John O. Limb

John O. Limb
John O. Limb
Pinjarra, Australia
Associated organizations
Research Laboratory of the Australian Post Office, Bell Labs
Fields of study
IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal


John O. Limb was born and raised in Western Australia. He received the B.E.E. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Western Australia, in 1963 and 1967, respectively.

Dr. Limb worked at the Research Laboratory of the Australian Post Office from 1966 to 1967 and then joined Bell Laboratories, Holmdel, NJ. From 1971 to 1978 he managed the Visual Communications Research Department. Beginning with his honors thesis until 1978, he worked on the coding of picture signals to reduce channel capacity requirements. He was greatly influenced by Dr. Albert Seyler and Professor Zig Budrikis who encouraged an interest in the role of human vision in the coding process. This led to investigations of properties of human vision that relate to the precision of perception. In 1978 he headed the Distributed Computer Systems Research Department where the emphasis was on office information systems and local/metropolitan area networks. In 1984 he joined Bell Communications Research and formed the Communications Science Research Division. In 1986 he was appointed Director of the newly formed Networks and Communications Laboratory at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, Bristol, England. In June 1989 he returned to the U.S. with Hewlett-Packard as Manager, Technology Analysis, Cupertino, CA. He has held visiting professorships at the Technical University of Hanover (1975), the University of Sydney (1983), and the University of Essex (1985-86).

Dr. Limb is a Fellow of the IEEE and past member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Communications Society, and the past Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Communications (1984), and the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications (1984-88). He was co-recipient of both the IEEE Communications Society L.G. Abraham Award for best paper in 1973 and the Donald G. Fink Award for the best review paper published in the Proceedings of the IEEE in 1980. He is founding Editor-in-Chief of the ACM Transactions on Office Information Systems (1982-83).

He enjoys the outdoors and likes to hike and ski, both cross-country and downhill. Dr. Limb and his wife, Jan, live in the Los Gatos hills where they are renovating an old cottage. They have two daughters, Bethany and Andrea, who also live in the Bay Area.

He is co-recipient of the 1991 IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal, along with C. Chapin Cutler and Arun N. Netravali, 'For the invention and development of predictive coding pictures and picture sequences.'