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Peter Delfyett

Research scientist Peter J. Delfyett was born on March 8, 1959 in Queens, New York. He received his B.E. (E.E.) degree from the City College of New York in 1981 and his M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester in 1983. Delfyett then returned to the City University of New York and went on to graduate from there with his M. Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in 1987 and 1988, respectively.

In 1988, Delfyett joined Bell Communication Research (Bellcore) as a member of the technical staff where he focused on generating ultrafast high power optical pulses from semiconductor diode lasers. His research findings resulted in a number of important developments, including the world’s fastest, most powerful modelocked semiconductor laser diode, the demonstration of an optically distributed clocking network for high-speed, digital switches and supercomputer applications, and the first observation of the optical nonlinearity induced by the cooling of highly excited electron-hole pairs in semiconductor optical amplifiers. Delfyett has published over six-hundred articles in refereed journals and conference proceedings; been awarded thirty five United States Patents; and, is the sole proprietor of a license agreement which transferred modelocked semiconductor laser technology into a commercial product.

In 1993, Delfyett received a dual-appointment as a professor in the School College of Optics and Photonics and the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL) at the University of Central Florida. From 1995 to 2006, he served as the Associate Editor of IEEE Photonics Technology Letters; was Executive Editor of IEEE LEOS Newsletter; and, served as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics. In 2008, Delfyett was elected to serve two terms as president of the National Society of Black Physicists.

Delfyett has been awarded the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Faculty Fellow Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, which is awarded to the nation’s top twenty young scientists. U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine recognized him in 1993 as “Most Promising Engineer;” and, in 2000 with the “Outstanding Alumnus Achievement.” In 2010, he received the Edward Bouchet Award from the American Physical Society. Delfyett is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, and the IEEE Photonics Society.

Peter J. Delfyett was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 4, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.126

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/4/2013

Last Name

Delfyett

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

John

Occupation
Schools

City University of New York

University of Rochester

Martin Van Buren High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Peter

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

DEL10

Favorite Season

Christmas, Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

As you are walking across the path of life, if you come to a bump, step up.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

3/8/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Orlando

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Asian Food

Short Description

Electrical engineer Peter Delfyett (1959 - ) University Trustee Chair Professor in the College of Optics and Photonics and the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers at the University of Central Florida, is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, and the IEEE Photonics Society.

Employment

University of Central Flordia

Telcordia Technologies

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Peter Delfyett's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Peter Delfyett lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Peter Delfyett describes his mother's family background pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Peter Delfyett describes his father's family background pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Peter Delfyett talks about his parents' relationship and separation

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Peter Delfyett describes his family's personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Peter Delfyett talks about growing up in an extended family household

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Peter Delfyett talks about the Delfyetts

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Peter Delfyett describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Peter Delfyett describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Peter Delfyett talks about attending church during his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Peter Delfyett talks about his elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Peter Delfyett talks about his childhood interest in paleontology and his questions about religion

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Peter Delfyett describes why he chose to become an electrical engineer

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Peter Delfyett talks about fifth grade elementary school teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Peter Delfyett talks about his mentors in elementary and middle school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Peter Delfyett talks about his high school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Peter Delfyett describes how he learned to play the drums

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Peter Delfyett describes his band in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Peter Delfyett describes graduating from high school and choosing to attend the City College of New York

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Peter Delfyett describes his time as a student at the City College of New York

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Peter Delfyett describes when he chose to specialize in optics

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Peter Delfyett talks about his undergraduate optics class

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Peter Delfyett describes why he came back to the City University of New York for his Ph.D.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Peter Delfyett describes photonics

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Peter Delfyett describes his doctoral dissertation

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Peter Delfyett describes being hired by Bell Communications Research

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Peter Delfyett describes his time at Bell Communications Research

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Peter Delfyett describes how he broke the world record for the shortest and brightest light pulse

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Peter Delfyett describes how he solved the clock distribution problem

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Peter Delfyett talks about how it can take decades for an invention to be implemented

