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Alexander Vardy is the the Jack Keil Wolf Endowed Chair Professor at the University of California San Diego, where he is affiliated with the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Department of Computer Science. He was born in Moscow, U.S.S.R, and grew up in Israel. He graduated summa cum laude from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in 1985, and completed his Ph.D. in 1991 at the Tel Aviv University.
Since 1987, he has been working in the field of coding theory. As part of his work, he has discovered certain codes and decoding algorithms that are now named after him. His 2003 paper with Ralf Koetter on algebraic soft-decision decoding of Reed-Solomon codes won the IEEE Information Theory Society Paper Award, and the resulting decoding algorithm became known as the Koetter-Vardy decoder. In his 2005 paper with Farzad Parvaresh (FOCS Best Paper Award), he discovered the Parvaresh-Vardy codes. In a recent paper with Ido Tal, he introduced a list-decoding algorithm for polar codes that you will soon be using (as part of the 5G standard) whenever you make a phone call or access the Internet on a mobile device. Among other things, he holds the record for the densest packing of spheres in 20 dimensions (Inventiones Mathematicae, 1995) and for the fastest decoding of the Leech lattice. He is also a co-discoverer of the only known q-analogue of a Steiner system.
- 2017: Fellow, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
- 2016: IEEE Communications & Information Theory Societies Joint Paper Award
- 2007: Highly-Cited Researcher, Thomson Scientific ISI
- 2006: J. William Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship
- 2005: Best Paper Award, Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS)
- 2004: IEEE Information Theory Society Paper Award
- 1999: Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
- 1996: David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellow
- 1996: Xerox Award for Faculty Research
- 1993: IBM Invention Achievement Award
- 1991: Rothschild Foundation Fellowship
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