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Jacob Ziv – A brief Biography

JACOB ZIV was born in Tiberias, Israel, on November 27, 1931. He re-

ceived the B.Sc., Dip. Eng., and M.Sc. degrees, all in Electrical Engineering,

from the Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, in 1954,

1955 and 1957, respectively, and the Sc.D. degree from the Massachusetts

Institute of Technology, Cambridge, U.S.A., in 1962.

From 1955 to 1959, he was a Senior Research Engineer at the Scientific Department, Israel Ministry of Defense, where he engaged in research and development of communication systems. From 1961 to 1962, while studying for his doctorate at M.I.T., he joined the Applied Science Division of Melpar, Inc.,Watertown, MA, where he was a Senior Research Engineer doing research in communication theory. In 1962 he returned to the Scientific Department, Israel Ministry of Defense, as Head of the Communications Division and also served as an Adjunct of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Technion— Israel Institute of Technology. From 1968 to 1970 he was a Member of the Technical Staff of Bell Laboratories, Inc., Murray Hill, NJ. He joined the Technion full time in 1970 and since 2006 he is a Technion Distinguished professor Emeritus.

He was Dean of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering from 1974 to 1976 and Vice President for Academic Affairs from 1978 to 1982.

From 1977 to 1978, 1983 to 1984, and 1991 to 1992 he was on Sabbatical

leave at the Information Research Department, Bell Laboratories, Murray

Hill, NJ, USA.

He was the Chairman of the Israeli Universities Planning and Grants Com-

mittee from 1985 to 1991. (The Planning and Grant Committee is the in-

terphase between The Government of Israel and the Universities; it prepares the budget, presents it to the government and allocates it to the Universities;

it is in charge of development and means and practices in the Universities.)

He is a Member of the Israel National Academy of Sciences and Humanities and has served as its President from 1996 till 2005.

His research interests include data-compression, information theory and

statistical communication.



1. “The Rate Distortion Function for Source Coding, with Side-Information

at the Detector” Received the IEEE Information Theory Group Best Paper Award for the year 1976.

2. “A Universal Algorithm for Sequential Data-Compression” –

. Received the IEEE Information Theory Group Best Paper

Award for the year 1977.

3. Israel Prize in Exact Sciences (Engineering and Technology) 1993.

4. Marconi International Award 1995

5. IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal 1995.

6. IEEE Information Theory Society Shannon Award for 1997.

7. ACM 1997 Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award.

8. 1998 Eduard Rhein Prize for Basic Research

9. 2002 Rothschild Prize for Technological Sciences

10. 2009 BBVA Foundation Innogural Frontiers of Knowledge Award in

the Information and Communication Technologies Category

Awards Received
for A universal algorithm for sequential data compression
for The rate-distortion function for source coding with side information at the decoder
Participation & Position
Contact Information

Technion Distinguished Professor Emeritus

Department of Electrical Engineering,

Technion, Haifa 32000 Israel


Research interests
Source coding