Irwin M. Jacobs
Jacobs at UCSD in 2005
|Alma mater|| Cornell University (BSc, 1956)|
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MSc, 1957; DSc, 1959)
|Known for||Co-founder of Qualcomm|
|Net worth||US$ 1.2 billion (March 2019)|
|Spouse(s)||Joan Klein (m. 1954)|
|Children||4, including Gary E. Jacobs and Paul E. Jacobs|
Irwin Mark Jacobs (born October 18, 1933) is an American electrical engineer, billionaire, a co-founder and former chairman of Qualcomm, and chair of the board of trustees of the Salk Institute.
Jacobs was born to a Jewish family in New Bedford, Massachusetts.He earned his Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Cornell University in 1956, and his Master of Science and Doctor of Science degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1957 and 1959, respectively. His doctoral advisor was Edward Arthurs. He is a member of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity.
Jacobs was assistant and associate professor of electrical engineering at MIT from 1959 to 1966 and professor of computer science and engineering at University of California San Diego (UCSD) from 1966 to 1972. With John Wozencraft, he co-authored a textbook entitled Principles of Communication Engineering in 1965, which is still in use today. UCSD's Jacobs School of Engineering is named for him and his wife.
In 1968, Jacobs co-founded Linkabit Corporation with Andrew Viterbi to develop satellite encryption devices. That company merged with M/A-COM, Inc. in 1980, becoming M/A-COM Linkabit.
In 1985, Jacobs went on to co-found Qualcomm Inc. along with Viterbi, Harvey White, Adelia Coffman, Andrew Cohen, Klein Gilhousen, and Franklin Antonio. Qualcomm developed the OmniTRACS system was deemed one of the world's most "technologically advanced two-way mobile satellite communications and tracking systems". He pioneered these systems which use the communication bandwidth more efficiently than the older fixed time-sliced TDMA technology. Its Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) has been adopted as one of two digital standards (the other being Global System for Mobile Communications [GSM]) used in the next generation of cellular telephones in North America at the time. Jacobs announced in March 2009 that he had stepped down as chairman of Qualcomm and that Paul E. Jacobs, his son, would succeed him.
Jacobs is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the IEEE.He is a member of the Inter-American Dialogue. He is a chairman on the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and is on the international advisory board for the Israel Institute of Technology. He is on the advisory board for the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He is on the board of directors of the Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles.
In 1980, Jacobs was the co-recipient, with Andrew J. Viterbi, the 1980 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) biannual award. In 1992, Jacobs was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year Award in High Technology by the Institute of American Entrepreneurs, and in May 1993, he was awarded the American Electronics Association (AEA) "Inventing America's Future" award.
In 1994, for his development of CDMA, Jacobs was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.
In 1994, he was also awarded the "Cornell University Entrepreneur of the Year" Award.
In 1995, Jacobs won the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal – For outstanding contributions to telecommunications, including leadership, theory, practice, and product development.
In 2001, Jacobs was awarded the Bower Award for Business Leadership in 2001.
In 2004, Jacobs and his wife Joan Jacobs are contributors to public arts and education in San Diego. For this, Jacobs was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship in 2004.
In 2005, Jacobs delivered the 2005 commencement speech at MIT,and the 2008 commencement speech at the Jacobs School of Engineering.
In 2007, Jacobs and Viterbi received the 2007 IEEE/RSE Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award, for "fundamental contributions, innovation, and leadership that enabled the growth of wireless telecommunications".
In 2009, he was named a Fellow of AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science).
In 2011, he receivedthe Marconi Prize together with Jack Wolf.
In 2011, he was named a Marconi Prize recipient and Marconi Fellow.
In 2011, Jacobs was inducted into the International Air & Space Hall of Fame at the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
In 2012, Jacobs was named the W. P. Carey School of Business Dean's Council of 100 Executive of the Year.
In 2013, Jacobs was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
In 2013, he received the Medal of Honor from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which is the highest honor an engineer can receive from his or her peers. The IEEE said he was receiving the award not just for his innovations but for "the ability to translate innovation into industry applications, time after time after time."
In November 2013, he was conferred the title of "Distinguished Honor Chair Professor" of National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan.
In August and October 2014, Jacobs was awarded honorary doctorates by National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan, and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
In 2014, Jacobs was elected to the Computer History Museum as a Fellow – for "his pioneering work in digital mobile telephony, data and communications, and technology".
In 2015, Jacobs received the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy.
In 2017, Jacobs and Viterbi received the IEEE Milestone Award for their CDMA and spread spectrum development that drives the mobile industry.
In February 2018, he was appointed an honorary advisor to the president of National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan.
In March 2018, he was named the winner of IMEC Lifetime of Innovation Award.
In July 2019, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of York, UK.
In October 2019, he received the IET Mountbatten Medal in London.
As the co-founder and chairman of Qualcomm, Jacobs has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to the field of education through generous donations and grants to several schools and organizations. His donations have gone mostly towards fellowships and scholarships for deserving students in the fields of engineering and computer science, as well as the arts, and are focused in the San Diego area.The San Diego Union Tribune in 2011 dubbed him the "Philanthropist in Chief".
As of September 2009, Jacobs had donated a total of $31 million to his post graduate degrees school, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He had donated $15 million and another $110 million to the University of California San Diego where he was a professor of computer science and engineering for several years. Additionally, he has donated $62 million total to the American Society for Technion, his alma mater Cornell University, KPBS Radio and Television, and San Diego Natural History Museum. His KPBS donation was in the sum of $1 million, and the multi-year gift is designed to strengthen the station's local journalism and news collaboration with NPR. The Jacobs have donated funds to build studios for KPBS and have supported the station for decades. In 2010, he funded an engineering study on how to fulfill a long-planned proposal to remove automobiles from the Plaza de Panama in San Diego's Balboa Park and agreed to chair a committee to study the proposal and develop private funding for it.
