Robert J. McEliece, who was a Professor of Mathematics and Research Professor at CSL from 1978-1982 passed away on May 8, 2019, at the age of 76. He was born May 21, 1942, in Washington D.C. Bob was a world authority on information theory and the theory of error-correcting codes: their theory as well as their applications. For his work he received the 2004 IEEE Information Theory Society Claude E. Shannon Award, among other awards. The range of his research can be seen in these memorial links
Bob earned his BS and PhD at Caltech and worked at the Information Processing Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (where he remained a consultant for the Communications Group throughout his career) before moving to Illinois. While at Illinois, he surpervised five PhD students and helped design the first faculty photo board. After leaving here, he returned to Caltech as a Professor of Electrical Engineering. He helped many members of the department get tickets in 1984 to watch the Rose Parade, and then see Illinois lose the Rose Bowl to UCLA 45-9.