Vahid Tarokh to receive honorary doctorate from Concordia University

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Vahid Tarokh, the electrical engineer who introduced space-time codes into wireless communications and who has been one of the world’s most cited researchers in computer science, has been chosen to receive an honorary doctorate from Concordia University in Montreal.

Tarokh, the Perkins Professor of Applied Mathematics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), will receive the honorary degree at Concordia’s fall convocation ceremony on November 21.

While working at AT&T Labs in the 1990s, Tarokh was the principal inventor of the complex mathematical formulas called space-time codes. This major breakthrough helped improve the speed, capacity, and clarity of wireless voice and data communications and was soon adopted as a telecom standard worldwide.

Tarokh earned an MSc in mathematics from the University of Windsor in 1992 and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo in 1995. After a four-year stint at AT&T Labs, he joined the faculty of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000 and two years later moved to Harvard.

Tarokh’s current research is mainly focused in the areas of signal processing and its applications to radar, interferometry, and biology. Recent projects have included the development of “smart” shoe insoles to detect falls in the elderly, seizure prediction tools, systems to detect masses within the human body, and environmentally sustainable communications systems. His research papers have been cited some 27,500 times by other scholars.

This will be Tarokh’s third honorary degree.