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James Lee Massey dies at 79

James Lee Massey died on June 16, 2013 at his home in Copenhagen, Denmark.

James Lee Massey died on June 16, 2013 at his home in Copenhagen, Denmark. Jim was an extraordinary scholar, a gifted teacher, a generous mentor, a true gentleman, and a dear friend.

Jim Massey was born in Wauseon, Ohio, on February 11, 1934. He received a BSEE degree (maxima cum laude and class valedictorian) from the University of Notre Dame in 1956, the MSEE and Ph.D. degrees from MIT in 1960 and 1962, respectively, the Dr. Tech. degree, honoris causa, from Lund University, Sweden, in 1990, and an honorary doctoral degree from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, in 2006. He joined the faculty of the University of Notre Dame in 1962 where he remained until 1977. He was the first endowed professor of the University of Notre Dame. He was with UCLA from 1977-1980 and joined the ETH Zurich, Switzerland, in 1980. He retired from ETH in 1998 and moved to Copenhagen where he continued his career of scholarship and mentoring.

Jim received numerous awards, including the Shannon Award in 1988, the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal in 1992, the Marconi Prize in 1999, and the Information Theory Society Distinguished Service Award in 2004. He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. His scientific work focussed on coding theory and cryptography. His work on coding theory included developing links between convolutional codes and linear systems, and the development of the Berlekamp-Massey algorithm for decoding BCH codes. His work on cryptography included the invention of the block ciphers IDEA and SAFER+ which have found wide-spread use and have inspired other block cipher designs.

 

For information regarding the funeral, please visit [this page]

 

An IEEE web link with information on Jim's life and career can be found at: http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/James_L._Massey

 

An IEEE interview with Jim can be found at: http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/Oral-History:James_L._Massey

 

An information theory blog can be found at: http://blogs.princeton.edu/blogit/2013/06/16/james-l-massey-1934-2013/