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Peter Delfyett explains why he chose to become a professor at the University of Central Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Peter Delfyett talks about his teaching and research at the University of Central Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Peter Delfyett talks about research funding and mentoring students

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Peter Delfyett talks about the future of technology

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Peter Delfyett talks about the future of holographic technology

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Peter Delfyett talks about his latest patent

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Peter Delfyett talks about his accomplishments at the University of Central Florida

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Peter Delfyett talks about his involvement in professional organizations

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Peter Delfyett gives advice to African American students

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Peter Delfyett reflects on his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Peter Delfyett reflects on his life

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Peter Delfyett talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Peter Delfyett describes his hobbies

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Peter Delfyett talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

7$4

DATitle
Peter Delfyett describes when he chose to specialize in optics
Peter Delfyett talks about his teaching and research at the University of Central Florida
Transcript
You said when you were a sophomore, that's when you decided to get into the field of lasers.$$That's right.$$And what was it, again, that got you involved?$$And so the thing, you know, the thing which happened was--you know, you're going along. You're taking your classes, your physics, your calculus, your differential equations. And then you start taking your engineering core--circuit theory, digital systems control, communications, whatever it is. But then they allow you to take some, some elective classes, you know, within the discipline. And so, there are so many electives. How do you choose? And then my thinking is I want to sort of choose an elective where I'm going to have, like, a focus. I want to choose all of my electives in a certain area, so I can get a real strong expertise. So, I'm just sort of looking through the course catalog. It's like looking at the menu, and just kind of reading what the different courses are about. Some are about computer architecture. Some are about, you know, circuit systems and digital systems. But then I saw this one course about "Introduction to Lasers." And then you kind of read the description, and everything is fine. And you read the last line and it says, you know, "The fundamentals and introduction to fiber optic communications will be covered in this course." And you know, what occurred to me, is that there are sort of other areas within electrical engineering that are--at that time were not growing. And one in particular might be sort of power systems. How do you deliver power? Con Ed [Con Edison], and this and that, and the other thing. Not super high-tech, not saying it can't be. But then I'm thinking, you know, "Gee, if an area in engineering is so mature, you know, there's not a lot of area for growth and expansion." And so I'm thinking, "If I want to get an expertise in something, I want to pick an area which is very, very new and futuristic, so there's going to be a lot of chance for growth and expansion." Because as that field grows and expands, I can basically evolve within that, and manage to make my way through an entire career. That was my philosophy. Because if the field is too narrow and not growing--if things get tight and there's nowhere to grow--you know, where do you go? It's not clear. And it wasn't clear to me at that time. And so, that's how I started. And so, the other thing which really got me going, I took a look at the elective classes. It said electromagnetic theory. So I said, well, I'm already taking that. But another class was, you know, 'Introduction to Optics,' you know, physical optics. So I said, that was a prerequisite, not necessarily--excuse me--it wasn't a requirement, but it was sort of nice if you had taken it. So, the next semester I went and I took the optics class. And the guy who was teaching that is a famous laser physicist, who literally--you know, after having the class with him--that was it, I'm going to school to get a Ph.D. There was no turning back at that point. They had me hook, line and sinker.$$Okay.$How was your, I guess, your time split here [University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida], in terms of research and teaching responsibilities?$$Sure. And so, every faculty--we teach graduate courses. Or at least when I first came to CREOL [Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers], it was primarily an academic institution and research institution that focused on graduate training and education. So, all faculty teach graduate level courses in the area of optics, and we're all expected to do research. We're expected to go out and hustle for contracts and grants, of which from that money we then pay the graduate students' salaries, their tuition. We use the money to buy the equipment to allow us to do the job. So we're like standard faculty in most other departments. We have to teach, we have to do research, and we have service. Your service duties are either related to the department and/or college, and your professional service as a scientist with professional societies, etc. So, we're like just like normal faculty--teaching, research and service.$$Okay, okay. So, what have been some of your research projects here at [University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida]--?$$So here, what I've done is I've tried to build a research group with a vision that if we want to make an impact on areas of application-- that what I wanted my philosophy to be is not what I'll call, device push-- like "Oh, here's a device, I think you need to use it." Well, like I'm pushing it on you. I prefer to have the application pull philosophy, meaning that let's take a look at what applications are out there that need some kind of advance. And then see if our research can play a role and allow our research to be pulled in that direction, so that if we're successful in our research, we can make some headway in that application. And so with that in mind, I've tried to divide my research area up into three groups--what I'll call sort of the fundamental physics--where we like to use, you know, short pulses of light and see how they interact with matter. That's the fundamental physics. We do that in semiconductors. And what we try and look for are new physics, so we can perhaps see new effects. So, we can then use that knowledge and then go into the clean room and make devices which can exploit these interesting effects, so these devices will have new functions. So, I study physics based upon the new things that we learn. We go up step up into the clean room. We fabricate new devices which are going to exploit those physics. So, these new devices will exhibit new functionalities. And with these new functions, I then take these devices that can show you functions, and I apply it in systems. And the systems are related to its communication and signal processing, making the internet go faster, etc. And when I see these new systems work faster, I say, "Great, we're successful." We patent along the way, we write papers, we give talks. And then once we do that, we say, "Okay, great, we solved that problem. What's the next problem?" And then we go back down and study new physics, to make more devices to make better impacts. So, instead of this thing being vertically integrated, I like to sort of say we're cyclically integrated between fundamental physics, devices and systems. And at each level there needs to be good communication back and forth between the fundamental physics and the systems area, between the systems and device area, and between the physics and device area. So, everybody knows what they're doing, and talking to each other so we can all learn from each other and push the overall vision of photonics forward. That's sort of my philosophy. That's how I do it. And again, we've made impacts in the area related towards secure communications, compact laser systems that are useful for material processing or drilling holes in walls, making lasers operate with more precision in atomic clocks, etc.

