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Costello Wins Kirchmayer Award

Nina Welding • DATE: July 11, 2014

Daniel J. Costello Jr., the Leonard Bettex Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, has been named the recipient of the 2015 Leon K. Kirchmayer Graduate Teaching Award by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The only IEEE award that recognizes excellence in graduate education, the Kirchmayer Award honors creativity and enthusiasm in the teaching of graduate students.

In addition to the award citation, which reads, “For profound and lasting contributions to graduate education in coding, information theory and digital communications,” the IEEE selection committee noted Costello’s deep commitment to and advocacy of graduate students. They also highlighted his graduate textbook on coding, co-authored with Shu Lin, professor emeritus of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California-Davis, from which the designers of today’s cellular, WiFi, and cable systems learned the subject.

Throughout his career, Costello has made sustained and profound contributions to his field. His research, which is supported by the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the U.S. Army and Motorola Communications, focused on digital communications, with special emphasis on coding theory, information theory, communications networks and bandwidth efficient communication.

Costello graduated from Seattle University and earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Notre Dame in 1966 and 1969, respectively. After several years as a faculty member at the Illinois Institute of Technology, he returned to Notre Dame as a member of the electrical engineering faculty in 1985. He served as department chair from 1989 to 1998.

An IEEE Fellow, Costello has served as a member of the Information Theory Society board of governors. He also has served as associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Communications and IEEE Transactions on Information Theory. Among the many honors in his career, he has received the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Prize, the Third Millennium Medal (IEEE), the Aaron D. Wyner Distinguished Service Award (IEEE Information Theory Society),  the Joint Paper Award (IEEE Communications Society and IEEE Information Theory Society), the Donald G. Fink Prize Paper Award (IEEE) and the Seattle University Centennial Alumni Award.