Oral-History:Julian Bussgang

About Julian Bussgang

See ETHW entry, Julian Bussgang. http://ethw.org/Julian_J._Bussgang


About the Interview

Julian Bussgang: An Interview Conducted by Mary Ann Hellrigel, IEEE History Center, 13 June 2016

Interview #766 For the IEEE History Center, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.

Copyright Statement

This manuscript is being made available for research purposes only. All literary rights in the manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to the IEEE History Center. No part of the manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written permission of the Director of IEEE History Center.

Request for permission to quote for publication should be addressed to the IEEE History Center Oral History Program, IEEE History Center at Stevens Institute of Technology, Castle Point on Hudson, Hoboken, NJ 07030 USA or ieee-history@ieee.org. It should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user.

It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:

Julian Bussgang, an oral history conducted in 2016 by Mary Ann Hellrigel, IEEE History Center, Hoboken, NJ, USA.

Interview

INTERVIEWER: Mary Ann Hellrigel
13 June 2016
PLACE: Deadham, MA

Introduction

Hellrigel:

Today is June 13, 2016 and this is Mary Ann Hellrigel Institutional Historian at the IEEE History Center. I am with Dr. Julian Bussgang at his home and we are recording his oral history

Bussgang:

Welcome to New Bridge Residence. I am a long-time member of IEEE. We are looking forward to the History Center’s review of my history.

Early Years and Family

Hellrigel:

You were born in 1925 and attended a private elementary school in your hometown?

Bussgang:

Lwów, my hometown is a city, the third largest city of Poland. [Now known as Lviv, Ukraine.]

Bussgang:

It had 330,000 residents just before the outbreak of the Second World War.

Hellrigel:

That's quite large and it is indeed a city and not a town.

Bussgang:

Now it has one million people.

Hellrigel:

The population has more than tripled. When you were a young boy you lived in Lwów for about fourteen years. During that time, you must have been busy going to school?

Bussgang:

Correct. To enter Polish high school you had to pass an examination. I passed the examination, so they admitted me even though I was younger than my classmates.

Hellrigel:

When you went to high school what subjects were you interested in?

Bussgang:

I was mostly interested in mathematics.

Hellrigel:

From a young age you were doing mathematics.

Bussgang:

Yes, from a young age I was interested in mathematics. My parents hired a university mathematics student to work with me at home to teach me more than the school was teaching me.

Hellrigel:

Your father was a teacher?

Bussgang:

No. My father started as a teacher and became a school inspector. Then he went into business. He was self-employed, running a distribution business.

Hellrigel:

Distribution pays better than teaching, so he must have been thinking about his family’s welfare. What did your mom do?

Bussgang:

My mom worked in my father's office which was in our house. We lived upstairs and the office was downstairs one floor. When she was needed at home she went upstairs. I had a nanny who looked after me.

Hellrigel:

Did your mother go to college?

Bussgang:

No, she did not.

Hellrigel:

I understand you had one sister.

Bussgang:

I had one sister who was a year and a half older than me. This is why I was pushing to go to school.

Hellrigel:

Sure, you wanted to keep up with her.

Bussgang:

Yes, I wanted to keep up with her and not two years behind.

Hellrigel:

That's why you entered school at a young age.

Bussgang:

[Laughing].

Hellrigel:

It seems you and your sister were a little competitive.

Bussgang:

We were good friends. My sister was a little taller than me, but that was the most competitive aspect of our relationship. [Laughing].

Hellrigel:

It is easy to see why you were very close. Since you were a year and a half apart you had life experiences at the same time or almost at the same time.

Did your sister like mathematics?

Bussgang:

No. My sister mostly liked the French language.

Hellrigel:

Yes.

Bussgang:

We went to the same private school.

Changing Times : Rise of Anti-Semitism and the Eve of World War II

Hellrigel:

Did you attend a school for Jewish children?

Bussgang:

No, it was a school for children of all kinds. When I was younger there was no anti-Semitism in Poland. The anti-Semitism started up when Hitler came to power. Young academics, the Polish academic students, started a party called National Democratic Party or in Polish Endecja [phonetic Endetsia]. That party was the most anti-Semitic party. Members of that party didn't want the Jewish students to attend the university. In my city there was a big numbers of Jewish people. In Lwów one-third of the population were Jewish, less than a half the population was Polish, and the rest was Ukrainian. The population was a great mix.

Hellrigel:

Yes, it was a mix of different ethnic and religious groups.

Bussgang:

Yes, it was a mix. There were some Armenians as well. Just before the war, university students sometimes picked on Jewish kids or Jewish seniors.

Hellrigel:

The university students became the leaders of the anti-Semitism?

Bussgang:

Correct. They were part of the National Democratic Party.

Hellrigel:

Yes. Even before the invasion your life was changing drastically.

Bussgang:

My life was changing. We were discussing that I would have to go to university abroad, so I was learning French. I was learning French as well as Latin which was a common language in Poland because most people were Catholic and services were in Latin.

Hellrigel:

Yes, the Mass was in Latin. When you were a young man, a young fourteen-year-old boy, what did you think your future career might be?

Early Aspirations and Interests

Bussgang:

I thought I might teach mathematics.

Hellrigel:

At university?

Bussgang:

At a university of course.

Hellrigel:

You've always been driven by academics.

Bussgang:

Correct.

Hellrigel:

What did you do in your free time as a youngster?

Bussgang:

I played chess.

Hellrigel:

Yes.

Bussgang:

I was learning to play piano, but I was not very good at it.

Hellrigel:

Chess must have been quite common for educated boys at the time.

Bussgang:

It was. I also had lessons in German.

Hellrigel:

What about sports such as soccer; European football?

Bussgang:

No, I was not a member of a team. During school we played soccer on the street at intermission.

Hellrigel:

Yes, during recess at school, you played soccer.

Bussgang:

The street was closed to stop cars coming through the play area. We had a gym across the street, but we couldn't really play soccer there. The high school didn't have much ground, it was just the building. The street was closed and we played outdoors on the street.

Hellrigel:

It is quite common for urban schools not to be surrounded by a green grass yard.

Bussgang:

Right. My elementary school had a lot of green grass, but not the high school.

Hellrigel:

My grammar school had an asphalt yard, so we learned not to fall.

Bussgang:

The school yard had peacocks.

Hellrigel:

Peacocks?

Bussgang:

Yes. I once got pecked by a peacock [Laughing].

