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Singer: Fox Family Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Professorship: Fox Family Professor in
Electrical and Computer Engineering

Peter B. Fox is the founder of Fox Development Corporation, a Champaign, Illinois, real estate development firm involved in the development, management, and leasing of about 1.5 million square feet of prime office and retail space. Fox and his wife, Kim, are intimately involved in a wide variety of educational and philanthropic activities. Together, they have endowed professorships at the University of Illinois to facilitate the recruitment of top professors in the colleges of business, education, and in Illinois ECE. In addition, they support the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Krannert Art exhibits for students and visiting artists, and the university’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Peter Fox is also a primary contributor to the UI Pollinatarium, which supports field trips for local elementary students.

Today, through his various activities and investments, Peter Fox focuses primarily on the creation and retention of jobs in the technology and service sectors. As manager of Fox/Atkins Development, LLC, he directs the development and management of the Research Park on the campus of the University of Illinois. In addition, Fox/Atkins invests in individual companies located within the park including a 2008 collaboration with the University of Illinois to open the I Hotel and Conference Center.

Further, through the investment arm of the business, Fox Ventures, Peter Fox has worked with dozens of technology startup firms, assisting them in the transition from research to commercial settings. Fox Ventures is also active in a variety of real estate projects around the country, as well as in the development of medical offices for the public and private sectors. It also works in the service sector with investments in restaurants, most notably in Jimmy John’s, for which Fox was named 2010 Franchisee of the Year.

Through the Fox Family Professorships Fund, Peter and Kim Fox hope to encourage, cultivate, and support innovative research and engagement which will result in competitive sustainability.

Andrew C. Singer

Andrew Carl Singer
Andrew Carl Singer

Andrew C. Singer is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is also affiliated with the Coordinated Science Laboratory. He earned the SB, SM, and PhD degrees, in electrical engineering and computer science, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in 1990, 1992, and 1996, respectively. He joined Illinois ECE in 1998, after spending two years as a research scientist at Lockheed Martin. Singer’s research interests include algorithms and architectures for signal processing, communication, and machine learning systems.

He was a Hughes Aircraft Masters Fellow, and was the recipient of the Harold L. Hazen Memorial Award for excellence in teaching in 1991. In 2000, he received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award. In 2001, he received the Xerox Award for Outstanding Faculty, and in 2002, he was named a Willett Faculty Scholar. He has received numerous awards and honors, including Best Paper Awards from the IEEE Solid State Circuits Society in 2006 and in 2008 from the IEEE Signal Processing Society. In 2014, he was selected as a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Signal Processing Society.

Singer has served as an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing and is a member of the MIT Educational Council, Eta Kappa Nu, and Tau Beta Pi. Singer’s work in wireless, optical, and underwater acoustic communications has led to 15 U.S. patents and more than 200 refereed publications. For this and related work, he was elected Fellow of the IEEE for “contributions to signal processing techniques for digital communication,” in 2009. He has served as an expert witness on these and related technologies in cases tried in U.S. District Court and has testified as an expert in communications and circuit technologies at the International Trade Commission.

In 2000, he co-founded Intersymbol Communications, Inc., a venture-funded fabless semiconductor IC company, based in Champaign, which brought an MLSE-based electronic dispersion compensation chip-set to the optical communications market. In 2007, Intersymbol Communications, Inc., was acquired by Finisar Corporation, a publicly traded optical communications company (NASDAQ: FNSR). In 2005, Singer was appointed director of the Technology Entrepreneur Center (TEC) in the College of Engineering, creating and overseeing courses, programs, and activities serving over 4,000 students annually. In 2014, he was appointed special adviser to the dean for innovation and entrepreneurship.