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Paul R. Prucnal


Paul Prucnal received the A.B. degree from Bowdoin College, Summa Cum Laude, with Highest Honors in Math and Physics, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He then received the M.S., M.Phil. and Ph. D. degrees from Columbia University, where he was elected to the Sigma Xi honor society. He was an Assistant and then tenured Associate Professor at Columbia from 1979 until 1988, when he joined Princeton as a Professor of Electrical Engineering. He has held visiting faculty positions at the University of Tokyo and University of Parma.

From 1990 to 1992, Professor Prucnal served as the Founding Director of Princeton's Center for Photonics and Optoelectronic Materials, and is currently the Director of the Center for Network Science and Applications. He is widely recognized as the inventor of the "Terahertz Optical Asymmetric Demultiplexer," an ultrafast all-optical switch, and has done seminal research in the areas of all-optical networks and photonic switching. His pioneering research on optical CDMA in the mid-1980' sinitiated a new research field where more than 1000 papers have now been published worldwide. With support from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in the 1990's, his group was the first to demonstrate an all-optical 100 gigabit/sec photonic packet switching node and optical multiprocessor interconnect. His recent work includes the investigation of linear and nonlinear optical signal processing techniques to provide high-speed data confidentiality in communications networks. Professor Prucnal has published over 250 archival journal papers and holds 17 patents. He is an Area Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Communications for optical networks, and was Technical Chair and General Chairof the IEEE Topical Meeting on Photonics in Switching in 1997 and 1999, respectively. He is a Fellow of IEEE with reference to his work on optical networks and photonic switching, a Fellow of the OSA, and a recipient of the Rudolf Kingslake Medal from the SPIE, cited for his seminal paper on photonic switching. In 2006, Professor Prucnal was awarded the Gold Medal from the Faculty of Physics, Mathematics and Optics from Comenius University in Slovakia, for his contributions to research in photonics. In 2004, 2006 and 2008, he received Princeton Engineering Council Awards for Excellence in Teaching, in 2006 receivedthe University Graduate Mentoring Award, and in 2009 the Walter Curtis Johnson Prize for Teaching Excellence in Electrical Engineering, as well as theDistinguished Teacher Award from the School of Engineering and Applied Science. He is editor of the acclaimed book, "Optical Code Division Multiple Access: Fundamentals and Applications," published by Taylor and Francis in 2006. Professor Prucnal resides in Princeton, New Jersey, with his wife Mindy and two daughters Jenny and Katie.