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Jean Paul Jacob receives Research Leadership Award from UC-Berkeley

Calls winning day "one of the best days of my life"

  Jean Paul Jacob

After wowing a UC-Berkeley audience recently with his entertaining multimedia look into the future of computing — entitled "Is there SECS in your future?" (SECS = Self-repairing Entertaining Customized Systems) — Almaden's long-time university relations manager Jean Paul Jacob was asked to come to a different room.

As he entered, about 60 people suddenly applauded and a surprised Jacob was announced as the winner of the 2003 Research Leadership Award by UC-Berkeley's Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) Department. It was given in recognition of Jacob's "more than four decades of outstanding service to the advancement of students, research, faculty development and the welfare of the EECS Department." He was presented with a plaque, and his name was engraved into a bronze plate adorning the entrance of Soda Hall, the building that houses the Computer Sciences Division of the EECS Department.

The Research Leadership Award "is a very special award that is given to recognize extraordinary contributions by individuals to the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department," said Teresa Moore, UC-Berkeley's Director of Engineering Public Affairs. Jacob's research interests have included software engineering, artificial intelligence, multimedia, personal digital assistants and decision-support systems. Jacob is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology, whose membership consists of the top technical leaders from around the world working in research, hardware and software development, manufacturing, applications, and services. He has published several technical papers (mostly in mathematical journals) and co-authored a technical book on systems and control theory published by Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry (which was reorganized in 2001 as the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry).

The department's deep affection for Jacob was certainly evident at the award ceremony. "There were flower arrangements, blue and gold balloons and very large pictures of me taken at different events at Berkeley during the last 40 years," Jacob said. "In the room were faculty I had interacted with over the years, including former deans of engineering and department chairs."

Christos Papadimitriou, former chair of the computer sciences division, emceed the ceremony and praised Jacob for his enthusiastic and creative efforts to aid Berkeley students and professors. Instructor Dan Garcia said he had modeled his computer science lectures after Jacob's presentations.

A. Richard Newton, Dean of the College of engineering, sent his congratulations from Australia: "For so many years now, your selfless dedication to our students, to our faculty, and to our instructional and research programs stands truly unequaled ! No one shares our vision and our passion for how information and communications technology can change this world and improve peoples lives more than you do. No one has more faith in the truly amazing ability and potential of our students and faculty than you. No one has worked as tirelessly and effectively for Berkeley as you have. You are not only a great friend to us all, but a real member of the EECS and College family."

Although on his honeymoon, S. Shankar Sastry, chair of the EECS department, made a point to send his congratulations, as well: "You may have seen a large upswing in the number of IBM Berkeley events such as those centered around autonomic computing, nanotechnology and IT Services. We have Jean Paul to thank for suggesting and helping organize these events and making sure that there is a fantastic turnout from IBM at these events. His cheerful demeanor and his steadfast commitment to the betterment of faculty-IBM relationships through many kinds of partnerships, grants and fellowships has touched the lives of a lot of us here, and we are grateful to him for his stewardship of the relationship. Jean Paul has been a special friend of the activities of the Undergraduate Office and the internship and outreach programs. This has been a high watermark inside IBM and, among universities, the model of what successful programs are like."

Most recently, for example, Sastry said, Jacob has helped with IBM sponsorship of the 25th anniversary celebration of the Women in Computer Science & Electrical Engineering organization for women graduate students.

Finally, Sastry also said Jacob was noted in Soda Hall for "his eye-catching collection of postcards [posted in his campus office], his infectious laughter and his unfailing optimistic take on what life has to offer."

It has only been given twice before: in 2002, to Prof. James Demmel, for his role in the creation of the Center for Information Technology research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), and in 1998, to Prof. Jerome A. Feldman, for his leadership as director of the International Computer Science Institute.

  
  
Biography

During his 42-year career at IBM, Dr. Jean Paul Jacob's research interests have covered software engineering, artificial intelligence, multimedia, personal digital assistants and decision-support systems. He has given hundreds of interviews and multimedia presentations throughout the world on informatics for the 21st century -- a view of how people will use computers and computing and how it will affect their lives and business/society at large.

Dr. Jacob's international career began in 1960, when he received a degree in electronic engineering from the Technological Institute of Aeronautics in Brazil, his native country. Beginning in 1960, he worked as a trainee in the use of computing in aerospace and industrial control in France and Holland before joining IBM as a research engineer in the IBM Nordic Lab in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1962. Due to his unique expertise in using computers and modeling for simulation, he was reassigned to the San Jose Research Laboratory that same year to participate on a team designing the control system for a space laboratory.

Following a two-year leave from IBM to complete his master's and Ph.D. degrees in engineering and mathematics at the University of California-Berkely, Dr. Jacob returned to the IBM San Jose Research lab in 1966 as a research staff member. He took a one-year leave in 1969-70 to the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and from 1975 to '76, he was also a visiting scholar at the Stanford University Business School.

Always active abroad, Jacob created IBM's first Scientific Center in the Southern Hemisphere (in Brasilia, Brazil) as well as the Institute for Software Engineering (in Sao Paulo). He also was instrumental in creating the IBM Scientific Centers in Paris and Mexico City and was the Scientific Consultant for IBM Latin America. For many years, his responsibilities also included University Relations, developing partnerships between IBM and universities through graduate fellowships, research partnerships and Shared University Programs (SUR) awards. In December 2003 UC Berkeley got a SUR award to create an infrastructure for their Petabyte Storage Project. Prior to that, UC-Berkeley received a 2002 SUR Award of 120 Microdrives in support of the Berkeley Reconfigurable Architectures, Software and Systems project and an instructional lab for a digital design course. In 2001, another SUR Award provided a 32-node Linux cluster and a 32-node SP server to support research at the Berkeley Structural Genomics Center. Jacob has been talking publicly about the future of informatics since 1960, when he prognosticated at the first Data Processing Congress in Brazil. Quick to adopt innovative methods — from multiple slide projectors early on to today's complex multimedia techniques — Jacob offered his fantastic, but technically grounded, views on how people will use computers and computing and how it will affect their lives and business/society at large.

In 1995 Dr. Jacob started a sabbatical year as a lecturer on Multimedia at the University of California at Berkeley. He retired from IBM in October 2002, but returned as a supplemental employee and remains chair of Almaden's University Relations Committee and as IBM's Campus Relationship Manager for UC-Berkeley. He has also been a Faculty in Residence in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at the UC-Berkeley since 1971.

Dr. Jacob has received many awards from IBM and other organizations, including the 1992 Distinguished Alumnus Award in Computer Science and Engineering from UC Berkeley and the 2003 Research Leadership Award also from UC Berkeley. Dr. Jacob was elected member of the IBM Academy of Technology, whose membership consists of the top technical leaders from around the world who are working in research, hardware and software development, manufacturing, applications, and services. He has published several technical papers (mostly in mathematical journals) and co-authored a technical book on systems and control theory published by MITI in Japan.  He has also been featured in over 200 articles published by the written media in 12 countries, as well as featured on at least 30 TV programs on science and technology.

  

 

[an error occurred while processing this directive] Última atualização: 07/21/2011
Jean Paul Jacob: jacob@almaden.ibm.com

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