John Cohn

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John Cohn
Born (1959-02-09) February 9, 1959 (age 57)
Manhattan, New York, United States
Occupation IBM Fellow and Computer Engineer
Spouse(s) Diane Mariano[1]
Children Sam, Gabe, Max

John Maxwell Cohn (born February 9, 1959) is an IBM Fellow and chief scientist of design automation at IBM. Cohn has been an innovator in the area of design automation for both analog and digital custom integrated circuits. Cohn has 60 patents issued or pending in the field of design automation, methodology, and circuits.

Education and career[edit]

Cohn received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at MIT, and earned a Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University as part of the IBM Resident Study Program. In 2002 Cohn was elected a fellow of the IEEE in recognition to contribution to the high performance custom circuit design automation. Cohn has authored more than 30 technical papers and has contributed to four books on design automation.

Life and career[edit]

Cohn was born February 9, 1959 in Manhattan, New York. In a brief November 8, 2013 interview in Rutland, Vermont, Cohn stated that, despite some sources, he was in fact born in New York, rather than Houston, where he moved when he was three.

Cohn is active in education issues at a local, state and national level. He is an adjunct professor of electrical engineering at the University of Vermont and has taught part-time at both high school and elementary school levels. Cohn has been active for many years in National Engineering Week. He co-chairs IBM’s corporate-wide Technical Education Outreach Steering Committee. He also serves on the science education standards committee for the state of Vermont. Cohn frequently takes his traveling "Jolts and Volts" electricity show to schools, community groups, universities and museums across the US including such diverse venues as the New York Hall of Science, The National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. and frequent shows at Disney's Epcot Center in Florida. His education program has been covered by CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, EETimes, USAToday and other newspapers across the US.

Cohn lives in a restored schoolhouse in Northern Vermont with his family. He is eager to share his love of science and engineering with anyone who will listen.

In 2009, Cohn appeared on the Discovery Channel show The Colony; a simulated life after a global catastrophe based in downtown Los Angeles. Cohn implemented his abundant knowledge of engineering throughout the series, including; a Tesla coil, soap, spark-gap transmitter, solar tracking device, wood gasifier, electric vehicle, flamethrower, and many other useful devices.

In October 2013 Cohn was a presenter at a TEDx conference. TEDxDelft 2013 was themed "Do try this at home" and Cohn's talk was titled "The importance of play".[2][3]


  1. ^ "The Colony: John Cohn's Top Tens List", which references his wife by name.
  2. ^ "TEDxDelft 2013". TEDxDelft 2013. TEDx. 4 October 2013. Retrieved July 17, 2014. 
  3. ^ "The importance of play: John Cohn at TEDxDelft". Watch "The importance of play: John Cohn at TEDxDelft" Video at TEDxTalks. TEDx. December 19, 2013. Retrieved July 17, 2014.

External links[edit]