A. MICHAEL NOLL is Professor Emeritus of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. He taught graduate and undergraduate courses in the fundamental science and technology of communication systems, and he continues to study the policy and social implications of communication technologies. He was Dean of the School for the 1992/93 and 1993/94 academic years, during which time he formulated a broader vision of communication that resulted in a merger of academic units at USC to create a greatly expanded Annenberg School.
Before joining the Annenberg School in 1984, Dr. Noll had a varied career in basic research, telecommunication marketing, and science policy. From 1977 to 1984, he worked in the AT&T Consumer Products and Marketing Department where he performed technical evaluations and identified opportunities for new products and services. He has performed research to quantify the market for teleconferencing and has studied the market for videotex services.
Dr. Noll spent nearly fifteen years performing basic research at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey, starting there in 1961. His research included work in such areas as: the effects of media on interpersonal communication, three-dimensional computer graphics, human-machine tactile (haptic) communication, speech signal processing, cepstrum pitch determination, and aesthetics. He is an early pioneer in the use of digital computers in the visual arts, and his computer art has been widely exhibited throughout the world. His earliest digital computer art was created during the summer of 1962, and the exhibition of his computer art (along with Dr. Bela Julesz) at the Howard Wise Gallery in New York City in 1965 was the earliest such exhibition in the United States. Dr. Noll's computer-generated ballet was created in the early 1960's and was the first such use of computers. His study of aesthetic preferences for a computer-generated pattern versus a painting by Mondrian has become a classic. In the late 1960 and early 1970's, he constructed interactive three-dimensional input devices and displays and a three-dimensional, tactile, force-feedback ("feelie") device that were the forerunners of today's virtual-reality systems. He also was one of the first researchers to demonstrate the potential of scanned displays for computer graphics.
In the early 1970's, Dr. Noll spent two years in Washington as a Technical Assistant to the President's Science Advisor at the White House. In this position, Dr. Noll was involved with such issues as computer security and privacy, computer exports, scientific and technical information, educational technology, and Federal research programs. He served as the first Co-Chair of a joint USA/USSR program in the application of computers to management.
Dr. Noll is a Senior Affiliated Research Fellow at the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) at Columbia University's Business School and was Visiting Director of CITI during the first half of 1995. He is a Research Affiliate of the Quello Center at Michigan State University. He has been an Affiliated Scholar at the Communications Media Center at the New York Law School and a Senior Advisor to the Marconi Society. He also taught courses for industry, consulted on new technology, advised new venture firms in the telecommunications field, and taught courses in basic communications technology and systems as an Adjunct Professor at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
Dr. Noll has published over ninety-five professional papers covering a wide variety of topics and in diverse journals. He was granted six patents for his inventions in speech processing and human-machine tactile communication while at Bell Labs. Dr. Noll is a seasoned analyst of the communication industry and is frequently quoted in the media. He is a frequent contributor to op-eds and columns in newspapers and trade magazines. He is the author of books on telecommunication electronics (second edition), telephone systems (third edition), and television, all published by Artech House, which explain the technical principles and workings of communications technology and systems to a nontechnical audience. He is the junior author with Dr. John R. Pierce of Signals, published by the Scientific American Library. He is the author of The Evolution of Media, published by Rowman & Littlefield (2007).
Dr. Noll has been a columnist and editorialist for a number of publications over the years and has written over 150 pieces. In 1996, he had a newspaper column in the Newark Star-Ledger. He also had columns in tele.com magazine (1999-2001) , Telecommunications magazine (1996-1999), Telecommunications Online (2005-2009), and in FierceTelecom. In addition, Dr. Noll wrote reviews of classical music performances for the Classical New Jersey Society. In his published works, he attempts to demystify and simplify technology, eliminate hyperbole, emphasize historical perspectives, while taking a more skeptical and critical view.
Dr. Noll has reviewed and organized the extensive papers of Dr. William O. Baker. This archival research was supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with the cooperation of Bell Labs and the Annenberg School. The papers have been donated to Princeton University and are archived there.
Dr. Noll received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1971, M.E.E. from New York University in 1963, and B.S.E.E. from Newark College of Engineering in 1961. Eta Kappa Nu, the electrical-engineering honor society, awarded him Honorable Mention as an Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer in 1970 in recognition of his contributions to computer-generated stereographics and service to his community. In 1994, New Jersey Institute of Technology awarded him a Distinguished Alumni Medal for Outstanding Achievement.
Dr. Noll is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He used to be a member of the Audio Egineering Society, the Society for Information Display, the Acoustical Society of America, and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.