Communications pioneer Andrew J. Viterbi has made the archives of his research available online, thanks to a partnership between the University of Southern California's Viterbi School of Engineering and USC Libraries
The collection consists of more than 35,000 documents, and includes Viterbi's patents, scientific publications, and unpublished research notes, as well as private letters, family photos and multimedia. The physical materials are held in the USC Libraries' special collections as part of the University Archives.
Viterbi's research led to the development of cell phone networks. A recipient of the 2007 National Medal of Science, he was also a finalist for the 2008 Millennium Technology Prize.
Among his discoveries is the Viterbi Algorithm, the mathematical underpinning for mobile technologies. Used in every major global cellular-phone standard, it maximizes the transmission rate for digital information while keeping distortion to a minimum. Viterbi also helped to invent the spread-spectrum cell-phone standard Code Division Multiple Access or CDMA.
Viterbi's research has also contributed to reducing noise in mp3 players, preventing the degradation of digital data, and improving the image quality for deep space telescopes.
According to Viterbi "the age of the Internet and of the search engine has opened every private citizen to universal scrutiny. The act of revealing to the world one's past experiences in minute detail, which may have seemed both daring and presumptuous in the pre-Internet era, is now merely a recognition of this obvious truth."