Hellrigel:

I heard peacocks can get very territorial. Is there anything else about your life before 1939 that you wish to discuss?

Bussgang:

I was learning Latin, French and German, but not yet English.

Hellrigel:

You spent most of your time studying mathematics and learning languages.

Bussgang:

I was busy at school.

Upper Middle Class Before World War II

Hellrigel:

Your father had an import-export business?

Bussgang:

He imported goods from large companies like Unilever and the American company Swift. He had the exclusive right to a certain territory in Poland and he sold these goods to shops.

Hellrigel:

Then your family was middle class, or perhaps upper middle class?

Bussgang:

I would say upper middle class.

Hellrigel:

Did your father’s business provide a little financial security despite the Great Depression?

Bussgang:

I'm not clear on that issue.

Hellrigel:

Yes.

Bussgang:

One of my uncles was a banker, he had his own bank, another uncle was a physician, and another uncle was a lawyer. They were all doing very well.

Hellrigel:

Did your synagogue serve as a community center where you attended services and socialized, too?

Bussgang:

It was a large city and it had been part of Austria-Hungary. The city was influenced by the Progressive Jewish movement, so we had a progressive synagogue. We were members of that synagogue. Some Orthodox Jews lived in the city as well, but the Progressive Jews were not always happy with the Orthodox Jews.

Hellrigel:

Were you bar mitzvahed?

Bussgang:

Just one year before the war started I was bar mitzvahed at age thirteen. I was fourteen years old when the war started in 1939.

Hellrigel:

Did you sister have a bat mitzvah?

Bussgang:

No.

Hellrigel:

Why not?

Bussgang:

There were no bat mitzvahs at that time in Poland.

Hellrigel:

Maybe it's an American tradition because I attended a classmate’s ceremony.

Bussgang:

It is a newer tradition.

Hellrigel:

Yes, a new tradition.

Bussgang:

Yes, a newer custom.

Publications Regarding World War II Experiences

Hellrigel:

In 1939, what was going on in your community?

Bussgang:

I actually wrote an article about the Progressive Synagogue. It was published in a book called Polin, volume 11 [Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 1998]. Polin comes out once a year.

Hellrigel:

Yes.

Bussgang:

I actually became friends with the son of the rabbi of that synagogue. However, I didn't know him in Poland, I met him in New York. He survived because he was saved by a Greek Catholic Archbishop.

Hellrigel:

That is an interesting story.

Bussgang:

Yes, he was saved by the Greek Catholic Archbishop of Lwów. Andrei Sheptyts’kyi [1865–1944] was the Ukrainian metropolitan of the Greek Catholic Church.

Hellrigel:

The archbishop hid him during World War II?

Bussgang:

He was hidden as a library keeper in the archbishop's residence. The rabbi’s son reviewed my article, but today he is no longer alive. He campaigned over the years to have this archbishop recognized as a Righteous Gentile. The archbishop was called Metropolitan Andrei Sheptyts'kyi. It hasn't happened yet, but I have taken on that campaign and continue working on it.

Hellrigel:

Good luck. People sometimes forget those efforts. They also forget that the different religious and ethnic communities got along before the increased anti-Semitism.

Bussgang:

Yes.

Hellrigel:

In your oral history transcript we can put a link to your article.

Bussgang:

To the article?

Hellrigel:

Yes, the article as well as your campaign.

Bussgang:

Well I have two articles. One in POLIN Volume 11 about the Progressive Synagogue and one in POLIN Volume 21 about the Metropolitan Sheptyts'kyi who saved Jews.

Hellrigel:

I understand you are quite active in the historical community, in the Polish-Jewish historical community.

Bussgang:

Yes.

Hellrigel:

You've been writing and translating various projects.

Bussgang:

Yes, along with Fay, my wife, I am working on projects.

Hellrigel:

Yes.

Bussgang:

My wife, Fay, is active in genealogy.

Hellrigel:

Yes, she is tracing your family roots. The last time we spoke you mentioned that when the war broke out in 1939 you and your family were still in Poland, but the German army was advancing, so your parents decided it was time to leave. Your uncle, had an automobile and both families used that automobile to flee Poland.

World War II and Leaving Poland

Bussgang:

My aunt had been married to the banker, but he had died. The car owner was her second husband. After the war started, this uncle decided to flee and planned to take us to the border. However, neither my father nor my uncle could drive. My uncle’s driver had been promised that he could return to his family, once he drove us to the border. At the border, we saw the Polish government heading to Romania, so my parents decided to follow. My uncle had a visa to Romania, so he and my aunt crossed. We did not have a visa, so my father paid a bribe.

Hellrigel:

He paid a bribe to the border guards?

Bussgang:

My uncle and my aunt got out of Poland and they eventually immigrated to the United States. They sponsored the visa for me to come to the United States many years later.

Hellrigel:

His last name was Ulam?

Bussgang:

No, Ulam was my aunt’s married name with the banker, her first husband.

Hellrigel:

Yes.

Bussgang:

Her second marriage was to a man called Goldberg.

Hellrigel:

Goldberg.

Bussgang:

The Ulam I may have told you about was her nephew from her first husband's side of the family. The nephew was the famous mathematician, Stan Ulam [Stanisław Marcin Ulam, 1909-1984].

Hellrigel:

Right.

Stan Ulam

Bussgang:

Stan Ulam actually invented the trigger to for the hydrogen bomb. Edward Teller was the inventor of the hydrogen bomb, but he didn't know how to trigger it. Ulam was primarily a mathematician. I can show you some of the books about him.

Hellrigel:

I read in your biography that he helped gain your admission to USC, but you didn't have the U.S. visa.

Bussgang:

I had to get a student visa. However, I told the U.S. Consul in Italy that I wanted to stay in the United States, so he refused to give me the student visa.

World War II - Fleeing from Poland to Romania and then to Palestine

Hellrigel:

During our previous discussion, you said it 1939 you fled to Romania, but you continued your education because a Polish school was set up in Bucharest.

Bussgang:

Yes. There were Polish refugees in Romania, mostly children of high government officials and high ranking military who were evacuated together with their parents. Thus, a Polish high school was set up in Bucharest. I attended that high school until we got a visa to Palestine, a territory then controlled by the United Kingdom. Later, when it became clear that the Polish refugees were threatened by the Germans beginning to control Romania, the British evacuated most other Polish refugees from Romania to Palestine. Thus, all my Bucharest classmates came to Tel Aviv and we had the Polish high school renewed in Tel Aviv. Yes, I attended Polish high school in Tel Aviv.