Jesse Russell, Sr.

Inventor, electrical engineer, and business executive Jesse E. Russell, Sr. was born on April 26, 1948 in Nolensville, Tennessee to Mary Louise Russell and Charles Albert Russell. He was raised in inner-city Nashville along with his ten siblings. In 1972, Russell received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Tennessee State University. As a top honor student, Russell became the first African American to be hired directly from a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) by AT&T Bell Laboratories. The following year, he earned his M. S. degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

After the completion of his education, Russell continued to work at Bell Laboratories as a pioneer in the field of cellular and wireless communications. In 1988, Russell led the first team from Bell Laboratories to introduce digital cellular technology in the United States. He was a leader in communication technology in cellular devices and some of his patents include the “Base Station for Mobile Radio Telecommunications Systems,” (1992), the “Mobile Data Telephone,” (1993), and the “Wireless Communication Base Station” (1998). Russell held numerous posts while employed at AT&T, including director of the AT&T Cellular Telecommunication Laboratory and chief technical officer for the Network Wireless Systems Business Unit. From 1996 to 2000, Russell served as vice president of Advanced Communications Technologies for AT&T and Chief Wireless Architect for the AT&T Company. In 2000, Russell became the president and CEO of incNETWORKS®, Inc., a company devoted to developing fourth-generation broadband wireless communications devices and wireless voice, video and data communications equipment.

For his innovation and leadership, Russell has won a number of prestigious awards and he was invited to participate in numerous professional conferences and organizations. In 1980, he received the Outstanding Young Electrical and Computer Engineer Award from Eta Kappa Nuand. In 1992 he was named the U.S. Black Engineer of the Year for the best technical contributions in digital cellular and microcellular technology. Amongst other memberships, he is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. and a member of Eta Kappa Nu. In 1995, Russell was inducted in to the National Academy of Engineering. Russell is married to Amanda O. Russell, and they have raised four children: Tina, Jesse, Jr., William, and Catalina.

Jesse E. Russell, Sr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 16, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.111

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/16/2012

Last Name

Russell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

E

Occupation
Schools

Tennessee State University

Stanford University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Jesse

Birth City, State, Country

Nashville

HM ID

RUS09

Favorite Season

May

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Columbia

Favorite Quote

Never let anyone else define success for you.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/26/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens (Turnip)

Short Description

Inventor and electrical engineer Jesse Russell, Sr. (1948 - ) is a pioneer in the field of cellular and wireless communications, holding over 100 patents.

