Sc.D.E.E., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.Sc.E.E., University of Maryland

B.Sc., U.S. Military Academy, West Point



Sept. 1988-present: Distinguished Professor of Information Technology, Electrical and Systems Engineering and Director, Center for Excellence in Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence, George Mason University.

Dr. Van Trees joined the George Mason University faculty with an Endowed Chair and a joint appointment in the Electrical Engineering Department and Systems Engineering Department.

He founded the Center of Excellence in Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) in June 1989 with grants from the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology and several government agencies and private companies. The Center has grown rapidly and currently has 15 faculty members associated with it and an annual budget exceeding 6 million dollars. Research areas include remote sensing, data fusion, reasoning under uncertainty, decision support systems, telecommunications, high speed networks, mobile communications, satellite communications, speech enhancement for hearing aids, intelligent tutoring for high school students, distributed simulation, and architectures for complex systems.

He has actively continued his individual research in the area of Array Processing. This work has resulted in several joint papers with faculty colleagues and will lead to a book on "Array Processing" which will be the 4th volume in the Detection, Estimation, and Modulation Theory series.

He led the development of a C3 curriculum as an option under the M.Sc. System Engineering program. This curriculum is the only quantitative program in this area in the world. As part of this curriculum, he developed and teaches a two-semester course, "Principles of C3," laying the quantitative foundations for the area.

June 1961-June 1972: Professor of Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Van Trees joined the M.I.T. faculty after receiving his Sc.D. in 1961, received tenure in 1968, and was appointed a full Professor in 1969. During this period, he was active in graduate course development and was the leader of a research group working in advanced communications and radar/sonar theory. He and his students made major contributions in detection and estimation theory, phase-locked loops, optimum array processing, the application of Kalman filtering to communications, adaptive equalization, and sonar signal processing.

One of his most important professional contributions is a three-volume set of books on Detection, Estimation, and Modulation Theory. These books contained a number of new research results in addition to a unified approach to communications, radar, sonar, and seismic applications. The first volume is the classic in its field, is used in graduate schools throughout the world, and has been translated into Russian and Chinese. Currently in its 27th printing, it has been used to educate an entire generation of engineers and is one of the most widely-referenced books in the field. The second and third volumes are widely used as references in the communications and radar/sonar area.


Jan. 1981-Aug. 1981: Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense; Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence C3I.

Dr. Van Trees was responsible for the research, development, and acquisition of C3I systems for the Department of Defense. The program consisted of nearly 400 program elements with annual expenditures of approximately $30 billion. He was responsible for providing leadership and direction to the DoD C3I efforts, coordinating service programs, and ensuring a proper balance of C3I capabilities. He was instrumental in developing military satellite architecture and initiating the MILSTAR program.

June 1979-Jan. 1981: Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense C3I.

Dr. Van Trees served as the Assistant Secretary's alter ego and was involved in all major actions of the office. During this time, he instituted a mission-oriented management structure in the C3I staff, provided guidance to a number of important C3I programs, and provided direction to the Military Satellite Office, the WWMCCS (Worldwide Military Command and Control System) System Engineering, and the Defense Communication Agency. He was in charge of all U.S. C3I activities in the NATO area and was responsible for major accomplishments in the area of satellite communications, secure voice, and IFF in NATO.

Nov. 1978-June 1979: Chief Scientist, United States Air Force.

Dr. Van Trees was the chief scientific advisor to the Chief of Staff, USAF, and to the Air Force in all areas of research, development, and acquisition. He played a key role on the Air Staff for many communications and C2 programs.

June 1972-Feb. 1975: Chief Scientist and Associate Director, Technology, Defense Communications Agency.

He was the senior civilian in the agency and the primary scientific and technical authority for the Director. He assumed responsibility for the DCA and DCS R&D program, established a centralized engineering center, organized the military satellite office, and acted as a major contributor to the WWMCCS efforts of the DCA. He was instrumental in moving defense communications from analog technology to digital technology.


April 1985-Sept. 1988: President, M/A-COM Government Systems Division.

M/A-COM Government Systems was a high technology division in the defense electronics area. It was a world leader in the development and production of modems, decoders, and communications terminals for military satellite systems. Annual sales approached $90M. MGS had over 1600 employees (including 350 engineers) in San Diego, Boston, and Washington. The division had a reputation for innovative design, state-of-the-art solutions to complex communication systems problems, and excellent system engineering. Dr. Van Trees was responsible for running the division and reported to the CEO of M/A-COM. During this period, the division produced the Army Milstar Terminal (SCOTT) modem, the UHF satellite terminal for MAC, an advanced DAMA/CDMA model, a high performance UHF radio, an SHF-receive terminal for the nuclear forces, and a portable SHF terminal used for Presidential communications.

