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Irwin Jacobs Talks Technology, Israel and a New Campus

Credit: Cornell Tech

We are proud to preview an interview with Dr. Irwin Jacobs, founding chairman and CEO emeritus of Qualcomm featured in the August issue of the San Diego Jewish Journal. Dr. Jacobs discusses the commitment that he and his wife Joan have for the Technion, Israel and higher education. That longstanding support began with setting up an R&D center for his first company (Linkabit) close to the Technion campus, and culminated in their integral support for the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute (read original ATS press release) at the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island. Learn more about how the Technion is impacting New York City at or contact Mark Greenberg, Director of the ATS San Diego Chapter, at or Tel: 858.750.2135.



The Technion is contributing to Israel and the global good in unprecedented ways. Help us ensure its continued advancement as a world-class institution of higher education.


Viterbi Algorithm Jubilee

Prof. Andrew Viterbi and his late wife, Erna

ATS San Diego leader Andrew Viterbi, a Technion Distinguished Visiting Professor and Qualcomm co-founder, was honored with a festive event at the Technion’s 7th annual TCE Conference to mark the 50th anniversary of the algorithm that changed the face of digital communications.

The Viterbi Algorithm revolutionized data decoding and optimal noise and interference filtering, leading to the key communication technologies that underlie much of our cell phone communications. The algorithm has also been used in space communications, voice recognition, data recording, search, DNA sequencing and even HBO’s satellite beaming of The Sopranos and Westworld.

“I never set out to produce an algorithm which would receive the attention it has,” Prof. Viterbi has written. In trying to prove properties of convolutional codes, he said he “stumbled over a gold nugget that others might have ignored because it didn’t look shiny.” Upon publication of the algorithm in 1967, Prof. Viterbi donated it to the benefit of the public and waived royalties.

Prof. Viterbi’s roots at the Technion date to 1967, when he gave a series of lectures while on sabbatical from UCLA. Since then, he has become a Technion Guardian, a designation reserved for those who support the university at the highest level. Among a host of generous contributions, he provided a transformational gift in 2015 to the Technion Faculty of Electrical Engineering, which is now named after him and his late wife, Erna.


Doctor Bob’s TechnoBrain Competition Turns 20

Students anxiously waiting for the first egg to drop in the first TechnoBrain Competition in 1997.

It’s not all work at the Technion—and San Diego supporter Dr. Bob Shillman has certainly seen to that! Adhering to the "work hard, play hard" management style for which the Founder and Chairman of Cognex Corporation is known, Doctor Bob's TechnoBrain competition brings together the Technion community for an innovative (and fun!) afternoon putting their engineering know-how to the test.

The competition was started in 1997 by the late Neev-Ya Durban, a promising aerospace engineering student and IDF officer, to challenge students with an original engineering task while taking a break from their studies. The popular competition, now entering its 20th year, has been funded by Dr. Shillman ever since.

The Technion remembers TechnoBrain student creator Neev-Ya Durban and his Egg Drop challenge in the video below. In this very first TechnoBrain Competition, contestants built a device to hold an egg, which was dropped from the highest building on campus (13 stories), and required to reach the ground intact at a minimal distance from a prescribed target.


Unicycle Stretcher for Search and Rescue

Student-built unicycle stretcher for difficult rescue operations

Technion students Michael Addah and Ro’ee Eytanash have designed a unicycle stretcher prototype to help emergency medics and search-and-rescue teams evacuate victims from off-road areas that are inaccessible to vehicles and helicopters. The “Adventure Stretcher” was created for a final project in the Technion Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. The stretcher is lightweight, collapsible and adheres to the standards of traditional backboard stretchers that are necessary for patients suffering from a spinal cord injury. It sits on one large bicycle wheel, which absorbs most of the patient’s weight, allowing two people to transport the patient over difficult terrain for long distances, without tiring.

The mechanical engineering students worked in collaboration with Rafael Industries engineer Dan Shafry, emergency medical technicians of United Hatzalah, members of the Israel Search-and-Rescue Unit, Segal Bikes and the Israelife Foundation. Segal Bikes is working toward supplying a special puncture-proof wheel.


Honors and Celebrations at 2017 BOG

2017 Technion Board of Governors Highlights

Once a year, Technion friends and supporters gather at the Board of Governors (BOG) meeting to conduct organizational business, celebrate achievements, hear from Technion scientists and reconnect. This year’s meeting (June 9–14)—which took as its theme, the “Technion of Things”— offered something for everyone including panel discussions, awards and dedications, and a lineup of honored guests and speakers.


Make an Impact Through The Technion Fund

Support medical research, Technion faculty, students and more through The Technion Fund

The Technion is contributing to Israel and the global good in unprecedented ways. You can do your part in ensuring the Technion’s continued advancement as a world-class institution of higher education by supporting the Technion Fund. Never before has it been easier to contribute to the Technion than it is now.

The Technion Fund provides access to a broad array of opportunities for engagement at all levels. The Fund supports the entire ecosystem necessary to maintain the Technion’s distinctive strengths. Donors may choose to allocate their Technion Fund gift to any of the following focus areas: biomedicine, defense, faculty, international collaborations, student support and sustainable energy.

American Technion Society, San Diego
4079 Governor Drive, #343
San Diego, CA 92122
Tel: 858.750.2135
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