Hellrigel:

Despite the war, the adults made a great effort to continue the education of their children

Bussgang:

Correct. I didn't lose a single year. In 1942, I graduated high school at the age of seventeen. I started learning English and I took an examination called University of London Matriculation.

Hellrigel:

Yes, you continued preparation for college.

Military Service - The Free Polish Forces, the Polish 2nd Corps

Bussgang:

I took the examination in Jerusalem. I was learning English because Palestine was under British control and English was the language of the people who ran the country.

Then in 1943 the Polish Second Corps arrived in Palestine. After Germany attacked the Soviet Union, Stalin released many Poles who had been held as prisoners They were allowed to leave the Soviet Union and became part of the British 8th Army. During World War II, I volunteered and served in the Free Polish Forces, the Polish 2nd Corps. I graduated from the Artillery Officers’ School and fought in the Italian Campaign.

Hellrigel:

Did your friends volunteer?

Bussgang:

Yes, just about everybody volunteered.

Hellrigel:

You and your friends joined the military to help stop Hitler.

Bussgang:

Yes, we fought to stop the killing in Poland and the rule of Hitler. We wanted to get rid of him. At first, I was trained in tanks in the desert near the Suez Canal. I was black and blue all over from rapidly climbing and descending into the tank which was all metal. Then I was sent to the Polish Officer's School. It was the Polish Officers Artillery School because mathematics is good for artillery. You need mathematics to calculate where to shoot.

Hellrigel:

You had to calculate the trajectory.

Bussgang:

[Laughing]

Hellrigel:

Yes.

Bussgang:

I ended up being assigned to light anti-aircraft.

Hellrigel:

Yes, in the military you follow orders, so you took up a new assignment.

Bussgang:

After I finished Officers School, I became what's called an ensign or a cadet officer.

Hellrigel:

Cadet must have meant you were an officer still in training.

Bussgang:

In the Polish Army you didn't become an officer right away unless you were one of the very few top students with a lot of previous military experience. If the officer was killed, the ensign took over. Then I was sent to Italy. I was shipped from Alexandria in Egypt to a city at the bottom of Italy: Taranto, no it is not Toronto.

Hellrigel:

Did you land on the island of Sicily?

Bussgang:

No, not Sicily.

Hellrigel:

It had to be Taranto.

Bussgang:

Yes, it was.

Hellrigel:

The Allies must have been preparing for the invasion of Anzio?

Bussgang:

Yes, they invaded Anzio soon thereafter. Then the Polish Army Corps was shifted from the Adriatic coast to Monte Cassino because Anzio had already been invaded and the American troops were held up along the Gustav Line.

Hellrigel:

The Allies were making a push toward Rome.

Bussgang:

The idea was to break the German line and the biggest obstacle was Monte Cassino which was a mountain with a monastery on top.

Hellrigel:

Okay, the monastery is perched on the mountain top.

Bussgang:

Yes.

Hellrigel:

Yes.

Bussgang:

It is north of Naples and south of Rome.

Hellrigel:

Oh, okay.

Bussgang:

And it's a mountain.

Hellrigel:

Yes.

Bussgang:

During the fighting, the monastery was destroyed. There were several attacks to take the Monte Cassino mountain. Then, the Polish 2nd Corps was called in to help. The Germans were in bunkers in the mountain and the slopes of the mountain were mined, so it was very hard to walk up. You couldn't take a car up, you had to climb.

Hellrigel:

At that point the Germans were very desperate.

Bussgang:

After we took the mountain, the American troops were able to break through and General Mark Clark marched into Rome.

Hellrigel:

Then you spent some time in Italy.

Bussgang:

Then we were shifted back to the East Coast of Italy on the Adriatic Sea, fighting our last few battles in Ancona and then in Bologna.

Hellrigel:

You saw a lot of fighting in Italy.

After Germany's Defeat - Attended the Polytechnic in Torino, Italy

Bussgang:

Polish cemeteries are at all of these places. There is a Polish cemetery at the bottom of Monte Cassino. We can show you the photo if you're interested.

When the Germans were defeated, General Wladyslaw Anders, commander of the Polish 2nd Corps, sent the young officers and people who had matriculated to Italian universities. I was sent to the Polytechnic in Torino.

Hellrigel:

How did you like Torino?

Bussgang:

Oh, I liked Torino very much. We had a Polish dormitory and I made very many good friends, many good friends.

Hellrigel:

I think Ford actually had a plant in Torino before the war.

Bussgang:

Torino was close to the Italian car company. What city are you in?

Hellrigel:

Fiat?

Bussgang:

Fiat, yes.

Hellrigel:

Yes.

Bussgang:

The old Fiat factory is near Torino.

Hellrigel:

I believe Torino was Italy’s industrial hub.

Bussgang:

Yes, it was an industrial hub. We stayed at Torino and then I applied for an American visa. I went to see the American consul in Genoa and he turned down my application. Then we were given a choice. The British didn't want Polish soldiers to stay in Italy, so we were given a choice of either going back to Poland or going to England. By this time Poland was divided and my home city, Lwów, was in the Soviet Union before it became Ukraine. Most of my colleagues had been in Siberia which of course was part of the Soviet Union. Almost everyone decided to go to England except those who had families left in Poland. They returned to their wives and children in Poland

Departed Italy for England - Work and Education

Bussgang:

We went to England. After I got to England, the Polish Army was dissolved and the British unit called Polish Resettlement Corps was formed. The British controlled these Polish ex-soldiers. They were now under British control and they were no longer the Polish Army.

Hellrigel:

These decisions brought you to England and you were there legally as a student.

Bussgang:

Then we were given another choice. After the war, employment was mandatory in England, so we either had to take a job or go to university. Once admitted, we got to study at university with a scholarship. Since I had the matriculation from University of London, I could study for a bachelor's degree from the University of London. It was called an external degree because I didn't have to attend the university itself. I just presented myself for exams.

Hellrigel:

It was operated as a correspondence university program?