Dr. Van Trees had responsibility for the business management of the Government segment of the company as well as being General Manager of the Washington and Boston Operations.

Aug. 1981-Oct. 1982: Executive Vice-President, M/A-COM and General Manager, Eastern Operations

Dr. Van Trees started the M/A-COM Government Systems operation in Washington and Boston. In three years, it grew to an organization of 200 (with 80 engineers, 40 with advanced degrees) and sales of $35M. Included in the group's achievements were the development and production of a portable SHF satellite communications terminal for the White House Communications Agency and other national users, development of a signal processing payload for a classified satellite, winning the system engineering contract for the Military Satellite Office at DCA, and acting as system engineer for the multiple satellite system.

March 1975-Nov. 1978: Assistant Vice-President, Advanced Systems, Communication Satellite Corporation

He was head of the Advanced Systems Division, whose responsibilities included planning the future INTELSAT system, including the INTELSAT VI satellite. In addition, the division generated advanced satellite system concepts in the non-INTELSAT area including some of the initial work on the SBS system.


Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (1974)

Presidential Award for Meritorious Executive (1980)

Meritorious Civilian Service Award (1975)

Best Paper Award, Honorable Mention, Communications Society (1965)

National Science Foundation Fellow (1960, 1961)

AFCEA Gold Medal for Engineering (1988)

Virginia Cultural Laureate (1992)

AFCEA Education Medal (1993)


Member, U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board

Member, U.S. Air Force Studies Board, National Academy of Sciences

Member, Space Division Advisory Group, U.S. Air Force

Member, National Security Agency Advisory Board

Member, U.S. Information Agency Television Telecommunications Advisory Committee

Member, U.S. Information Agency, Radio Engineering Advisory Committee

Member, Communications Society Board of Governors

Member, Army Science Board

Member, Rome (Air Force Base) Labs Advisory Group

Member, Defense Information Systems Agency Scientific Advisory Group


Detection, Estimation, and Modulation Theory, Part I. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1968.

Detection, Estimation, and Modulation Theory, Part II. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1971.

Detection, Estimation, and Modulation Theory, Part III. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1971.

Synthesis of Optimum Nonlinear Control Systems. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1962.

Probability, Volumes I-IV, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1970, 1506 pages. This is a detailed study guide to accompany the Probabilities video-taped course.

Random Processes, Volumes I-V, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1971, 1100 pages. This is a detailed study guide to accompany the Random Processes video-taped course.

Probability (fifty video-taped lectures [22 hours]). This was a graduate level video course produced by the Center for Advanced Engineering Study at M.I.T.

Random Processes (fifty video-taped lectures [22 hours]). This was a graduate level video course produced by the Center for Advanced Engineering Study at M.I.T.

"Functional Techniques for the Analysis of the Nonlinear Behavior of Phase-Locked Loops," Proceedings of the IEEE, Vol. 32, No. 8 (Aug. 1964), pp. 894-911.

"Analog Communication over Randomly Time-Varying Channels," IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, Vol. IT-12, No. 1 (Jan. 1966), pp. 51-63.

"Optimum Signal Design and Processing for Reverberation-Limited Environments," IEEE Transactions on Military Electronics, Vol. MIL-9, Nos. 3-4 (July-Oct. 1965), pp. 212-229.

"Bounds on Accuracy Attainable in Estimating Continuous Random Processes," IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, Vol. IT-12, No. 3, July 1966.

"Optimum Angle Modulation," with C.J. Boardman, IEEE Transactions on Communication Technology, Vol. COM-13, No. 4 (Dec. 1965), pp. 452-467.

"A Comparison of Optimum Angle Modulation Systems and Rate-Distortion Bounds," Proceedings of the IEEE, Vol. 53, No. 12 (Dec. 1965), pp. 2123-2124.

"Applications of State-Variable Techniques in Detection Theory," Proceedings of the IEEE, Vol. 58, No. 5 (May 1970), pp. 610-623.

Array Processing, with A. Baggeroer. New York: John Wiley and Sons, in progress.

"On MUSIC and ML Parameter Estimation," with Yariv Ephraim and Neri Merhav, proceedings of the Conference on Information Sciences and Systems, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, March 1993.

"A Signal Subspace Approach for Speech Enhancement," with Yariv Ephraim, submitted for publication to IEEE Transactions on Speech and Audio Processing, 1993.