Last modified on 28 July 2016, at 09:11

Gus Solomon

Gustave Solomon a.k.a. Gus Solomon (October 27, 1930 – January 31, 1996) was a world renowned coding theorist.[1][2] He is notable for developing the Reed-Solomon error correction code with Irving Reed in 1960.[1] Reed-Solomon codes are ubiquitous—finding applications and protecting data in a wide variety of applications including the Voyager and Galileo spacecrafts, compact disks, digital audio tapes, and HDTVs.[1]

Reed-Solomon codes

Bob McEliece, a colleague and friend of Gus Solomon, described Reed-Solomon codes:

The Reed-Solomon codes are used in correcting errors that crop up in either the transmission of or the storage of information in digital systems -- that is, systems that record information by using widely varied sequences of zeros and ones. Over the years, the codes have come into increasingly widespread use as a way of combating the inevitable errors that occur in the transmission and storage of information.[2]


Solomon died in Beverly Hills, California on January 31, 1996.[2] He was survived by a daughter, Grace Solomon Cheifetz and two brothers, Alex Solomon and Julius Solomon. He worked at Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Music as a second career

Gus Solomon came from a family of singers, and was an accopmplished singer himself. He sang small operatic parts in Boston and Los Angeles as well as chorus tenor in many of the classical oratorios and requiems.[1] Gus also studied piano and composed songs while in his teens, and left behind a collection of over 40 folk and popular songs.

In collaboration with Michel Evje, Gus produced innovative recordings of Handel's Messiah, which facilitated the study of the choral parts. One stereo channel was a recording of a single voice and the ther channel contained the ensemble. By adjusting the stereo balance student singers could practice their parts.[1]

Solomon began teaching voice in 1961, and in 1995 he served as voice coach to the cast of a professional Los Angeles production of Shakespeare's Henry IV, and was the voice and movement teacher to hundreds of students including many professional actors.[1]


  • Talmudical Academy High School of Manhattan[2]
  • B.A. in Mathematics from Yeshiva University in 1951
  • Ph.D. in Mathematics from MIT in 1956


  • Error-Correcting Method and Apparatus G. Solomon, J.J. Stiffler, T. O. Anderson, W. Lushbaugh. U.S. Patent No. 3,373,404. March 12, 1968
  • Error Correcting Decoder for Group Codes G. Solomon. U.S. Patent No. 3,818,442. June 18, 1974.
  • Pulse Counter Measuring Instrument D.E. Royal, J.L. Sevy, G. Solomon. U.S. Patent No. 3,903,873. September 8, 1975.