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El Gamal named Fellow of National Academy of Inventors

An Ohio State University scientist was awarded the title of Fellow by the National Academy of Inventors.

Hesham El Gamal, chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was one of 148 academic inventors to receive the honor this year.

The award is given to academic inventors and innovators who have “demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions and innovations that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.”

El Gamal is a world-renowned information theorist and inventor, with key contributions to wireless communications, game theory and machine learning. He holds 15 U.S. patents. He is the ninth Ohio State inventor chosen as a fellow of the NAI.

His most recent work focuses on improving and optimizing smartphones and other mobile technologies to more easily stream content.

“Imagine you are a ‘Game of Thrones’ fan, for example, and you are waiting for the new season to be released—the first episode always crashes because everybody is trying to stream it at the same time,” he said. “Our technology would, by understanding your behavior, pre-download the material on your device and when you click it to watch it, it’s already there and you’re not competing on that spectrum.”

Morley Stone, senior vice president for research at Ohio State, congratulated El Gamal.

“Dr. El Gamal has pushed research forward in ways that have made life more enjoyable and technology more accessible,” Stone said. “This award is a testament to the innovation happening across Ohio State.”

El Gamal is also a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers; 31 other IEEE fellows were named Fellow of the NAI this year.

The 2018 Fellows are inducted on April 1, 2019, as part of the Eighth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors in Houston. In honor of his accomplishments, El Gamal will be presented with a special trophy, medal and rosette pin.