Employment

Bell Laboratories

AT&T

incNETWORKS,Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:7068,158:13054,246:13382,251:15760,287:16744,301:19942,348:20762,359:31121,421:32513,441:34079,470:34601,477:36167,497:37124,506:40710,516:41470,526:43370,551:52214,635:56127,703:56673,710:57037,715:58402,732:60313,758:66387,797:66801,804:67284,812:67974,827:71122,855:71702,869:74136,896:74432,901:77762,962:79316,989:80574,1027:81536,1047:89576,1087:90196,1102:91710,1109:96530,1119:99654,1228:100648,1246:101145,1255:103914,1297:105476,1321:111542,1378:114740,1436:117200,1473:123924,1570:128182,1581:130074,1613:130418,1618:131278,1630:131622,1635:132396,1645:132740,1650:133428,1660:134030,1668:136868,1710:137384,1717:140136,1752:150540,1797$0,0:950,4:16753,258:17818,281:18102,286:22078,385:22362,404:27119,511:30820,517:31044,522:40824,606:41445,616:41859,623:52106,779:53114,797:55346,838:55634,843:71930,1066:72320,1073:72710,1080:73035,1086:73425,1093:74075,1105:75635,1132:75895,1137:80965,1259:81225,1264:84150,1336:84410,1341:84735,1347:85775,1371:86750,1392:92874,1416:93240,1423:93545,1429:103664,1569:104140,1578:106656,1633:110692,1744:126796,2008:135888,2081:136316,2108:140302,2146:142002,2217:159100,2487:167749,2553:172350,2585:172630,2590:173400,2603:174310,2621:174870,2631:175220,2641:175850,2652:177390,2679:178300,2700:178580,2705:179000,2712:179490,2727:182640,2808:188470,2853:193602,2948:194214,2959:194826,2970:195098,2975:195846,2989:196390,2999:196934,3009:197410,3017:197818,3024:199246,3053:199518,3058:199858,3064:200334,3072:213226,3260:213916,3271:214813,3289:216469,3335:216952,3344:217366,3351:218953,3376:222196,3471:223990,3519:224542,3528:226612,3588:227095,3597:227440,3603:227716,3608:234538,3647:235462,3667:235924,3675:237244,3711:237838,3724:239488,3759:249703,3885:250652,3903:251601,3919:252258,3944:258695,4011:261374,4036:272060,4156:272960,4170:273710,4182:277230,4216:277575,4223:277851,4228:278541,4244:279162,4255:280473,4286:281646,4300:281922,4313:282612,4329:283302,4344:283785,4353:291970,4478:299638,4596:299993,4602:300561,4611:300845,4616:301342,4624:301910,4633:306441,4671:307031,4683:308329,4727:308919,4740:309332,4749:309627,4755:310512,4784:311102,4797:311987,4826:312636,4840:312931,4846:313226,4852:313639,4861:314701,4874:316943,4928:317533,4943:318123,4956:318536,4965:318890,4972:319185,4978:319598,4987:320011,4995:320483,5004:325333,5020:325837,5033:326404,5044:326656,5049:331330,5086
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jesse Russell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jesse Russell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jesse Russell describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jesse Russell talks about his mother's childhood in Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jesse Russell describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jesse Russell talks about being raised by his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jesse Russell talks about his mother's involvement with the Primitive Baptist Church

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jesse Russell talks about his parents and his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jesse Russell talks about his childhood household and his mother's employment

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jesse Russell talks about being raised with a close connection to the church

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jesse Russell describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jesse Russell talks about his family's dire financial situation following his mother's accident

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jesse Russell talks about the influence of his chemistry teacher in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jesse Russell talks about his close relationship with his mother

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jesse Russell talks about his mother's accident at work, and the sacrifices made by his siblings to support the family