Bussgang:

No, I attended a school called Woolwich Polytechnic. It was affiliated with the University of London and it prepared you for University of London exams. I had to take two exams named the intermediate exam and the final exam. I took the intermediate exam within a year; however, most people took two years. I was prepared by the Polytechnic to do it in one year. Then I planned to take the final exam in June of 1949, but I got a visa to immigrate to America. The visa was for 1949, but I had to get to the United States by March. The University of London agreed to send the exam papers to New York and I took the exam at Columbia University, supervised by the College Entrance Examination Board. It was an all written exam.

Hellrigel:

That's when you earned your bachelor's degree?

Bussgang:

Yes, that was my bachelor of science degree in engineering. I received a B.Sc. (Engineering) with honors from the University of London in 1949.

Hellrigel:

Yes, you were awarded an undergraduate degree in engineering.

Attending MIT and Working at the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) at MIT

Bussgang:

While I was still in London I applied to MIT. My friend, Adam Ulam, a professor at Harvard, was the brother of Stan Ulam. I wanted to go to Harvard because I heard it was a very good university, but Adam said if you want to study engineering apply to MIT. I applied to MIT, and I was admitted.

I couldn't get a job in New York. I had to sign up for military service; however, I was excused because I had already served. In 1949, the Cold War was underway and soon the Korean War started.

Hellrigel:

If you were a pilot, you may have been called back to military service during the Korean Conflict. This happened to many American World War II pilots.

Bussgang:

Maybe, but fortunately [Laughing] they said you have already served, so we will excuse you. Now I was able to go to MIT and I began my studies. My University of London exam results had yet to arrive because they travelled by boat. Both the exams and their results were sent by boat, not airmail. There were airplanes going between London and the United States, but that mode of transportation was expensive and uncommon, especially for mail and freight. Since the exam results were in transit, MIT admitted me as a special student. I didn’t realize special students were ineligible for scholarships, so I had to take a job. I got a job from Professor Jerry Wiesner [Jerome B. Wiesner] who was then head of the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) at MIT. I took a job as a technician at RLE and I was a special student at MIT. Later in the fall semester, my exam results came in and I was admitted as a graduate student.

Hellrigel:

You must have been thrilled because graduate student status meant you qualified for scholarships and other funding.

Bussgang:

Exactly.

Hellrigel:

Wow. Did MIT have a community of other people from Poland?

Bussgang:

There were very few; maybe one or two other people from Poland.

Hellrigel:

You were at MIT which was a bustling school at that point with all the GIs.

Bussgang:

Right. First, I lived in a “barracks” dormitory in a room with twenty students.

Hellrigel:

Oh my, that's barracks, not a dorm room [Laughing].

Bussgang:

Later, I moved to the Graduate House. In the Graduate House, I served on the House Committee. My assignment were social events, so I invited girls from nearby women’s colleges to our parties. There were very few females at MIT.

Hellrigel:

Finally, your activities expanded and you played more than chess. You got out for social activities.

Bussgang:

[Laughing] Yes. I also was taking courses and I became a special assistant. I forgot what it was called, but it was a rank at the level of helping professors.

Hellrigel:

Yes, maybe you were a TA, a teaching assistant.

Bussgang:

Yes, the title was Teaching Assistant.

Hellrigel:

Yes.

Bussgang:

Exactly. I continued working at RLE, so I was keeping busy.

Hellrigel:

You really worked full-time combining the technician post at RLE and the teaching assistant post at MIT.

Bussgang:

Yes, I did work full-time on two fronts as both an RLE employee and an MIT graduate student.

Hellrigel:

Wow. Graduate students and full-time employment; that's a pretty heavy schedule.

Applied Physics Graduate Program at Harvard University and Work at RLE

Bussgang:

Right. In 1951, I earned a master's degree (MSEE) from MIT and started working at the Lincoln Laboratory. It was in the same building as RLE, in the barracks. Then, Lincoln Lab moved to Lexington, Massachusetts out on Route 128.

I applied to Harvard for a Ph.D. At the time, Harvard did not have a school of engineering, but it had a school of applied physics. One of the professors who was specializing in statistical communication theory, David Middleton, became my thesis supervisor

Hellrigel:

We have an IEEE prize called the Middleton Prize. It is awarded to a non-academic book about the history of electrical engineering, electronics, computers and other IEEE fields. That's named for William Middleton and not for your thesis advisor, THE David Middleton.

Bussgang:

Right. The material I sent you included my write-up on David Middleton. Professor H. Vincent Poor, Dean of the Princeton School of Engineering (2006 to 2016), invited me to write the article about Middleton.

Hellrigel:

Did Middleton have many graduate students?

Bussgang:

Middleton had four or five graduate students and we were all friends. One of them, Jim Mullen [James A. Mullen], is still alive. He was a scientist in the Research Division at Raytheon, specializing in radar. Another student, David Van Meter, went on to work for a company, but he is no longer alive. They became my good friends. We shared an office together.

Hellrigel:

You had many years of collaboration with them?

Bussgang:

Right.

Hellrigel:

What kind of work did you do at RLE?

Bussgang:

Initially, I was a technician at RLE. I shared an office with people working on linguistics. One of my friends, Brad Howland, is still alive and living in Wisconsin. Fay and I just helped edit his book titled “MIT Building 20: Short Stories.” I'll check whether we can show you a copy. We worked on the book project with Brad. Fay, do we have a copy of the book?

Fay:

Yes.

Bussgang:

Can you get the Brad’s Building 20 book?

Hellrigel:

You have fond memories of MIT and Harvard?

Bussgang:

Yes, very fond memories.

Hellrigel:

So, no evil professors?

Fay:

I found the book.

Hellrigel:

Let's see, MIT, Building 20: Short Stories. Cool.

Bussgang:

Look at the thank you notes.

Hellrigel:

Wow. I see you and Fay are mentioned. Congratulations. Howland is still alive?

Bussgang:

Yes.

Hellrigel:

These first-hand publications are fantastic because you get the story from the actual participants. They provide the voices of the researchers, as opposed to the famous engineer or scientist. These voices are not captured or documented too often.

Bussgang:

Yes.

Hellrigel:

This is a nice publication. When you were at college you didn't need a fraternity. You had your work and engineering friends. It must have been a supportive community.

Bussgang:

Right.

Hellrigel:

Do you recall female students enrolled in your college programs?

Bussgang:

Very few. Brad Howland and I lived in the same private house. We each rented a room and our bedrooms were side by side. Although we had our own room, we shared a bathroom. We both worked at RLE. He worked at night and slept in the daytime.

