William R. Bennett

William R. Bennett
William R. Bennett
Des Moines, IA, USA
Associated organizations
Bell Labs
IEEE Mervin J. Kelly Award


William R. Bennett was born on June 5, 1904 in Des Moines, Iowa. He received a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Oregon State University in 1925. Graduate study in physics at Columbia University led to a Master's degree in 1928 and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1949.

He joined the Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1925, where he made early contributions to network theory and to the theory of distortion produced by unwanted modulation products. His later work included investigations of multichannel systems, pulse code modulation, and electrical noise. In 1959 he became head of the Data Theory Department. Upon his retirement in 1965, he started a new career as Professor of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University, where he teaches and directs research in communication theory.

Professor Bennett has written many technical papers and holds fifteen patents on inventions in the field of telecommunication. He is the author of the book "Electrical Noise" and a co-author of "Data Transmission" and "Communication Systems and Techniques."

He was a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and is a member of Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, and Sigma Xi. He has served on numerous technical committees associated with IEEE Professional Groups, and during 1957-1960 was the editor of the Transactions of the IRE Professional Group on Circuit Theory.

Educational activities in science, literature, music, and the arts have been of continuing interest in the Bennett family. Mrs. Bennett has held the position of technical editor for the Columbia University Radiation Laboratory since 1963. Their older son, William R., Jr., who was Professor of Physics at Yale, received the Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Prize Award in 1965 for basic laser research. The diverse musical accomplishments of Bill, Jr., and his family were described in an article in a national magazine.

A daughter, Carol Ann (Mrs. Jean-Paul Valles), studied fine arts at Michigan State University and at the Sorbonne. The younger son, Robert John, who lost his life in a railway accident recently, had distinguished himself in English and Comparative Literature.