Richard Thompson

  • Professor Emeritus

Dr. Richard Thompson is a Professor Emeritus in what had been SCI’s “Telecommunications Program”. He joined the University of Pittsburgh in 1989, after 20 years at AT&T’s Bell Laboratories. He had a secondary appointment in Pitt’s Electrical Engineering Department, was affiliated with Pitt’s undergraduate Photonics Program, and chaired Pitt’s Telecom Program for 17 of his 26.5 years at Pitt.

His BS and MS degrees, each in Electrical Engineering, are from Lafayette College and Columbia University, respectively. His 1971 PhD, in Computer Science, is from the University of Connecticut. Besides peripheral research interests in human-computer interaction and probabilistic automata (with application in statistical packet dependence), Dr. Thompson’s principal research area was Communications Switching, especially Photonic Switching and Voice over IP. He has more than 100 research publications and two textbooks: Telephone Switching Systems and The Physical layer of Communications Systems (both via Artech House). He was dissertation advisor for eight Pitt PhD graduates. He is a “charter member” of the IEEE and continues to be extremely active in it and its Communications Society.

“Dr. T.” and his wife Sandy moved to Vermilion OH in 2010 for personal reasons. He retired to emeritus status in 2012 but taught Telecom classes at Pitt every Fall as a part-time adjunct until the end of 2016. The Thompsons moved to Jupiter FL in 2017, where “Dr. T.” works diligently on his “bucket list” when not teaching part-time at Florida Atlantic University and Palm Beach State College.