Nisha Rathode

David A Huffman

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Known for  Huffman coding
Fields  Information theory

Role  Computer scientist
Name  David Huffman
David A. Huffman www1ucsceducurrents9900arthuffmandavid99
Born  August 9, 1925 Ohio (1925-08-09)
Alma mater  Ohio State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Thesis  The Synthesis of Sequential Switching Circuits (1953)
Died  October 7, 1999, Santa Cruz, California, United States
Notable awards  IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal (1999)
Education  Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ohio State University

Residence  United States of America
Doctoral advisor  Samuel H. Caldwell

David Albert Huffman (August 9, 1925 – October 7, 1999) was a pioneer in computer science, known for his Huffman coding. He was also one of the pioneers in the field of mathematical origami. David Huffman died at the age of 74, ten months after being diagnosed with cancer.



Huffman earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Ohio State University in 1944, then served two years as an officer in the United States Navy. He returned to Ohio State to earn his master's degree in electrical engineering in 1949. In 1953, he earned his Doctor of Science in electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with the thesis The Synthesis of Sequential Switching Circuits, advised by Samuel H. Caldwell.


Huffman joined the faculty at MIT in 1953. In 1967, he joined the faculty of University of California, Santa Cruz and helped found its Computer Science Department, where he served as chair from 1970 to 1973. He retired in 1994.

Awards and honors

  • 1999: The IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal.
  • 1998: A Golden Jubilee Award for Technological Innovation from the IEEE Information Theory Society, for "the invention of the Huffman minimum-length lossless data-compression code".
  • 1981: Charter recipient of the Computer Pioneer Award from the IEEE Computer Society.
  • 1973: The W. Wallace McDowell Award from the IEEE Computer Society.
  • 1955: The Louis E. Levy Medal from the Franklin Institute for his doctoral thesis on sequential switching circuits.
  • References

    David A. Huffman Wikipedia

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