T Labs-Research and AT&T wireless services until August 2000, joining MIT as an Associate Professor in September 2000.

He came to SEAS in June 2002 as a tenured Professor of Electrical Engineering.

Tarokh has received a number of awards in the past, including the Gold Medal of the Governor General of Canada in 1996, the IEEE Information Theory Society Prize Paper Award in 1999, and the Alan T. Waterman Award in 2001. He was also named one of "100 brilliant young innovators" (TR100) by Technology Review magazine in 2002.

In addition, the IEEE Communications Society has recognized him as the author of one of the most important papers published in IEEE Transactions in the last 50 years.

In the past 18 years, Tarokh's research has resulted in about 60 journal publications, which have been cited almost 20,000 times by other scholars. He was one of the "Top 10 Most-Cited Researchers in Computer Science," according to the ISI Web of Science, during every quarter during the period 2002 to 2008.

He holds two honorary degrees.

Recent winners of the Guggenheim at SEAS include Salil Vadhan (Vicky Joseph Professor of Computer Science and Applied Math) and L. Mahadevan (Lola England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics; Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and of Physics; Core Member, Wyss Institute; Member, Kavli Institute for Bionano Science and Technology).

Topics: Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics