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Apr 28, 2017 12:42 PM EDT

USC celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Viterbi Algorithm, which is a breakthrough technology that eliminates the background noise in telecommunications. This is a technology used by every smartphone owner in the world. However, most people have taken this for granted, which makes this the right time to honor Andrew Viterbi.

During the 39th annual Viterbi Awards, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering honored the Viterbi Algorithm 50th anniversary, USC News reported. USC Presidetn C.L. Max Nikias recounted how Andrew Viterbi became the innovator, leader, and generous person that he is now, from being a humble immigrant.

Nikias said Viterbi connects the world each second every day. Like how the algorithm he invented eliminates noise, Viterbi has also found a way to break through the noise brought by life and focus on what is meaningful, like his students, friends, and family. Viterbi got a standing ovation as he accepted the honor on the stage with humility.

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Viterbi said being overwhelmed is an understatement, and that he never thought that he would have so many admirers. In this era of artificial intelligence, people celebrate the anniversaries of algorithms, said USC Viterbi Dean Yannis C. Yortsos.

The school was named after Viterbi and his Wife, for giving a generous donation in 2004. The awards event was held at the Beverly Wilshire hotel on April 19. One of the latest projects of USC Viterbi School of Engineering is the wearable technology that can detect the intensity of a lovers' tiff, which they developed along with USC Dornsife College of Arts, Letter, and Sciences, CNET reported.

Besides Viterbi, there were alumni and industry leaders who were also honored during the event. The Daniel J. Epstein Engineering Management Award was given to Harel Kodesh. Lieutenant General Stayce D. Harris was honored with the Mark. William Wang got the Global Leadership in Engineering Award and the Stevens Distinguished Alumni Award.

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