UCSB Professor Receives Multiple International Honors

Wednesday, July 19, 2000 - 17:00
Santa Barbara, CA

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Professor Sanjit Mitra

Sanjit Mitra, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has been awarded two medals for outstanding merit from his peers around the world and an honorary membership into the Academy of Finland, that country's respected scientific research funding agency.

Members of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' Circuits and Systems Society chose Mitra to receive two special medals, one marking the start of the new millennium and the other, celebrating the society's 50th anniversary.

An institute-wide award, The Third Millennium Medal singled out 3,000 members of the 335,000-plus member IEEE for recognition. This is only the second time that IEEE has honored a small and select group of members within its vast network of technical societies, technical councils, sections and society chapters. In 1984, it awarded Centennial Medals to 1,984 members to commemorate the institute's 100th anniversary .

Institute officials commissioned world-renowned sculptor Gladys Gunzer, who designed the 1980 Winter Olympics Medallions, to craft the millennium medal. Each medal features a world map symbolizing the global nature of the IEEE with the words "In Celebration of the Third Millennium" and the recipient's name. Mitra was recognized further with the Circuits and Systems Society's Golden Jubilee Medal. The society celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1999 and 118 members were lauded for outstanding leadership, achievement or service to the society.

Mitra has served IEEE in various capacities including service as the president of the Circuits and Systems Society in 1986. Last year, he received the society's highest honor, the Mac Van Valkenburg Award.

The Circuits and Systems Society is one of 36 technical societies of IEEE, a non-profit professional association with more than 335,000 members in 150 countries. Through its members, the IEEE is a catalyst for technological innovation and a leading authority in technical areas such as computer engineering, biomedical technology, telecommunications, electric power, aerospace and consumer electronics.

The honorary induction of the UC Santa Barbara professor into the Academy of Finland rounds up the international recognition.

Earlier this year, Mitra was bestowed the honorary title of Academician for his "extremely wide and profound" research achievements,

said Academy of Finland officials.

"He has produced revolutionary results in the theory and application of signal processing, having concentrated in his earlier scientific work on analog signal processing," academy officials said. "Even more decisive has been his contribution to the development of digital signal processing. Professor Mitra has also played a central part in furthering Finnish research into signal processing."

Mitra and three other scientists received their honorary titles during a March 25 ceremony held in Helsinki to honor of the academy's 30th anniversary.

The title of Academician may be conferred on a Finnish or foreign scientist of outstanding merit. Not more than twelve Finnish holders of the title are permitted at any given time, but there are no limits on the number of foreign holders.

The Academy of Finland seeks to enhance the quality and reputation of Finnish basic research. Its research funding represents about 12% of the total Finnish government research funding. More than 3,000 professional researchers at universities and research institutes are working on Academy-funded research projects.

Mitra came to UCSB in 1977 after 10 years at UC Davis. He earned a bachelor's degree in physics and master's degree in radio physics and electronics in India. He then turned to electrical engineering, earning a master's degree and doctorate at UC Berkeley.

The professor has published more than 500 papers about analog and digital signal processing, and image processing. He has also authored and co-authored eleven books and holds five patents.