Hellrigel:

Some of your friends slept during the day because they worked the night shift. Did RLE operate twenty-four hours per day?

Bussgang:

The night shift was Holland’s standard shift.

Hellrigel:

Yes, and you had a more traditional day time shift?

Bussgang:

Right.

Hellrigel:

Yes.

Bussgang:

Our shifts overlapped a little.

Hellrigel:

Yes.

Bussgang:

When Howland sent me these stories Fay and I helped edit them.

Hellrigel:

You and Fay edited the book?

Bussgang:

Yes, we helped edit it.

Hellrigel:

Well that's fabulous; you made life-long friends in graduate school.

Bussgang:

Yes.

Hellrigel:

It's interesting that Harvard at the time still didn't have an engineering school. In the mid-nineteenth century, the Lawrence Scientific School began offering engineering courses. However, throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Harvard didn't want engineering studies to be part of the main university.

Bussgang:

Harvard also claimed it did not want to get involved competing with MIT.

Hellrigel:

Yes.

Bussgang:

Now Harvard has an engineering school.

Hellrigel:

Yes, about a decade ago the Division of Engineering and Applied Science became a School.

Bussgang:

I consulted and continued consulting to Lincoln Laboratory while I was a student at Harvard

Hellrigel:

Did you work for Lincoln Labs or were you a consultant?

Bussgang:

First, I worked, and then I was a consultant.

Hellrigel:

Okay.

MIT's Lincoln Laboratory

Bussgang:

I worked at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory from 1951 to 1955. After it relocated, I became a consultant.

Hellrigel:

Okay. Lincoln Labs and RLE are two different entities?

Bussgang:

Yes, they are two different entities.

Hellrigel:

Now at this point you are working at Lincoln Lab and studying for your Ph.D. Did you also get married and start a family at this time?

Bussgang:

No.

Hellrigel:

No.

Dissertation, Graduation, and Employment at RCA

Bussgang:

After completing a dissertation, “Sequential detection of signals in noise,” I was awarded a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Harvard University in 1955. Then I met Fay in 1960.

Hellrigel:

Sure, so at this point, you were studying, doing research, and perhaps a bit of teaching?

Bussgang:

I started teaching when I was about to leave RCA. I was going into a consulting business by myself and I didn't have clients yet, so I decided to teach part-time. First, I was a visiting lecturer at Harvard for one year. Then I became a lecturer at Northeastern University and taught electrical engineering in the graduate school on a part-time basis.

Hellrigel:

How did you end up at RCA?

Bussgang:

I interviewed for teaching jobs and was under consideration for two posts. One was at the University of Pennsylvania, but it was in the boonies and I didn't want to go there. The other job was at Brown University. However, I thought I was more likely to meet a girl in Boston, so I decided to stay in Boston.

Hellrigel:

It worked out for you.

Bussgang:

Yes, it did.

Hellrigel:

You took a job at RCA and worked in the Aerospace Division.

Bussgang:

RCA opened a brand new division. Robert Seamans became the head of the division. He had been a professor at MIT in aerospace and was an exceptionally nice man. I was offered the RCA job and I accepted it. I decided teaching wouldn't give me as much money as a job in industry.

Hellrigel:

No way would you earn as much as a professor as you would in private industry. [Laughing].

Bussgang:

I was helping support my parents in New York as well as my aunt who by then had lost her money. When I started at RCA I worked first in the Waltham Watch Building [the Waltham Watch Company Factory on the banks of the Charles River].

I worked at RCA’s Aerospace Division (1955-1962). RCA had a union of engineers in New Jersey, so the company decided to open a facility in Boston without the union. We had a very nice aerospace division.

Hellrigel:

Sure, RCA fled from New Jersey to avoid unionized labor.

Bussgang:

Sometimes I visited the RCA facility in Princeton. I actually reconnected with a close friend from Torino who was working at Princeton. His name was Lucian Barton. I didn't know that he was at RCA Princeton, so we just met by chance.

My division at RCA bid on government contracts and got assignments from other divisions of the company. After being the leader of a small group for a year or two, I became Manager of Radar Development. Then I was promoted to Manager of Advanced Development which meant I worked on all kinds of new programs.

Hellrigel:

Where these projects for national defense?

Bussgang:

Yes, they were mostly defense contracts.

Eventually, the division moved to Burlington, Massachusetts and had its own building constructed.

Hellrigel:

Did you enjoy working for RCA?

Bussgang:

I enjoyed RCA and working for Dr. Seamans who later became head of NASA and then Secretary of the Air Force. He is no longer alive.

Hellrigel:

When you worked at RCA did you feel it was a special time for research and development?

Self-Employed Consultant and Small Business Advocate

Bussgang:

It sure was, yes. When Seamans left RCA to go to Washington, D.C. I ended up leaving RCA, too. By then I was married and I thought I should start my own company. We didn't have children yet, so it was the right time to make the move. Starting my own company seemed like a good idea. I began consulting for Raytheon and other companies. I consulted for a whole bunch of them.

Then I became active in something called the Small Business Association of New England (SBANE). I was appointed or elected to go to Washington, D.C. to attend a national small business conference to discuss how to help small businesses in the United States.

My big project was to convince Congress require agencies which issue government contracts to set aside something called SBIR which is Small Business Innovation Research. SBIR supporters believed that small businesses were more innovative than big businesses because the latter was so concerned with manufacturing and marketing. Most of the research and new ideas come from small businesses and startups.

We succeeded in getting a new federal law passed that required each government agency awarding significant research grants to set aside a portion of their research funds for small businesses.

Hellrigel:

This makes a lot of sense if society wants to help small businesses and avoid giving all of the contracts to bolstering what President Dwight D. Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex.

Bussgang:

It makes a lot of sense and I testified before Congress to convince them to vote for it.

Hellrigel:

Did you ever like lobbying Congress on behalf of small business?

Bussgang:

I did not.

Hellrigel:

I was talking to the editor of IEEE’s Proceedings about your efforts on behalf of small business and your experience with Congress in Washington, D.C. She seemed quite interested. Often, the tension and competition between small business and the massive corporations is overshadowed by the latter’s success winning the big contracts. Perhaps you may have some advice for small businesses today?

Bussgang:

The supporters of small business convinced Congress that government agencies should set aside some contracts for small businesses because they do a lot of research. They are a center of innovation.

"Working for Myself:" Founded Signatron, Inc.

