Three UC San Diego Professors Elected to National Academy of Sciences

San Diego, April 27, 2010 -- The National Academy of Sciences today elected two biology professors and an engineering professor at the University of California, San Diego to membership in the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors bestowed on U.S. scientists and engineers.

Jack Keil Wolf

Jack K. Wolf, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and participant in Calit2's Information Theory and Applications (ITA) Center, as well as biology professors Susan S. Golden and Terrence J. Sejnowski were among the 72 new members and 18 foreign associates elected to the academy “in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.”

They join 86 current members of the UC San Diego faculty who previously had been named to membership in the academy, which was established by Congress in 1863 to serve as an official adviser to the federal government on matters of science and technology.

Major research universities use the number of academy members on their faculty as a benchmark by which to compare the strength of their scientific research and education programs among universities across the nation in different disciplines.

“Jack Keil Wolf works in the area of information theory, and UCSD has one of the strongest – if not the strongest – academic information theory groups in the country,” said Lawrence Larson, professor and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. “Jack played a big role in building this up; he is at the heart of our historical strength in this field, which now includes the UCSD Information Theory and Applications Center.”


Wolf is an expert in digital information storage and signal processing for digital recording. He was an early proponent of applying information and communications theory to the construction of ultra-high-density information storage. The research results of Wolf and his students have been incorporated in the design of several storage systems. Wolf leads the Signal Processing Group – dubbed the “WolfPack” – within UCSD’s Center for Magnetic Recording Research, which he founded.


Wolf is the Stephen O. Rice Professor of Magnetics at UCSD. He earned his Ph.D. in 1960 from Princeton University, and later taught at New York University, Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Wolf joined the UCSD faculty in 1984.

The academy’s election was held this morning during the business session of the 147th annual meeting of the academy. Those elected today bring the total number of active members to 2,097. Foreign associates are nonvoting members of the academy, with citizenship outside the United States. Today's election brings the total number of foreign associates to 409.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. It was established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln that calls on the Academy to act as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology.

Additional information about the Academy and its members is available online at


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