Goldsmith, pioneer in mobile technology, named to National Inventors Hall of Fame

Written by
Office of Engineering Communications
Feb. 22, 2024

Andrea Goldsmith, a leader in wireless communications whose innovations are incorporated into all modern WiFi and cellular systems, has been named as a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Goldsmith, dean of Princeton University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and Arthur LeGrand Doty Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was recognized for her pioneering work in wireless communications and information theory. In announcing the award, the organization noted that Goldsmith’s research has led to innovations “which have shaped the performance of wireless networking and enabled fast, reliable wireless service around the world.”

Known for a wide range of breakthroughs in telecommunications, Goldsmith developed adaptive modulation techniques that have allowed engineers to vary the speed of transmission to match rapidly shifting demands of receiving networks. In announcing her induction, the Hall of Fame singled out Goldsmith’s work on adaptive beamforming algorithms for arrays of multiple antennas, which play a central role in wireless systems by spatially shaping transmissions. In 2005, Goldsmith co-founded Quantenna Communication, which applied the technology to allow for video transmission over in-home Wi-Fi.

“Through her groundbreaking research and entrepreneurial efforts, Goldsmith has influenced virtually all cellular and Wi-Fi networks worldwide,” the Hall of Fame announcement said.

Goldsmith said the honor underscores the importance of academic research to drive innovation, since so many new ideas in technology have come out of universities. “Being included in this amazing group of inventors who have contributed so much to advancing technology is an incredible honor,” Goldsmith said. “I am grateful to my collaborators, mentors and especially my students and postdocs who contributed so much to all my innovations,” Goldsmith said. “I also am grateful to the founders, employees and investors at Quantenna and Plume for helping to create successful products and companies based on these innovations.”

In addition to providing scientific leadership in her field, Goldsmith has been widely recognized for her efforts to increase inclusion in both academia and industry. As dean of engineering, she has prioritized efforts to increase diversity. She founded the Board of Directors committee on enhancing diversity and inclusion at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and established awards at IEEE and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) to recognize accomplishments of early-career women.

Goldsmith currently serves on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the sole body of advisers from outside the federal government charged with making science, technology and innovation policy recommendations to the president and the White House. She is the recipient of ACM’s SIGMOBILE Outstanding Contributions Award and the 2018 Athena Lecture Award, and she is the first woman to receive the Marconi Prize, considered the top honor in telecommunication. A member of the National Academy of Engineering and the Academy of Arts and Sciences, she is the author or coauthor of four books on wireless communications and is the inventor on 29 patents.

Goldsmith earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering at the University of California-Berkeley. She joined the faculty of Stanford University in 1999 and was named Stanford’s Stephen Harris Professor of Engineering in 2012. She joined the Princeton faculty in 2020.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame was founded in 1973 to honor inventors and advance the spirit of innovation. Members of the induction class of 2024 will be recognized in a ceremony on May 9 at The Anthem auditorium in Washington, D.C.