Hellrigel:

That's when you formed Signatron, Inc.?

Bussgang:

In 1962, I founded Signatron, Inc., an electronics research and development company. I was started all alone. and served as its president (1962-1985).

The campaign for the SBIRs started after I started Signatron.

In 1984 I merged the company with Sundstrand Corporation and retired in 1987.

Hellrigel:

You were a lone wolf.

Bussgang:

I was married in 1960 and I formed Signatron, Inc. in 1962.

Hellrigel:

Why did you want to start your own company?

Bussgang:

I thought I would have better success working for myself than continuing to work at RCA. Besides, I didn't care for the person who was named my new boss.

Hellrigel:

This new boss took the post vacated by Professor Seamans.

Bussgang:

Right.

Hellrigel:

Yes. Did you feel nervous about going out on your own?

Bussgang:

Well, I was emotionally supported by my wife.

Hellrigel:

Okay, you were willing to take the risk at that point.

Bussgang:

I was willing to take the risk.

Hellrigel:

My brother's father-in-law, Samuel J. Burruano, worked for RCA in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Bussgang:

I used to visit Cherry Hill, I was even offered the position in Cherry Hill to be assistant to the manager.

Hellrigel:

Around the time you started your company, Sam started his own company.

Bussgang:

I see.

Hellrigel:

Did you enjoy setting up your own company and working for yourself?

Bussgang:

This is your father-in-law?

Hellrigel:

No, Sam was my brother's father-in-law.

Bussgang:

Your brother’s?

Hellrigel:

Yes, Sam was an IEEE fellow. He had recently passed in July 2015.

Bussgang:

I see.

Hellrigel:

He worked in electronics, interference, and radio interference.

Bussgang:

I see.

Hellrigel:

Sam was a founding member of IEEE’s Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Society. He enjoyed his own company. He liked the freedom, but finances could be precarious.

Bussgang:

I enjoyed working for myself, too. After I started on my own, my friends from Harvard who worked at Raytheon helped me get a consulting job at Raytheon. I also started teaching, so I was busy. Gradually, I started hiring employees.

Hellrigel:

How large a firm did Signatron become?

Bussgang:

When we sold the company, it had 110 employees.

Hellrigel:

Wow. You grew the company from one to 110 employees.

Bussgang:

I served as president of Signatron, Inc. from its founding in 1962 until 1985. (1962-1985). In 1984, I sold the company to Sundstrand Corporation.

However, I was required to stay three more years to help in the transition, so I retired in 1987.

Hellrigel:

What type of projects did Signatron work on?

Bussgang:

Signatron, Inc. was a very distinguished company and it became a leading developer of high data rate troposcatter (over the horizon) modems and HF modems and radio channel simulators. It developed the best troposcatter modems. Troposcatter (tropospheric scatter) is over the horizon communications reflecting from the troposphere. A signal would get a little messed up, so the idea was to un-mess it. We developed troposcatter modems and also HF (which is high frequency) modems with the radio signal propagating through reflections from the ionosphere. Tropo and HF are primarily used by the military for long-distance communications because microwave communications are only line-of-sight and the others are radio transmission that goes further. Satellite communications were not very popular or developed at the time. It also was difficult to get a satellite frequency bandwidth allocation because they were all very busy, so the military just had to set up its own communications. We built HF modems and troposcatter modems, and we also developed simulators for communications to simulate the propagation so that you could test the modems on the simulators. Since we could test them on the simulators, we didn't have go into the field to test. You could eventually test them in the field, but when you were developing it was easier to test in the laboratory. These were our big projects. Oh, we also did meteor scatter communications. Meteor scatter is seldom used, but it is an important technology.

Hellrigel:

You also did some work with NASA for the Apollo program?

Bussgang:

After I left RCA, I was invited by Grumman Aircraft to be a consultant for the selection of the radars for the lunar excursion module. I worked with another fellow who was an employee of Signatron. We consulted with Grumman Aircraft and helped select and test the two radars that the lunar excursion model (LEM) carried. One was the landing radar. When the LEM separated from the spacecraft, you needed to land it on the moon. The other one was called the rendezvous radar. It was used when the lunar excursion module was going to reconnect with the spacecraft. I was very proud of participating in these radar projects and working with NASA.

At one point, RCA sent me to Florida to Cape Canaveral to review the testing sites it had for radar tracking. I went from island to island and I had a fun time in Florida. It was some of the first launching of satellites for communications.

Hellrigel:

Did you get to meet the astronauts?

Bussgang:

No. I did not get to meet any of them personally.

Hellrigel:

However, you must have been thrilled as when Armstrong stepped on the moon.

Bussgang:

I was. I was thrilled when the LEM landed and then when it reconnected with the spacecraft.

Hellrigel:

Yes. I suspect many people, or at least members of the general public, thought President Kennedy was nuts when he said the United States would put a man on the moon and return him safely to earth because it had not been done before.

Bussgang:

But I was also involved, when Raytheon developed the missile what was it called . . .? It will come back to me.

Hellrigel:

The Patriot, the Minuteman ….?

Bussgang:

Yes, it was the Patriot antimissile missile. We were consultants to Raytheon.

Hellrigel:

You did a lot of top secret work.

Bussgang:

I did. We also had some contracts with National Science Agency and I had a secret clearance and then a top secret clearance.

Hellrigel:

In a previous discussion, we talked about the relationship between work and family. You mentioned buying your house near your office or vice versa.

Bussgang:

We were planning to buy a house in Lexington, so I set up the office in Lexington.

Hellrigel:

It was important to be home and not to be at the lab all the time.

Hellrigel:

When you had your own company you first had the office in Lexington and then your family lived in Lexington. Your office and home were in close proximity.

Bussgang:

Yes, the business remained in Lexington even when we moved to a larger office.

Bussgang:

We had two moves.

Hellrigel:

Two moves?

Bussgang:

First, we moved to Hartwell Avenue where we rented space. Later I acquired a piece of land on Hartwell Avenue and we constructed our own building. Hartwell Avenue is the Silicon Valley of Boston.

Hellrigel:

Why did you decide to step away from the company?

Bussgang:

When we started, we got a lot of sole-source contracts [also known as no-bid contracts], so our customers only awarded contracts to us. We got the contracts without competition because a lot of our people had a Ph.D. and we had a lot of ideas. The federal government started insisting on more competition. Congress decided it wanted more competition. Competition is based very often on price. We had talented people and paid them well, so we often had higher paid people. In turn, our price would be higher than the other companies bidding. It was harder to get contracts based on low price when you had good people who were paid well.

