210 Barton Hall

Brinton Cooper is an associate research professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His interests include error control coding, wireless communications, and related applications of emerging signal processing schemes. He is best known for inventing a direct, one-step decoding algorithm for algebraic error-control codes (dubbed “Cooper’s Philosophy” by Teo Mora, a professor at the University of Genoa).

For seven years, Cooper worked in industry on UHF resonant cavity-based transmitters for phased array radar systems; an early digital “programmer” system for phased array radar; the design and analysis of nonbinary, continuous-valued pseudorandom sequences for jam-resistant satellite communications; the feasibility of co-channel UHF satellite repeaters; and a characterization of the second-order, nonlinear phase locked loop for communications receivers. For 33 years, he was with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (and predecessor R&D organizations), where he devised algebraic methods for decoding cyclic channel codes and developed one of the first non-degenerate code families with zero asymptotic error rate at non-zero code rate. He collaborated with academic and government colleagues on multiuser codes that approach channel capacity; long, polynomial-based sequences; properties and decoding of binary expansions of Reed-Solomon codes; list decoding for channels with unknown or partially known statistics; and communications over channels containing impulsive noise. Cooper defined the first collaborative Army research program for battlefield wireless networking and evaluated the anti-jam performance of tactical satellite communications systems.

In collaboration with R. Adams Cowley, founder of Maryland’s Shock-Trauma Center, Cooper led a team of three that devised the system architecture for the first (in the US) emergency medical communication system (EMS) for the metropolitan Baltimore region, and provided a strong case for Shock-Trauma to secure funds for its development. He initiated a collaborative research program among the ECE departments of Morgan State University, the University of Delaware, and ARL and was adjunct professor in both institutions.

Cooper has supervised many undergraduates and several MSE students in various independent study and research projects and master’s essays at JHU. From 2003 to 2021, he served as both co-director and technical program chair of the Annual Conference on Information Sciences and Systems (CISS) at Hopkins.

Cooper earned his BES and PhD from the EE Department of the Johns Hopkins University in 1961 and 1976 respectively, and his MSEE from Drexel University in 1966. He is a life senior member of the IEEE.