Jacobs has pledged $120 million for the San Diego Symphony, a similar amount for the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California San Diego, $100 million for UCSD's future specialty hospital and $20 million to replace the central library in downtown San Diego. Also in 2005, the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for La Jolla Playhouse was named after Jacobs and his wife in honor of their philanthropic contributions towards the institution's development. In April 2013, the Jacobs donated $133 million to the joint Cornell/Technion(Israel) Technology campus development on Roosevelt Island in New York City.
The Joan and Irwin Jacobs TIX Institute at National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan, was sponsored by Jacobs with the mission of encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship.
In August 2010, Irwin and Joan Jacobs joined the Giving Pledge, pledging to give away most of their fortune to philanthropy.
In 1954, Jacobs married a New York City native, dietician, and fellow Cornell graduate (1952), Joan Klein).They reside in La Jolla, California, and have four sons. Their son Paul E. Jacobs succeeded Irwin as CEO of Qualcomm until stepping down in March 2014. Jeff Jacobs was the chief marketing officer of Qualcomm. Hal Jacobs, the second oldest, played on the 1985 USA Maccabi volleyball team, and is a co-producer of the musical Jersey Boys . Their eldest son, Gary E. Jacobs, is the head of the board of the Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High Charter School.
| IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal |
| IEEE/RSE Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award |
John L. Hennessy
| IEEE Medal of Honor |
B. Jayant Baliga
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The Irwin and Joan Jacobs School of Engineering is an undergraduate and graduate-level engineering school offering BS, BA, MEng, MS, MAS and PhD degrees at the University of California San Diego in La Jolla, California. The Jacobs School of Engineering is the youngest engineering school of the nation's top nine, the largest by enrollment in the University of California system, and the ninth-largest in the country. More than thirty faculty have been named members of the National Academies. The current dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering is Albert P. Pisano.
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Connect is a non-profit serving the San Diego and Southern California region. Connect elevates innovators and entrepreneurs throughout their growth journey by providing educational programming, mentorship, networking events, and access to capital. The current CEO is Mike Krenn.
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Robert W. Conn is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Kavli Foundation, a U.S. based foundation dedicated to the advancement of basic science research and public interest in science. A physicist and engineer, Conn is also the current Board Chair of the Science Philanthropy Alliance, an organization that aims to increase private support for basic science research, and Dean Emeritus of the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. In the 1970s and 1980s, Conn participated in some of the earliest studies of fusion energy as a potential source of electricity, and he served on numerous federal panels, committees, and boards advising the government on the subject. In the early 1970s, he co-founded the Fusion Technology Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW), and in the mid-1980s he led the formation of the Institute of Plasma and Fusion Research at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). As a university administrator in the 1990s and early 2000s, Conn served as Dean of the School of Engineering at UC San Diego as it established several engineering institutes and programs, including the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, known as Calit2, the Center for Wireless Communications, and the Whitaker Center for Biomedical Engineering. While at UC San Diego he also led the effort to establish an endowment for the School of Engineering, which began with major gifts from Irwin and Joan Jacobs. Irwin M. Jacobs is the co-founder and founding CEO of Qualcomm. While Conn was dean, the engineering school was renamed in 1998 the Irwin and Joan Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. Conn's experience in the private sector includes co-founding in 1986 Plasma & Materials Technologies, Inc. (PMT), and serving as Managing Director of Enterprise Partners Venture Capital (EPVC) from 2002 to 2008. Over the years he has served on numerous private and public company corporate boards. Conn joined The Kavli Foundation in 2009. He helped establish the Science Philanthropy Alliance in 2012.
Ramesh R. Rao is currently the director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, a division of the University of California, San Diego. He was appointed as the first holder of the Qualcomm Endowed Chair in Telecommunications and Information Technologies in 2004 in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the Jacobs School of Engineering at University of California, San Diego where he has been a faculty member since 1984.
Ephraim Zehavi received the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, in 1977 and 1981, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1986. In 1985 he joined QUALCOMM Incorporated, San Diego, CA, where he was involved in the design and development of satellite communication systems, and VLSI design of Viterbi decoder chips. From 1988 to 1992 he was a faculty member at the Department of Electrical Engineering, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and also was a consultant for Qualcomm on CDMA technology. In 1992 he rejoined QUALCOMM Incorporated, San Diego. California as a Principal Engineer, where he was involved in the design of PCS CDMA systems. In 1994 he became a VP of Technology and a Project Engineer of the Globalstar system. In 1994, Upon his return to Israel Zehavi received the title of Assistant General Manager, Engineering in Qualcomm Israel, Ltd, and later become the GM of Qualcomm Israel. In 1998, Dr. Zehavi initiated a new startup in the area of WLAN, which later was named Mobilian. Mobilian was sold to Intel in 2003. At the end of 2003, he joined the Faculty of Engineering at Bar Ilan University, where he is now the Dean of the faculty of Engineering. Prof. Zehavi is the co-recipient of the 1994 IEEE Stephen 0. Rice Award and holds more than 40 patents in the areas of coding, CDMA technology, WLAN, and coexistence of multiple wireless networks. His main research interests include wireless communications, coding technology, and application of game theory for communication systems. He was named Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 2013 for contributions to pragmatic coding and bit interleaving.