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Mark A. Yoder Awarded Lawrence J. Giacoletto Endowed Chair

April 26, 2012

      Giacoletto Endowed Chair
  Giacoletto Endowed Chair: Interim Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology President Rob Coons (left) and Carol Giacoletto congratulate Professor Mark Yoder for being the first recipient of the Lawrence J. Giacoletto Endowed Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering.  Carol is Lawrence's daughter.
 

Mark A. Yoder has been selected the first recipient of the Lawrence J. Giacoletto Endowed Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. The endowment was established by the Giacoletto family to honor the distinguished scholar, inventor and innovator, while supporting faculty development for the Institute.

Yoder will present a special lecture to the campus and community on Friday, April 27, at 4:30 p.m. in the GM Room of Moench Hall. A reception will follow in the building.

Giacoletto, a 1938 electrical engineering graduate of Rose Polytechnic Institute (now Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology), was an engineering pioneer. He created the groundbreaking hybrid-pi transitor model, and played a key role in the development of the color television, hybrid electric vehicles and other modern-day innovations. He was listed among the American Men of Science, was a distinguished IEEE Fellow, held 22 patents, authored the Electronics Designers' Handbook and more than 70 technical publications, and taught thousands of future engineers as a professor at Michigan State University.

"Because of his passion for research and drive to understand how things worked, Lawrence J. Giacoletto's work is well known in electrical engineering. I am honored to have my name associated with him on this endowed chair," stated Yoder.

     Mark Yoder
  Mark A. Yoder
Lawrence J. Giacoletto

Endowed Chair in Electrical
and Computer Engineering

From 1941 through 1945, Giacoletto served in the Army at the Signal Corps Engineering Labs, before joining RCA Labs as a research engineer in 1946. That's where he contributed to the development of the color television and the state-of-the-art hybrid-pi transistor model. In 1956, he left RCA to join Ford Motor Company's Scientific Laboratory, where he helped explore electronic applications to automobiles. He was one of the early promoters of the hybrid electric car, and his electronics department developed a prototype of a scaled-down energy efficient home through the use of semiconductor solar cells.

Five years later, Giacoletto started a rewarding career as an electrical engineering professor at Michigan State University. His industry experience made him a consummate teacher of design. He taught at MSU until 1987, when he retired as professor emeritus.

Giacoletto also took time to establish the CoRes (Cooperative Research) Institute in Okemos, Mich., where he did research on automotive electronics, including electronically powered vehicles. He invented the homopolar alternator, which converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.  The Clinton, Ind., native died in 2004 at his home in Okemos. He is survived by a daughter, Carol Giacoletto, of Lansing, Mich.

"Dr. Giacoletto was a visionary educator and researcher whose technical contributions are legendary and still remain a part of our lives every day," stated William A. Kline, Rose-Hulman's Interim Dean of Faculty. "Endowed chairs support Rose-Hulman and its faculty in our mission to be the best in undergraduate engineering, science and math education."  

Lawrence J Giacoletto      
Lawrence J. Giacoletto
Electrical Engineering Pioneer
 

Yoder shares many of Giacoletto's passions for academic and technology discovery.  A member of the Rose-Hulman faculty since 1988, he has received the Board of Trustees' Outstanding Scholar Award for his work on advancing digital signal processing. He is co-author of the popular "Signal Processing First," a textbook designed for introductory courses in digital signal processing, and signals and systems. The book is derived from "DSP First: A Multimedia Approach," which Yoder co-authored in 1997. It filled an emerging need for a new entry-level course not centered on analog circuits in the electrical and computer engineering curriculum.

Yoder teaches courses in computer architecture, digital signal processing and signals and systems. He has traveled throughout the world to make presentations on digital signal processing. He earned bachelor degree and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Purdue University, served as a software engineer for the Cybotech Corporation and technical staff member at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

The Giacoletto Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering is a three-year appointment. The endowment provides support for summer stipends, professional development, undergraduate student assistants, equipment, supplies and travel.

"Through the establishment of this endowed chair, the Giacoletto family has enshrined the legacy of Lawrence J. Giacoletto at Rose-Hulman," stated Rickey N. McCurry, Vice President of Institutional Advancement. "Rose-Hulman is honored to have Lawrence Giacoletto forever associated with our Institute."