University of Virginia Engineering Professor Toby Berger to Receive IEEE Award for Exceptional Teaching of Graduate Students

July 11, 2006 -- Toby Berger, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Virginia, has been named the recipient of the Leon K. Kirchmayer Graduate Teaching Award “for sustained excellence in graduate education and research in information theory” by the IEEE. The IEEE is the world’s leading profofessional association for the advancement of technology.

The award will be presented to Berger today at the IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory in Seattle, Washington.

As a professor of electrical engineering for 37 years, primarily at Cornell University, Berger has developed a number of graduate courses in information theory and communications networks. His path-breaking course on biological information theory, which bridged classic information theory and the brain’s cognitive elements, was the first ever offered at a university.

Now a professor in the Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at U.Va., Berger continues to be recognized as a gifted supervisor of graduate engineering students.

Berger has authored several books, including “Rate Distortion Theory: A Mathematical Basis for Data Compression,” a seminal text that helped shape that branch of information theory research for more than 30 years. He has co-authored more than 60 journal articles and 250 conference papers with students, enhancing their research and writing abilities in the process.

Berger holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Yale University and master’s and doctoral degrees in applied mathematics from Harvard University.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.) is the world's largest technical professional society. Through its 365,000 members in 150 countries, the society is a leading authority on disciplines ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Dedicated to the advancement of technology, the IEEE publishes 30 percent of the world's literature in the electrical and electronics engineering and computer science fields, and has developed more than 900 active industry standards. The organization also sponsors or co-sponsors more than 300 international technical conferences each year.

U.Va. School of Engineering and Applied Science

Founded in 1836, the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science combines research and educational opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Within the undergraduate programs, courses in engineering, ethics, mathematics, the sciences and the humanities are available to build a strong foundation for careers in engineering and other professions. Its abundant research opportunities complement the curriculum and educate young men and women to become thoughtful leaders in technology and society. At the graduate level, the Engineering School collaborates with the University's highly ranked medical and business schools on interdisciplinary research projects and entrepreneurial initiatives. With a distinguished faculty and a student body of 2,000 undergraduates and 650 graduate students, the Engineering School offers an array of engineering disciplines, including cutting-edge research programs in computer and information science and engineering, bioengineering, and nanotechnology. For more information, visit

For more information about the IEEE, contact Francine Tardo by phone at (732) 465-5865, or by email at

For more information about U.Va.’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, contact Charlotte Crystal by phone at (434) 924-6858 or by email at