His most significant contribution to the world of mathematics and digital signal processing is the Fast Fourier transform, which he co-developed with John Tukey (see Cooley-Tukey FFT algorithm) while working for the research division of IBM in 1965.
The motivation for it was provided by Dr. Richard L. Garwin at IBM Watson Research who was concerned about verifying a Nuclear arms treaty with the Soviet Union for the SALT talks. Garwin thought that if he had a very much faster Fourier Transform he could plant sensors in the ground in countries surrounding the Soviet Union. He suggested the idea of how Fourier transforms could be programmed to be much faster to both Cooley and Tukey. They did the work, the sensors were planted, and he was able to locate nuclear explosions to within 15 kilometers of where they were occurring.
J.W. Cooley was a member of the Digital Signal Processing Committee of the IEEE, and was later awarded a fellowship of IEEE for his work on FFT. In 2002 he received the IEEE Jack S. Kilby Signal Processing Medal. He considerably contributed to the establishing of terminology in digital signal processing.
US Patent Issued to Zumobi on Nov. 26 for "Systems and Methods for Remotely Controlling and Customizing Applications Resident on a Mobile Device" (Washington Inventor)
Nov 26, 2013; ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 26 -- United States Patent no. 8,594,711, issued on Nov. 26, was assigned to Zumobi Inc. (SeattleSystems...