January 14, 2008

Holman Honored

SCA Professor Recognized By Peers

By Eric Mankin

Holman has developed advanced standards for audio, including 5.1 surround sound.
Professor Tomlinson Holman, whose THX theatre system revolutionized sound in movie theatres, has been recognized as a fellow by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for “contributions to the recording of cinema sound and its realistic reproduction in both cinema and home environments.”

Holman, who is also a professor in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering has been at USC since 1987. He has been a principal investigator in the Integrated Media Systems Center (IMSC) Immersive Audio Lab since its inception in 1996.

With his background in electrical engineering, Holman has been the main person linking entertainment and engineering for IMSC.

He is internationally known for his invention and development of the THX (“Tom Holman Xperimental”) audio system used in movie theatres worldwide. This single achievement has had a tremendous impact on society in terms of entertainment, education, interpersonal interaction and other applications of immersive technology.

Holman has a history of achievement in the audio industry, with many books and publications, and seven U.S. and 23 worldwide patents. He was the chief designer of many commercial products and systems while employed at Advent, Lucasfilm and the TMH Corp. More recently, he has been known as the developer of many advanced standards for audio, including 5.1 surround sound and 10.2 channel audio.

“I am very pleased that Tom Holman has been honored by his election as a fellow of IEEE, and our department joins me in congratulating him,” said Alexander A. Sawchuk, systems chair of the Hsieh Department. “His election is a recognition of his stature and significant contributions in audio recording and reproduction technology.”

The IEEE distinction honors those who have outstanding professional and technical achievements in the broad fields of electrical engineering. IEEE is the leading organization in these fields, with 39 professional societies and publishing of 128 transactions, journals and magazines representing a wide spectrum of technical interests. The IEEE traces its history to 1884 and has approximately 365,000 members in more than 150 countries worldwide.

Last January, Holman won the 2007 Masaru Ibuka Award for his sound work. Sponsored by the Masaru Ibuka Fund, the prize highlights outstanding contributions in the field of consumer electronics technology.