The way the federal government was procuring things created a lot of discouragement and some of my friends were beginning to sell their companies. Then I got a visit from a friend, a chemist, who sold his company. I made the decision and started looking to sell our company. We found a company that was willing to buy our company and keep us where we were in Lexington, Massachusetts. The buyer insisted I stay three more years for the transition while they were trying to find a new leader.

Hellrigel:

Did you think any of your children would have joined your company, Signatron, Inc.?

Bussgang:

We had three children, two girls and a boy, you see, the son who is the youngest. My two daughters worked as receptionists for the summer in the company, but they had other ideas about what they wanted to do. One of my daughters went to business school and became a marketing manager for a financial company. My other daughter became a teacher and she loved teaching. Then our son worked one summer in the company learning computer skills and so forth, but by the time he was going to college we had sold the company. Our son became a venture capitalist sponsoring a lot of electronic companies in his portfolio.

Hellrigel:

You seem very family-oriented. What did you do for family vacations? Did you go to Europe or Maine?

Bussgang:

Family vacations, we sometimes went to France. I think we visited France a couple of times. We went to either Maine or to New Hampshire and we also went to Puerto Rico. We bought a condominium house on Martha's Vineyard right on the sea. Once we had the house right near the beach, within walking distance of the beach, we vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard.

Hellrigel:

It was important to have some downtime, some family time.

Bussgang:

Right.

Hellrigel:

When you stepped away from the company what did you end up doing? Did you continue working as a consultant?

Bussgang:

I continued to be a consultant.

Later, the company that acquired our business took some of it to the West Coast. They also sold the part of the company that they were not interested in to another company. After a while, the other company sold it to my former employees.

The company I sold out to was not very interested in having a branch in Lexington, Massachusetts. They mostly wanted the technology, so they took the technology and moved our company to California. My former employees, who did not want to move to California, started a new company with a similar name. I became a consultant to my old company.

Hellrigel:

Today, is this entity still in Lexington?

Bussgang:

They're no longer in Lexington. First, they moved to Concord and then each went their own way and the company dissolved.

Polish Jewish History Projects and Volunteering in Poland

Hellrigel:

When did you start becoming more interested in history?

Bussgang:

I was interested in Polish Jewish history and became more interested after Fay and I went to Poland. I became a volunteer for the International Executive Service Corps (IESC). When Poland became independent from the Soviet Union its industry started to undergo privatization. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) commissioned IESC to send people to help with Poland’s transformation. During three different years, we went to Poland, twice for three months and once for two months. I was assigned to help an electronics company in Poland to privatize. This Polish company used to get contracts from the Soviet Union, but when Poland and the Soviet Union broke ties, it had to get its own business. I was assisting the company’s efforts to find new business opportunities and connections.

[“IESC was established in 1964 at the initiative of entrepreneurs and philanthropists David Rockefeller and Sol Linowitz, who saw the need for American business leaders to provide technical and managerial advice to developing countries. An all-volunteer corps that viewed private enterprise development as a tool of diplomacy, IESC complemented the efforts of USAID and the Peace Corps, both founded just three years earlier…In the 1990s, it helped to bridge a free-market transition in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.” Programs are implemented with the support of USAID, the U.S. Department of State, the host-government and private companies and the collaboration of local business and organizations to promote economic growth. See http://www.iesc.org]. [“USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. In order to support these goals, President John. F. Kennedy created the United States Agency for International Development by executive order in 1961…It brought together several existing foreign assistance organizations and programs. Until then, there had never been a single agency charged with foreign economic development, so with the passage of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 by Congress, U.S. foreign assistance activities underwent a major transformation.” See https://www.usaid.gov]

Hellrigel:

Did you approach them or did they find you?

Bussgang:

Well, I found the IESC. This is what happened. I was in Poland in a hotel/restaurant and I met another man from America. He told me he was an IESC volunteer. Since I speak Polish, he suggested I apply to IESC to get an assignment. IESC pays your expenses, but not your salary because you are a volunteer. IESC assigned me to a company in Poland.

Hellrigel:

It must have been thrilling to return to Poland and help rebuild the county after the fall of communism.

Bussgang:

Yes. A driver picked me up by car [Laughing] and took me to the factory every day. Fay went to the archives to do research.

She conducted genealogical research?

Bussgang:

Yes, genealogy. Usually, the archives is very sticky, but it was more cooperative because I was a Polish Army veteran.

The archives might have feared researchers interested in political issues. Such research projects may have seemed threatening to the country’s peace and stability.

Did you enjoy your volunteer work in Poland?

Bussgang:

I enjoyed the volunteer work. We did it two years in a row, took a year break, and did it one more time for three months.

Hellrigel:

That was it, but at that time you became even more involved with Polish Jewish history.

Bussgang:

Right. I also was helping my friends who had started an independent venture. They were actually able to keep the name of the company, Signatron.

Hellrigel:

Yes.

Bussgang:

It gave them sort of a historical name.

Hellrigel:

Yes.

Bussgang:

We continued to live in Lexington, but they moved the company to Concord.

Hellrigel:

When was the first time you went back to Poland and saw your home city?

Bussgang:

We went to Poland for the first time when communism was finished in 1989.

Hellrigel:

Yes, 1989. You got to see the beginning of the transformation.

Bussgang:

Right. After the fall of communism, I felt free to go because I had been scared to go to Poland when it was communist.

Hellrigel:

Yes, you may have been in trouble.

Bussgang:

Yes.

Community and Professional Development - The IRE and IEEE

Hellrigel:

When you retired you had already been active in IEEE for many years. Did you first join the IRE or the AIEE?

Bussgang:

I first joined IEE, two Es, in England. The IEE had a relationship with the IRE in America, so when I came to the United States I joined the IRE. I was in New York studying for exams and I had no money, so I went to the IRE library. They let me read the books to prepare for the exam. Then I was active in IRE and it later became IEEE. I became active in IEEE. My friend who was president of IEEE always laughs because he wanted me to head a committee, but I didn't want to head anything. I agreed to become a vice chairman of the Life Members Committee but I didn't want to become the chairman.

That's how I met Michael Geselowitz [Senior Director of the IEEE History Center]. Mike came to the Life Members meetings to get support for the IEEE History Center.

