In June, 2022, Professor Raymond Pickholtz passed away in Virginia. Ray was known as a brilliant engineer, a world-class researcher, an excellent instructor and mentor to his students, and a terrific husband and father to his family. He is survived by his wife Eda, and his two daughters, Robin and Julie. Ray received his BS degree at CCNY, and his MS and PhD degrees at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. (Brooklyn Poly). Prior to becoming an academic, Ray worked at ITT labs and RCA labs. His academic career started after graduating from Brooklyn Poly, where he was offered a faculty position which he accepted, and where he remained for many years. During some of his tenure at Brooklyn Poly, Ray served as the Chairman of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Upon leaving Brooklyn Poly, he joined the faculty at George Washington University, and he stayed there until he retired. While on sabbatical on two occasions, he was a visiting professor at UC Santa Barbara, and the University of Quebec.
Ray, with his vast knowledge, and being a great thinker, often contributed to discussions by being provocative, and sometimes bringing the opposite views, while being amicable and cordial, to examine all aspects of the issue under discussion.
Ray’s technical interests were very broad, encompassing areas such as telephony, television, CDMA, spread spectrum, satellite communication, software, encryption, and UWB, and he made valuable contributions to them though his research and his interaction with industry. Over the course of Ray’s career, he published numerous papers in top-tier research journals and conferences. Ray was a Life Fellow of the IEEE, and a Fellow of the AAAS. In 1994, he received the IEEE Donald W. McLellan Award.
For those who were fortunate enough to know Ray, they soon realized that he was very knowledgeable not just in engineering, but also in areas such as history, world affairs, and politics. He was also generous in the time he spent as a volunteer to the IEEE. He served for three years as the President of the IEEE Communications Society, he was an active member of the Communications Theory Technical Committee, and was active in the creation of the Computer Communications Technical Committee.
Ray’s passing represents a tremendous loss to his family, to his friends and colleagues, and to the discipline of electrical engineering in general, and communications in particular.
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