Alexander Stoytchev (Class of ’97) behind the success of solving 50-year-old puzzle in signal processing

Something called the fast Fourier transform is running on your cell phone right now. The FFT, as it is known, is a signal-processing algorithm that you use more than you realize. It is, according to the title of one research paper, “an algorithm the whole family can use.”

Alexander Stoytchev (AUBG Class of ’97), – an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Iowa State University who’s also affiliated with the university’s Virtual Reality Applications Center, its Human Computer Interaction graduate program and the department of computer science – says the FFT algorithm and its inverse (known as the IFFT) are at the heart of signal processing.

And, as such, “These are algorithms that made the digital revolution possible,” he said. They’re a part of streaming music, making a cell phone call, browsing the internet or taking a selfie.

The FFT algorithm was published in 1965. Four years later, researchers developed a more versatile, generalized version called the chirp z-transform (CZT). But a similar generalization of the inverse FFT algorithm has gone unsolved for 50 years.

Until, that is, Stoytchev and Vladimir Sukhoy – an Iowa State doctoral student co-majoring in electrical and computer engineering, and human computer interaction – worked together to come up with the long-sought algorithm, called the inverse chirp z-transform (ICZT).

The article in full:

REFERENCE: Vladimir Sukhoy and Alexander Stoytchev, Scientific Reports (2019);

Photo credit: Paul Easker (Vladimir Sukhoy and Alexander Stoytchev, left to right, with the derivation for the ICZT algorithm in structured matrix notation — the answer to a 50-year-old puzzle in signal processing).

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