One of AT&T's biggest awards for 3 of its brightest minds

Meet the newest recipients of the prestigious AT&T Fellows Honor.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Pictured above, left to right: Kevin D’Souza, Arun Ghosh and  Chris Volinsky.


By Matt Lawson
 AT&T Insider Staff Writer

The names on this list read like a “who’s who” of science legends.

Back when AT&T Laboratories was known as Bell Labs, the company began a tradition of recognizing its most innovative minds. Some of them are also Nobel Prize winners. Some of them have won the Turing Award*. But within the company, the brass ring is the AT&T Fellows Honor.

Want to see more cutting-edge content? Be sure to follow our Tech & Innovation channel!

Think of it as a lifetime achievement award for innovators whose work has changed our company, our industry and sometimes even our world.

This past month, 3 new names were added to this prestigious ledger:

  • Chris Volinsky (AVP – Inventive Science) is recognized for outstanding contributions to data science and artificial intelligence. Chris pioneered some of our early work using signatures to detect fraud - what we now refer to as a “closed loop.” He is on the forefront of our advertising business, using millions of data points to develop ad models. And soon you’ll see a new recommender system on DirectTV to help people easily access content that means the most to them personally.
  • Kevin D’Souza (Lead Member of Technical Staff) is recognized for pioneering innovation in AT&T’s Software-Defined Networking (SDN) orchestration and network management. Kevin has been a leader in our efforts to virtualize the AT&T network. His groundbreaking work in model-driven SDN has become an industry paradigm, largely due to his open source contributions. He now works on optimizing our network and is turning his attention to predictive analytics to prevent network issues before they happen.
  • Arun Ghosh (Director – Member Technical Staff) is recognized for outstanding achievements, innovation, and contributions to wireless technology. The owner of 29 granted and 133 pending patents, Arun is at the forefront of 5G standards. He has helped write the rule book for how 5G will be deployed worldwide, including spearheading the idea of running the 5G network over existing spectrum. His revolutionary work with millimeter wave technology will have a drastic impact on the way networks of the future are built.


Watch our 3 newest honorees as they discuss their work and the deep meaning behind being an AT&T Fellow.

This year’s winners of the Science & Technology Medal were also announced at a banquet last month.

AT&T Science and Technology Medals are awarded for achievements that demonstrate remarkable technical depth or breadth in a given area that has resulted in a unique and significant contribution in service of AT&T

If the Fellows Honor is a lifetime achievement award, think of the Science and Technology Medals as the Oscars.

Here they are:

  • Johannes Jaskolski, AVP – Technology Security: For making significant strides in transforming the identity and authentication ecosystem through his innovation and advocacy of Project Verify.
  • Sunil Maloo, AVP – Member of Technical Staff: For turning our SDN vision into a reality through his innovation and leadership in the design and automation of network cloud and infrastructure.
  • Israel Means, Lead Member of Technical Staff: For creating the brain of our network cloud through the design, evolution and development of the IP/MPLS VPN control plane.
  • He Yan, Principal Inventive Scientist: For living the CODE through significant improvements in customer experience and operational efficiency.
  • Laurie Bigler, AVP - Member of Technical Staff: For helping us become America’s Best Network through her leadership in advancing RAN analytics optimizing network performance.
  • Timothy Bolger, Principal – Software Engineer: For improving customer care with data-driven insights through helping to develop our enterprise chatbot platform.
  • John Yannacci, Lead Member of Technical Staff: For enabling us to better manage our network cloud through SDN control of virtual network function.
  • Raghu Mudumbai, Lead Member of Technical Staff: For putting customer transformation at the core through solving complex technical challenges in the area of virtualization for AT&T Flexware and SD-WAN service offers.
  • Deirde Paul, Director Inventive Scientist: For allowing us to effectively make data-driven decisions through leadership, vision and application of data science.
  • Dan Solero, AVP – Technology Security: For helping to keep security at the forefront of our network through innovation, leadership and advocacy in promoting next-generation security platforms.
  • Vladislav Shkapenyuk, Principal - Inventive Scientist: For helping to provide a means to better and more effectively analyze critical data through leadership in scalable graph data management systems.
  • Greg Edwards, Senior Lead UX Researcher: For helping us exceed customer expectations through designing unmatched TV & mobile network experiences.
  • Greg Smith, Director Member of Technical Staff: For allowing us to provide the highest availability and highest performance network experience through development of our CDN platform.


* - The Turing Award is an annual prize given by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) to an individual selected for contributions "of lasting and major technical importance to the computer field."