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jesse Russell talks about the schools that he attended in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jesse Russell describes his experience in high school in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jesse Russell describes his childhood interest in math and electronics

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jesse Russell talks about repairing his family's television set

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jesse Russell talks about his ability to repair electronics and toys, and his talent for mathematics

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jesse Russell talks about his childhood dream of becoming a professional football player

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jesse Russell talks about getting into a fight in school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jesse Russell talks about NFL player, Joe Gilliam, and about Jefferson Street in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jesse Russell talks about his interest in math and science, and his experience in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jesse Russell talks about attending a summer program at Fisk University, and his first exposure to the conflict between science and religion

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jesse Russell talks about the poor college prep at his high school, his experience at Fisk University, and his motivation to attend college - part one

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jesse Russell talks about the poor college prep at his high school, his experience at Fisk University, and his motivation to attend college - part two

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Jesse Russell talks about attending the School of Engineering at Tennessee State University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jesse Russell talks about his experience graduating from high school

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jesse Russell talks about his part-time job at a manufacturing company

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jesse Russell describes his experience in the engineering school at Tennessee State University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jesse Russell describes his experience at Tennessee State University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jesse Russell talks about excelling in engineering school at Tennessee State University, and his desire to work at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jesse Russell describes being recruited to work at Bell Laboratories, and the opportunity to pursue his master's degree at Stanford University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jesse Russell talks about earning his master's degree at Stanford University, getting married to his high school sweetheart and returning to Bell Labs

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jesse Russell describes his work using microprocessors in the design of telecommunications systems at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jesse Russell talks about his ability to solve challenging problems

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jesse Russell talks about his first project at Bell Labs integrating microprocessors on old electromechanical switching systems

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jesse Russell talks about his summer research experience where he invented an automatic soldering machine for superconductivity experiments

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jesse Russell describes how he began to work on mobile telephones at Bell Labs

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jesse Russell describes his pioneering work at Bell Labs that led to the introduction of digital cellular technology

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jesse Russell describes the process that made it possible to reduce the size of cell phones

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jesse Russell talks about his role as the director of AT&T's Cellular Telecommunications Laboratory and the digitalization of telecommunications

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jesse Russell explains how he conceived the idea of starting his company, incNETWORKS, Inc. - part one

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jesse Russell explains how he conceived the idea of starting his company, incNETWORKS, Inc. - part two

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jesse Russell talks about the concept of 4G in telecommunications

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jesse Russell talks about the future of cellular telecommunications

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jesse Russell reflects upon the trends in the investment in innovation and intellectual bandwidth in the United States

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Jesse Russell talks about personalized cellular networks

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Jesse Russell describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today - part one

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Jesse Russell describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today - part two

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Jesse Russell reflects upon his life's choices and his mother's role in his life

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Jesse Russell reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Jesse Russell talks about his family - part one

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Jesse Russell talks about his family - part two

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Jesse Russell talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

