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Memorial Tributes, Volume 11
Elected in 1982
“For development of digital signal processing theory and processors and theirapplications to speech compression and pattern recognition.”
BY WALTER E. MORROW JR.
BERNARD GOLD was born in New York City in 1923. After attending primary and secondary schools, he entered City College, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering in 1944. He went on to receive a Masters of Electrical Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (now called Polytechnic University). In 1948, he received a Doctorate of Electrical Engineering from that same institution.
After working briefly for a small Manhattan company (Avion Instrument) on the theory of radar range and angle tracking, he joined the Hughes Aircraft Company in Culver City, California, where he did research on statistical problems associated with missile guidance. In 1953, he became a staff member at the Lincoln Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); his initial focus was on the application of probability theory to problems in communications.
In 1954, Ben received a Fulbright Fellowship to spend a year in Italy, where he lectured, in Italian, on the response of linear dynamic systems to random noise stimuli. Upon returning to Lincoln Laboratory in 1955, he began research on the development of an automatic recognition device that could translate hand-sent Morse code transmissions into text. In 1958, his research came to fruition. This was one of the first practical applications of what later became known as artificial intelligence.