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Carver A. Mead

Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus

California Institute of Technology

Year: 1985

Subject: Engineering

Award:Wetherill

Citation: For his method of obtaining silicon chips.

Biographical Information

Carver A. Mead's innovations include the MESFET, now called the HEMT, an amplifying device used in microwave communications that is also an integral component of the Internet, as well as computer animation, microchip design, neuromorphic electronic systems, and other computer interfaces. Dr. Mead's laboratory led an effort to create silicon models of specific areas of the nervous system. Early experiments have shown that the elementary operations of the nervous system can be emulated by analog circuits for the creation of novel devices. His research aimed at creating novel technologies that will eventually result in human-machine interfaces. The devices his group has already experimented on include a cochlear chip, which is modeled after human hearing, as well as devices modeled after vision and learning.

Dr. Mead was an active faculty member of the Californina Institute of Technology (Caltech) for over forty years. Dr. Mead obtained his B.S. (1956), M.S. (1957), and Ph.D. (1960) from Caltech as well.