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Proximity to Fame (#4) – The 2008 Draper Award Ceremony of the National Academy

已有 7087 次阅读 2008-2-21 01:41 |个人分类:生活点滴|系统分类:海外观察

Proximity to Fame (#4) – The 2008 Draper award Ceremony of the National Academy of Engineering
In my earlier blog: http://www.sciencenet.cn/blog/user_content.aspx?id=14253  I mentioned that I’ll be attending the Draper award ceremony of the US National Acadesmy of Engineering which is the highest engineering award given to engineers of the world. Dr. R. E. Kalman of the Kalman filter fame is this year’s recipient.
Unlike the Nobel ceremony which is full of royal “pomp and circumstances” taking place in a palace hall with the award given by the King of Sweden, the American version of the ceremony is far more democratic. While it still requires formal dresses for the participant and invited guests, the event is a sit down dinner in a rented restaurant for recipient, his family, and invited guest. There were a number of short speeches by the President of NAE, CEO of Draper Lab which funded the prize, and Kalman himself. Kalman had four minutes for his acceptance speech and he was gracious. He thanked two person by name : 1. Solomon Lefschetz, the great differential equation theorists, and his mentor. 2. Y.C.Ho for “having made predictions more accurate than Kalman filter itself”. This latter remark is his way of acknowledging the fact that I have publicly predicted since 1989 that Kalman deserves the Draper award see: http://www.sciencenet.cn/blog/user_content.aspx?id=3574 and the fact I actually coined the term “Kalman Filter” which has become part of the lexicon of engineering (for lay reader – the filter is not a physical things as in the olden days of the Wiener Filter consisting of resistors, inductors, and capacitors, but a computer algorithm. However, the Kalman filter accomplishes the same task as Wiener filter attempts but fails to do, using the terminology of “filtering” caught on in the early sixties. See again http://www.sciencenet.cn/blog/user_content.aspx?id=14253 for an intuitive explanation of the workings of the invention.)
A few photos taken at the event follow. They are
1. Reception hall and guests mingling
2. Kalman and his wife Dina (with the Draper medal around his neck)
3.  Kalman and me.
4.  Kalman in the event booklet










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