The Full Wiki

Andrew Viterbi: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Andrew James Viterbi
Personal information
Nationality Italian, American
Birth date March 9, 1935(1935-03-09)
Birth place Bergamo, Italy
Education Massachusetts Institute of Technology (BS, MS)
University of Southern California (PhD)
Spouse Erna Finci
Children 3
Engineering Discipline Electrical
Institution memberships University of Southern California Board of Trustees
The Scripps Research Institute Board of Trustees
Employer(s) Professor:
UC Los Angeles
UC San Diego

Linkabit Corporation
Qualcomm Inc.
The Viterbi Group

Significant projects Viterbi algorithm
Significant advance Code Division Multiple Access standard for cell phone networks
Significant Awards National Medal of Science
IEEE/Royal Society of Edinburgh Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award
IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal

Andrew James Viterbi, Ph.D. (Bergamo (Italy) March 9, 1935) is an Italian-American electrical engineer and businessman.

Viterbi was born in Bergamo, Italy to Jewish parents and emigrated with them in 1939 to the United States as a refugee. His original name was Andrea, but when he was naturalized in the US, his parents changed it to Andrew, since Andrea is a female name in many English-speaking countries. Viterbi attended the Boston Latin School, and then entered MIT in 1952, studying electrical engineering. After receiving both his BS and his MS in Electrical Engineering in 1957 from MIT, Viterbi received his Ph.D. in digital communications from the University of Southern California.

Viterbi was later a professor of electrical engineering at UCLA and UCSD. In 1967 he invented the Viterbi algorithm, which he used for decoding convolutionally encoded data. It is still used widely in cellular phones for error correcting codes, as well as for speech recognition, DNA analysis, and many other applications of Hidden Markov models. On advice of a lawyer, Viterbi did not patent the algorithm.[1] Viterbi also helped to develop the CDMA standard for cell phone networks.

Viterbi was the cofounder of Linkabit Corporation, with Irwin Jacobs in 1968, a small military contractor. He was also the co-founder of Qualcomm Inc. with Dr. Jacobs in 1985. As of 2003, he is the president of the venture capital company The Viterbi Group.

Viterbi School of Engineering, west wall

In 2002, Viterbi dedicated the Andrew Viterbi '52 Computer Center at his alma mater, Boston Latin School. On March 2, 2004, the University of Southern California School of Engineering was renamed the Viterbi School of Engineering in his honor, following his $52 million donation to the school.[2] He is a member of the USC Board of Trustees.[3].

He is also on the Board of Trustees at The Scripps Research Institute.

In September 2008, he was awarded the National Medal of Science for developing "the 'Viterbi algorithm,' and for his contributions to Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) wireless technology that transformed the theory and practice of digital communications."

Viterbi is married to Erna Finci, with whom he has three children.


  1. ^ Viterbi, Andrew. Interview with David Morton. Andrew Viterbi, Electrical Engineer, an oral history. San Diego, California, United States. 1999-10-29. Retrieved on 2009-11-10.
  2. ^ University of Southern California. "Engineer/Entrepreneur and wife make $52 million naming gift to USC". Press release. Retrieved 2007-06-05.  
  3. ^ Board of Trustees, University of Southern California, Accessed April 13, 2008.

External links

Further reading

  • Brodsky, Ira. "The History of Wireless: How Creative Minds Produced Technology for the Masses" (Telescope Books, 2008)
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Stephen O. Rice
IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal
Succeeded by
Charles K. Kao
Preceded by
IEEE/Royal Society of Edinburgh Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award
Succeeded by


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address