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Boehm elected to National Academy of Engineering This article appeared in the USC Chronicle March 4, 1996 (Volume 15, Number 23)
Adleman, Boehm elected to National Academy of Engineering
by Eric Mankin

Two members of the School of Engineering's Department of Computer Science have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), among the highest professional distinctions in the field.

The election of Leonard M. Adleman and Barry W. Boehm to the ranks of the prestigious body brings the number of USC members to 18. In addition to these 18, three members of USC's Board of Trustees - board president Malcolm R. Curr ie and trustees Allen E. Puckett and Richard J. Stegemeier - belong to the organization.

"The election of Len and Barry is a welcome sign that the quality of the university's scientific faculty is becoming more widely recognized," said dean of engineering Leonard M. Silverman, himself a member of the academy. "I congratulate th em on their well-deserved achievement and thank them for the honor their efforts have brought to the school."

President Steven B. Sample also hailed the elections. "Here at USC, we have long been aware of the extraordinary scientific work performed by Professors Adleman and Boehm. Professor Adleman's recent DNA research has stretche d the dimensions of the field of computer science. Professor Boehm's work has made software design less trial-and-error and more of an engineering disclipline. I'm delighted to see their pioneering work recognized by the world's m ost prestigious engineering body."

Adleman holds the Henry Salvatori Chair in Computer Science. His NAE election citation notes his "contributions to the theory of computation and cryptography."

His contributions in this area include work developing the now widely-used RSA system for data encryption - the "A" in RSA stands for Adleman.

Adleman also made international headlines in 1994, when he published a paper in Science demonstrating that the genetic material DNA can be used as a computational medium. He is working to develop this insight in a newly established laboratory. Another not able publication was a new probabilistic test to establish if a given number is prime.

Adleman coined the term "computer virus" to describe the first example of the bug, which was programmed by a student in his class in 1983. He has also put forth a highly original hypothesis explaining a peculiarity in the immune system's respons e to a real virus - HIV. The hypothesis has since been confirmed in repeated tests.

"It is an honor to join such a distinguished group of researchers," said Adleman, who has been at USC since 1980. "I want to thank the university for providing a fertile environment for scientific research."


Leonard M. Adleman
Boehm is TRW Professor of Software Engineering in the Department of Computer Science. His election citation notes his "contributions to computer and software architectures and to models of cost, quality, and risk for aerospace systems."

He is the creator of the Constructive Cost Model, the Spiral Model of the software process and two advanced software environments - the TRW Software Productivity System and the Quantum Leap environment. His current research interests include software proc ess modeling, software requirements engineering, software architectures, software metrics and cost models, software engineering environments and knowledge-based software engineering.

Boehm came to USC in 1993, after having served as chief scientist of TRW's Defense Systems Group.

A writer and editor, Boehm is the author of several books on software engineering, including Software Engineering Economics (1981) and Software Risk Management (1989). He has chaired the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astro nautics' technical committee on computer systems and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' technical committee on software engineering, and has been a member of the governing board of the IEEE Computer Section. He is a fellow of the IEEE and the AIAA.

"I feel fantastically honored," said Boehm. "When I look at people who are members of this body, I see the people I have respected during my whole career. It is wonderful to be in the same body with them."

Boehm singled out his wife, Shana, for her "tremendous support. Without her, I don't think I'd have gotten as far as a Ph.D."

Ellis Horowitz, chairman of computer science, said he was "overwhelmed" at having two department members elected in one year. "This is a wonderful recognition of their outstanding achievements." he said.

Horowitz proudly noted that the computer science department now has more than 60 research faculty "working on subjects ranging from robotics to the Internet, from databases to operating systems, from networks to software engineering, from natural lan guage processing to expert systems, from virtual reality to computer-based manufacturing, with research funding totaling more that $10 million per year."

According to Silverman, with the election of Adleman and Boehm and the recent hiring of two NAE members, Masanobu Shinozuka and R. P. "Chris" Caren, the school now ranks seventh nationally in academy membership.


Barry W. Boehm
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It shares with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advisin g the federal government. The NAE also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers.

Academy membership honors those who have made "important contributions to engineering theory and practice" and those who have demonstrated "unusual accomplishment in the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology," accordin g to the guidelines for election of new members.

The NAE currently includes 1,841 distinguished academic and industry members of the engineering profession. This year, the academy added 78 new members, 31 of them from academia, the balance from industry. USC was one of only five academic institutions na tionwide to add two new members. USC, Stanford University and the University of California at Santa Barbara were the only California educational institutions to have faculty elected members this year.