2014: Fred Katz

Fred Katz of Hauppauge, N.Y., is the 2014 recipient of the Copper Black Award for Creative Achievement. Awarded annually by the Mensa Education and Research Foundation, the Copper Black highlights exceptional creativity and problem-solving in the field.

Fred’s research addressed the ubiquitous problem of a motion sensor's ability to discriminate between a home intruder and a wandering pet. Through readings from a combination of passive infrared and Doppler microwave sensors, he was able to develop and integrate an algorithm capable of discerning between objects in the sensor’s field of view.

Of his work, Fred said, “This is not a solution, but a means toward evaluating solutions. Sometimes building the right tool is a necessity to problem solving.”

The Copper Black Award was named after the late Ms. Copper Black, a Mensa member who greatly valued creativity. In her will, she left a legacy by funding a special annual award to recognize an outstanding creative achievement by a member of American Mensa.