Paul Prucnal

Electrical Engineering

Interactor:  Jessica Ho '20  ELE

Paul Prucnal is a Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department.  He received his A.B. In mathematics and physics from Bowdoin College, graduating summa cum laude. He then earned M.S., M.Phil. and Ph. D. degrees in electrical engineering from Columbia University. After his doctorate, Prucnal joined the faculty at Columbia University, where, as a member of the Columbia Radiation Laboratory, he performed groundbreaking work in OCDMA and self-routed photonic switching. In 1988, he joined the faculty at Princeton University. His research on optical CDMA initiated a new research field in which more than 1000 papers have since been published, exploring applications ranging from information security to communication speed and bandwidth. In 1993, he invented the "Terahertz Optical Asymmetric Demultiplexer," the first optical switch capable of processing terabit per second (Tb/s) pulse trains.  Prucnal is author of the book, Neuromorphic Photonics, and editor of the book, Optical Code Division Multiple Access: Fundamentals and Applications.  He has authored or co-authored more than 350 journal articles and book chapters and holds 28 U.S. patents. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers(IEEE), the Optical Society of America (OSA) and the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), and a member of honor societies including Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi. He was the recipient of the 1990 Rudolf Kingslake Medal for his paper entitled "Self-routing photonic switching with optically-processed control, received the Gold Medal from the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics at the Comenius University, for leadership in the field of Optics 2006 and has won multiple teaching awards at Princeton, including the E-Council Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching, the School of Engineering and Applied Science Distinguished Teacher Award, The President's Award for Distinguished Teaching. He has been instrumental in founding the field of Neuromorphic Photonics and developing the "photonic neuron", a high speed optical computing device modeled on neural networks, as well as integrated optical circuits to improve wireless signal quality by cancelling radio interference.