Benjamin W. Wah

2008 Tsutomu Kanai Award Recipient


“For outstanding contributions to the theory and applications
of distributed
multimedia and nonlinear


Benjamin W. Wah is the Franklin W. Woeltge Endowed Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a Professor of the Coordinated Science Laboratory of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL. He also serves as the Director of the Advanced Digital Sciences Center, a large scale research center of the University of Illinois located in Singapore and funded by Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR). He will assume the position of Provost of the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2010. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Columbia University in 1974 and 1975, respectively, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley, CA, in 1975 and 1979, respectively.

As a volunteer leader, Wah has made numerous contributions in promoting the computing profession. During his service as the IEEE-CS President in 2001, he was instrumental in launching numerous initiatives. Two of his many accomplishments were to establish the IEEE-CS as a total information provider and to provide continuing education for computer professionals worldwide. Under his leadership, the IEEE-CS launched a distance learning program that offered hundreds of free online courses for its members. He cofounded the IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering and served as its Editor-in-Chief between 1993 and 1996. 

Wah is a Fellow of the IEEE, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He has published over 280 papers, two authored books, three edited books, and an edited encyclopedia.