ECE Alumnus Named IBM Fellow

 John Cohn Receives Company's Top Technical Honor

July 24, 2006

ECE alumnus John Cohn (Ph.D. 1991) has been named an IBM Fellow, one of eight granted the company's highest technical honor this year. Cohn is a distinguished engineer and chief scientist of design automation in the IBM Systems and Technology Group in Burlington, Vermont. He was recognized as IBM's premier technical leader in electronic design automation (EDA) technology and for his innovation in the design of microprocessors, system-on-a-chip solutions and technology enablement services. Cohn's accomplishments have shortened development cycles, improved efficiency, and increased client satisfaction, according to his award citation.

"Cohn has been an innovator in the area of design automation for both analog and digital custom integrated circuits for 23 years," IBM spokesman Jeff Couture said in the Burlington Free Press. "He has roughly 50 patents issued or pending in the field of design automation, methodology and circuits."

In addition, Cohn was noted for his efforts in education outreach, reaching schoolchildren in Vermont and across the nation. He created "Jolts and Volts," a show that teaches students about electricity, light and optics, entertaining youngsters with science and technology demonstrations while generating an interest in science, engineering, and math. When he co-chaired the activities for National Engineer's Week, Cohn presented programs at Walt Disney World's Epcot Center and the New York Hall of Science.

With his induction as an IBM Fellow, Cohn will join a prestigious group that is granted a wide sphere of independence to pursue research that may lead the company in exciting new directions. There have been only 193 IBM Fellows in the past 43 years, including 62 active employees with the newly chosen. This year's class of eight is the largest ever.

"Individually, this year's honorees are responsible for many of our amazing technical breakthroughs and successes; together, they represent the breadth of innovation at IBM," said John E. Kelly III, IBM senior vice president, technology and intellectual property, in an IBM news release. According to a company webpage about the award, IBM Fellows have invented some of the industry's most useful and profitably applied technologies.

In 2003, Cohn was named an IEEE Fellow for contributions to the development of CAD tools and design methodology for high-performance custom integrated circuits. He earned his Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon with an IBM Resident Study Fellowship, and was advised by Rob Rutenbar, Jatras Professor of ECE. They later collaborated on the book "Analog Device-Level Layout Automation," published by Kluwer Academic Publishers in 1994, also co-authored by David Garrod.

ECE alumnus John Cohn entertains schoolchildren with science and technology demonstrations, while teaching them about electricity, light and optics. Cohn has been named an IBM Fellow.

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Rob Rutenbar

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