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Israeli pioneering inventor of PDF, MP3 passes away

Prof. Jacob Ziv (L) and Prof. Abraham Lempel (Photo: Technion)

Israeli computer science professor Jacob Ziv, 91, who pioneered the development of ZIP, PDF and MP3 format, together with his colleague Professor Avraham Lempel, passed away on Sunday, just one month after Lempel.

Uri Sivan, president of the world-famous Technion Institute of Technology in Haifa where Ziv worked before his retirement, praised the late professor’s scientific contribution.

“The scientific contribution of the distinguished Professor Jacob Ziv has forever changed the way we store, process and transfer information,” Sivan said.

Professor Idit Keidar, dean of the Technion’s Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering, lauded Ziv’s pioneering work in the field of information technology. 

“He not only left his mark on the way information is transmitted over computer networks and stored in files around the world, but also guided the faculty, as dean, on the path of academic excellence,” said Keidar. 

Jacob Ziv was born in 1931 in the northern Israeli town of Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, a site strongly associated with Jesus and Christianity. Following his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering at the Technion, Ziv received a doctorate from MIT in 1962. 

Technology pioneers like Ziv played an instrumental role in transforming the Jewish state from an agrarian country, initially associated with Jaffa oranges and avocados, into today’s advanced “Start-Up Nation” and one of the world’s leading technology centers. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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