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Qualcomm co-founder to give Technion record $50 million donation

Andrew Viterbi, distiguished visiting professor and board member, is the creator of a mathematical formula used in many mobile devices

Andrew and Erna Viterbi (courtesy)
Andrew and Erna Viterbi (courtesy)

A co-founder of the Qualcomm Corp. will give $50 million to The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology — a record gift from an American donor.

The gift from Andrew Viterbi, the creator of a mathematical formula used in many of today’s mobile devices, to the Haifa-based university was announced on Saturday during the Technion Board of Governors meeting in Israel. Viterbi, a distinguished visiting professor of electrical engineering at the university, is a Technion board member.

“Technion electrical engineering graduates are in large part responsible for creating and sustaining Israel’s high-tech industry, which has been essential for Israel’s economic success,” he said.

His Viterbi Algorithm allows rapid and accurate decoding of numerous overlapping signals, helping to eliminate signal interference.

Viterbi and his late wife, Erna, have previously supported the university. He first lectured at the Technion in 1967 while on a sabbatical in Israel and has an honorary doctorate from the school.

His mathematical formula is used in all four international standards for digital cellular telephones, as well as in data terminals, digital satellite broadcast receivers and deep space telemetry. Other applications include voice recognition programs and DNA analysis.

Viterbi was awarded a National Medal of Science by President George W. Bush in 2008.

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