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2011 Distinguished Achievement Memorial Award

Saburo Muroga
Saburo Muroga

University of Illinois computer science professor emeritus was one of Japan’s computer pioneers and a globally significant leader in the extensive field of information processing, and he taught and mentored generations of computer science researchers.
Professor Muroga was a pioneer in threshold logic, and was the author of the classic book on the topic “Threshold Logic and Its Applications”, published in 1971. The book enjoyed a renewed interest in recent years, as researchers of neural networks recognized its relevance to their field as well.

Muroga’s research in threshold logic was directed at minimizing the complexity of networks that would still be able to support high-level performance by, for example, minimizing the number of logic gates, interconnections among gates, or number of levels in a logic circuit. His revolutionary thinking led also to the creation of the ‘transduction method’, representing a new method for simplifying logic circuits based on permissible functions. The transduction method was adopted by major CAD companies and is now considered an industry standard.

Muroga also published widely on improving design automation using mathematical approaches and computer-aided design of VLSI chips.

In addition to his revolutionary research, Muroga was well-known for his mentorship of students. Many of his former students have had highly successful careers in industry, serving as executives and chief executives at companies including Dell Computer, Sun Microsystems, Silicon Graphics, Toshiba, United Microelectronics, and more.