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DATitle
Jesse Russell talks about his family's dire financial situation following his mother's accident
Jesse Russell describes his pioneering work at Bell Labs that led to the introduction of digital cellular technology
Transcript
But my mother [Mary Louise Glenn Russell] got involved in an accident at the cleaning, at the dry cleaners, that's what we used to call it, called it the dry cleaners, I don't know what they call it today, but we called it the dry cleaners. And what happened was the press that she was pressing with accidentally fell and fell on her arm and, and completely disabled her. And, and burned her arm and disabled her. And that we all thought that that was the end of our family because without her working, there was almost no food and, and we went to welfare and we tried to get food and she, she--they gave us some food to eat during that timeframe. And that it had gotten so desperate for us that my mother said well look we, we have to eat. And she had given us a cup for us to go to, to the street corners where we could actually hold the cup where people would, would give us money to, to come back where we could buy food. And the, the thing I remember from, from that experience which is why it is so vivid to me, is that I concluded at that point in time that I refused to do what my mother said. That I, I wouldn't go do it and she, she was saying that we needed to do that to eat and that I refused to do it. And that was the time that was probably most vivid to me of saying that, that I deserve a better life than this. And I just refused to do it. And I had never refused to do anything that my mother told me to do before, but I wouldn't do that. And from that point on was probably the changing point in my life because what happened was I got so focused on getting out of that environment that nothing was more important than trying to educate myself and trying to find a way to have a better life. And it, it became a passion with me to get out of that environment.$$Okay$And that it was an all--my group [mobile technology, Bell Laboratories, New jersey] was all white and I was young. And I was the, I was the manager because I, I was the supervisor. So I went back there and, and I was asking these guys what's the problem? What is the--why is it that this is, is not great? It sounds like a great idea to me, you know what I mean. So, so why is it that we can't make money? And then they were explaining to me why we couldn't make money. And the, the thing that struck me about what they were doing was they were following the vision of Vidovale [ph.] which was--and Alexander Graham Bell. You'd think in nine, in the '80s [1980s] or early '80s [1980's], you know we would have moved beyond that. But the, the, the vision of Vidovale was putting phones in places. So if you go back and study the Bell System, you will note that once the Alexander Graham Bell invented the, the telephone, that Vidovale really drove the growth of the Bell System and what he was doing was we should put phones in, in businesses, in homes, in public places where people congregate, right. And the only place that they had not put a phone was in the car. And my boss, you know a team of guys starting in the '60s [1960's], had come up with this mobile phone and put it in the car. Well when I went back to meet with these guys, when they told me what the problem was about you--you were not making money because the phones, the calls went to no answer. My reaction was that oh, I know what the problem, I know what the problem is, right. You guys are focused on putting, still focused on putting phones in places and we ought to be focused on putting phones on the people, right. Because if we put the phones on the people, the minute the phone rings, it would be a natural inclination for them to answer it. And every time they answer, we could make a dollar, right because the minutes were very expensive, right. And I said we could turn the business around. We could make a whole lot of money. And, and that people were looking at me as if I was nuts because I didn't know that the phones were these huge boxes that went in the trunk of cars, and they had these big clunky handsets that went in the front part of the car, right.$$Was that the brick basically?$$It was prior to the brick, right, prior to the brick, right. Actually I have one sitting on the, the headset is sitting on one of the desks over here. But when, when--because I didn't know that, they, they didn't want to tell me that I was sounding dumb, right you know. But the--what, what happened was when I raised the question, then they started to explain to me, oh well the problem is there are more people than there are cars and this was designed for cars. We don't have enough spectrum and we can't really, you know, the technology is not at a place where you can actually miniaturize things the way I was thinking about them. And then I started to explain to them because I had become an expert in digital signal processing. So I started to talk about digital techniques and interacting with some of the other guys, saying, look if we digitize the speech substantially--at that time we had never done anything below 32 kilobytes ADPCM, and you had this young black guy talking about we're going to do eight kilobytes. Now which is almost like a factor four below what anything that had ever been done before, right. And I said no we're going to do it. And that we're going to go over and get some of the research guys, and I started going. And then all these guys got all fired up about this idea, right, this kid--cause they were older, this kid had come up with, right. Say no we're going to digitize the speech and then I described how we were going to use different-digital modulation schemes and, and all of a sudden guys that didn't want me there started to say this is not a bad idea. You know that this kid is talking about, right. And so I went from the black guy that took over the white group, to all of a sudden the white guys liked me, you know. And, and it was--I always tell the story it was a real awakening for me that innovation is colorblind, right. It, it, it--if you really have a good idea and you're willing to work hard and pursue it and be persistent in that, have a passion for it, people see the passion, right. And they, they sort of don't see the color, right. And all of a sudden--and these guys were really smart. The guys that had built this original mobile phone system were really smart, right. But they started to see the passion in me about creating this digital cellular technology. And next thing you know, they got on board and we started--it took us about four years and we made the first digital cellular call to any place in the world, in Chicago [Illinois] which was the first place that the first mobile system call was made. So we took it back to the same place and, and that was the birth of what's known today as digital cellular communications, which is the reason you walk around with cell phones on you today.