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12-30-2016

Clarkson University Prof. Emeritus Abdul Jerri to Deliver Lecture to Honor Father of Information Theory

Clarkson University Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Abdul J. Jerri will speak at the special session on "Inverse Problems and Multivariate Signal Analysis" of the American Mathematical Society annual meeting in Atlanta, Ga., in January. The title of his lecture is "Multivariate Sampling in Signal Processing."

Abdul J. JerriHis invited presentation is dedicated to the centennial (1916-2016) of the great American scientist and "Father of Information Theory" Claude Elwood Shannon. Jerri's 1977 paper, “The Shannon Sampling Theorem - Its Various Extensions and Applications - A Tutorial Review,” is regarded by researchers as an essential reference. It has nearly 2,000 citations.

Jerri outlines basic signal analysis this way: “To send a voice on the phone, we chop it into pieces, or samples, that can be transmitted. Then the receiver will get these samples. There's a mathematical formula that will connect the pieces and make the voice understandable. Claude Shannon used this idea of having voice samples that we connect to create a continuous flow.”

Shannon also had talents not known to many, Jerri reveals. “He was a good juggler. He could juggle four balls while riding a unicycle. He made a machine that juggles, too.”

While signal analysis for voice deals with one dimension, more complex information can be transmitted. For example, to send an image of a face, “We're talking about two dimensions, vertical and horizontal. We take samples and send them and have a formula that will connect the points and show your mom your beautiful face. If we add a third dimension, we can see your nose. Something like a photo of the brain, e.g., medical imaging, adds a fourth dimension for movement in time,” Jerri explains.

Jerri has written seven mathematics texts and research references, but wants to give his profession something while he's retired, so he's making tutorials on signal analysis for multi-dimensions, he adds.

Jerri received a bachelor of science degree in physics from the University of Baghdad, and a master's degree in physics from the Illinois University of Technology in Chicago. He earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from Oregon State University. He joined the faculty of Clarkson University's Department of Mathematics and Computer Science in 1967, retiring in 2002.

Jerri's career includes visiting positions at the American University in Cairo, where he established the study programs in mathematics and computer science (1972–74). He was also the director of the graduate mathematics study program at Kuwait University (1978–80).
Jerri is a double-awarded Fulbright Scholar. He taught at the Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat, Oman, in 1997, and at the Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan in 2001.

He is the founding executive editor of Sampling Theory In Signal and Image Processing (STSIP), An International Journal. In 1995, Jerri was one of the few researchers who helped establish the SAMPTA (Sampling Theory and Applications) Workshops, which meet in a different country every two years.

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, New York, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and innovation with enterprise.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/jerri.jpg.]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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