Hellrigel:

How important was IEEE to your professional development?

Bussgang:

It was important and I was active. I was on the board of Information Theory Society, PGIT, Professional Group on Information Theory. Twice I served a three-year term on the board and I was a member of Communications Society. I liked to read the technical publications magazine. I also served on the board and later became head of Boston Section.

Hellrigel:

How did they convince you to become the head?

Bussgang:

[Laughing]. I guess they convinced me in the end.

Hellrigel:

Yes. You also published quite a bit in IEEE journals.

Bussgang:

Yes, I did.

Hellrigel:

Did you attend your local meetings?

Bussgang:

I also went to Information Theory Society meetings. Some of them were on Cape Cod, some were in other cities, and some were in California. I used to go to the professional society meetings. I recently went to the unveiling of the Claude Shannon plaque at MIT. The Claude Shannon Milestone’s plaque unveiling was very well attended. The attendees were a nice and diverse group.

I knew some of the people, but some of the newer MIT people I didn't know.

Hellrigel:

Yes, there seemed to be a lot of young graduate students.

Bussgang:

Yes.

Hellrigel:

Then you became a Life Fellow of IEEE.

Bussgang:

I became a Life Fellow in what year?

Hellrigel:

You became a Life Fellow in 1973.

Bussgang:

Yes.

Hellrigel:

What does being a Life Fellow mean to you?

Bussgang:

Then I became a member of Life Members Committee. It meant I had to travel to New Jersey for the meetings. [Laughing]

Hellrigel:

Yes [Laughing], more travel and more meetings.

Bussgang:

After a while, I stopped serving on the Life Members Committee.

Hellrigel:

Yes, but you continued attending local IEEE events.

Bussgang:

Sometimes I attended local IEEE events, but less so now because I drive less.

Hellrigel:

Did you find IEEE's networking and professional development opportunities important?

Bussgang:

I'm still very friendly with Bob Alongi, the man who is the Business Manager of the Boston Section. I was the one who hired him.

Hellrigel:

When you were a member of the IRE and it merged with the AIEE, did the merger bother you? In 1963, some people were upset by the merger while others approved it.

Bussgang:

Right. I approved it.

Current Research and Publication Projects

Hellrigel:

I don't know if you have anything else to add

Bussgang:

I sent you three pieces.

Hellrigel:

Yes, you sent me three documents.

Bussgang:

One piece lists the publications. I tried to homogenize them a little bit and you can fix them any way you like.

Hellrigel:

Right. I also got the list of patents.

Bussgang:

Yes, I sent the list of patents. I don't know whether you need the application specs, but I decided to copy them.

Hellrigel:

Those documents and that information will be posted with your entry in ETHW.

Bussgang:

The third document I sent is the biography.

Hellrigel:

Yes, I have all three documents. Now we will deal with the last few questions. Right now do you see yourself as an engineer, a historian, a mathematician or perhaps something else?

Bussgang:

I now see myself as retired [Laughing]. Now I have three drafts of books that I would like to publish some day.

Hellrigel:

What are you working on now?

Bussgang:

I'm not working on it, but I should be working on it. One is a book that I don't have an electronic copy of, but I have a typed copy of it.

Hellrigel:

I see, what is the subject of the type-script book?

Bussgang:

I have to get it converted. The other book is a joint project with David Middleton on sequential detection of signals in noise. However, Middleton died before we could publish it. Again, I have to get this project into electronic form, too. That's the two projects. They are technical books. The third book is my biography and that is a whole other story.

Hellrigel:

Do you have any more Polish translation projects?

Bussgang:

I work with Fay on translation projects much of the time. We're members of the American Association for Polish-Jewish Studies (AAPJS) and we’re both on the executive board. The AAPJS is affiliated with the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies in Oxford, England. [See http://aapjstudies.org] Since 1986, AAPJS has published twenty-eight issues of Polin, a resource for historical and cultural material on Polish Jewry. [See http://www.aapjstudies.org/index.php?id=12]

Hellrigel:

Yes, I noticed each volume of Polin is devoted to a particular topic and the topics are quite diverse and span from the pre-modern era to the present.

Bussgang:

We actually are going to have a meeting in Boston. We usually hold meetings at Harvard. We're having a meeting on Sunday. The director of the new museum of history of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Poland is coming and will give us a talk about the museum. The museum is called Polin.

Hellrigel:

Do you find that fulfilling? You've become a historian.

Bussgang:

Yes, it is fulfilling. My thought is that I'm one of the youngest who remember. Those who are younger don't know anything, and those who are older are gone. I'm a unique generation of the very few who still have some memories.

Hellrigel:

Yes, and one of your projects is We Shall Not Forget.

Bussgang:

It is the title of a book put together by our temple. I wrote a chapter in We Shall Not Forget. It is the phrase people who are dying said, don't forget us. I actually helped edit We Shall Not Forget and worked with the editor. I have a story in that book which I sent you.

Hellrigel:

Yes, I read your story. I noticed the book contains a story about a person who did a project on you. He said your motto, “I would succeed no matter what,” was one of the things that kept you going.

Bussgang:

I was not stopping.

Hellrigel:

You told yourself I would succeed no matter what.

Bussgang:

Oh, [Laughing] that's one thing I taught the children. When I talk to a classroom filled with children I tell them they shouldn't give up. When we were in California for our grandsons’ bar mitzvah, we have twin grandsons, each invited me to their class to give a talk. The teachers invited me to give a talk. I mostly want to convince the children that they should believe in themselves, even if their parents have problems.

Hellrigel:

Right. Is there anything else you'd like to add, sir?

Bussgang:

That’s it.

Bussgang Theorem and Patents

Hellrigel:

I have a few more questions. The material you forwarded included information about the Bussgang theorem.

Bussgang:

Yes. In mathematics, the Bussgang theorem is a theorem of stochastic analysis. The theorem states that the cross-correlation of a Gaussian signal before and after it has passed through a nonlinear operation are equal up to a constant. I published it in 1952 while I was a graduate student at MIT. Initially, I thought I would patent it, but then I learned you cannot patent a formula or equation.

Hellrigel:

You also have six U.S. patents and published many technical papers.

Bussgang:

Yes, the patents and publications deal with my work on signal processing, speech enhancement, and radio communication.

Hellrigel:

You have accomplished much in your life. Thank you for your time. We will end this oral history interview here for now.