John E. Karlin

John E. Karlin
Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa
Associated organizations
Harvard University, Bell Labs
Fields of study


John E. Karlin (IRE Member, 1956) was born in Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa, on 28 February 1918. He received the B.A. and M.A. degrees from Capetown University, in 1938 and 1939, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Chicago, Illinois, in 1942. Karlin's formal education emphasized both electrical engineering and experimental psychology.

From 1942 to 1945, Karlin was engaged in military communications research at Harvard University's Psycho-Acoustic Laboratory, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1945, he joined the technical staff of Bell Telephone Laboratories, in Murray Hill, New Jersey to study psychophysical problems concerned with transmission. In 1952, he became Head of the Human Factors Research Department studying communication properties of man from the viewpoint of man-machine coupling in communication systems.

Karlin was a member of the Acoustical Society of America, the American Psychological Association, and the IRE.