List of California Institute of Technology people

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The California Institute of Technology has had numerous notable alumni and faculty.

Notable alumni[edit]

Alumni who went on to become members of the faculty are listed only in this category.

Physics and Astronomy[edit]

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering[edit]

  • Fred C. Anson - (former faculty) BS 1954; Elizabeth W. Gilloon Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus at Caltech; Member of National Academy of Sciences. Known for pioneering work on the electrochemistry of polymers, on the catalysis of electrode reactions, and on electrochemical reactions that involve ultrathin coating of molecules on electrode surfaces.
  • Peter B. Armentrout, PhD 1980
  • Jesse L. Beauchamp, BS 1964
  • Arnold Beckman, PhD 1928 – inventor of the pH meter, founder of Beckman Instruments and financier of the first "silicon" company in Silicon Valley, Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory
  • Richard D. Braatz, PhD 1993
  • Leo Brewer, BS 1940
  • Richard G. Brewer, BS 1951; pioneer in quantum optics and nonlinear laser spectroscopy, particularly advanced techniques in the study of laser induced steady state and transient phenomena; researcher at IBM Almaden research laboratories; IBM fellow, elected member of National Academy of Sciences.
  • Emily A. Carter, PhD 1987; Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering & Applied and Computational Mathematics - Princeton University; member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Christopher Chang, BS/MS 1997
  • Robert E. Cohen, PhD 1972; Raymond A. (1921) and Helen E. St. Laurent Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT; member of National Academy of Engineering. Leader in field of polymer science and engineering
  • William H. Corcoran - (former faculty) BS 1941, PhD 1948; Institute Professor of Chemical Engineering at Caltech. Known for research in biomedical engineering (particularly fluid flow and design of artificial heart valves), chemical engineering kinetics, engineering design, pharmaceutical process engineering and development design, rocketry, and transport processes. Member of National Academy of Engineering.
  • Charles D. Coryell, BS 1932, PhD 1935
  • Paul Hugh Emmett, PhD 1925
  • David A. Evans, PhD 1967
  • Gary Felsenfeld - PhD 1955, Distinguished Investigator and Chief of the section on physical chemistry in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. Widely recognized for research on the physical chemistry of nucleic acids and proteins and their interactions with each other and with small molecules; structure of DNA and synthetic polynucleotides; structure and function of chromatin, particularly as it relates to eukaryotic gene expression; and regulation of globin gene expression during development. Member of National Academy of Sciences.
  • Gerald Fuller, PhD 1980
  • Jacqueline G. Gish, PhD 1976 - Northrop Grumman Technology Fellow; recognized for significant contributions to the development of high-energy lasers, development of diagnostics for plasma and laser programs. and leadership of efforts on chemical lasers and solid state lasers. Member of National Academy of Engineering.
  • William A. Goddard, III, PhD 1965, faculty – theoretical chemist
  • James L. Hoard, PhD 1932
  • Brian M. Hoffman, PhD 1966; Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University; known for major contributions to electron paramagnetic resonance and electron-nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) of metalloenzymes; long-range electron transfer within protein complexes; and new porphyrazine metallomacrocycles. Member of National Academy of Sciences.
  • James A. Ibers, BS 1951, PhD 1954; Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor (Emeritus) of Chemistry at Northwestern University. Member of National Academy of Sciences.
  • Harold 'Hal' Johnston, PhD 1948; pioneering atmospheric chemist and Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at UC Berkeley; National Medal of Science recipient; winner of Tyler World Prize for Environmental Achievement; member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Eric W. Kaler, BS 1978
  • Martin Karplus, PhD 1953 – Nobel laureate in chemistry (2013)
  • Chaitan Khosla, PhD 1990
  • Nathan Lewis, BS/MS 1977
  • William Lipscomb, PhD 1946 – Nobel laureate in chemistry (1976)
  • Stephen L. Mayo, PhD 1987; (faculty) Bren Professor of Biology and Chemistry at Caltech; Former HHMI Investigator; leading researcher in field of protein folding structural analysis and protein design; Member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Joseph Edward Mayer, BS 1924
  • Harden M. McConnell, PhD 1951
  • Edwin Mattison McMillan, BS 1928, MS 1929 – Nobel laureate in chemistry (1951)
  • Matthew Meselson, PhD 1957
  • Kurt Mislow, PhD 1947; Professor Emeritus of chemistry at Princeton University; known for major contributions to physical organic chemistry. Member of National Academy of Sciences.
  • Daniel G. Nocera, PhD 1984
  • José Onuchic, PhD 1987
  • Dinshaw J. Patel, MS 1963; Member and Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Chair in Experimental Therapeutics, Structural Biology Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center + Professor, Graduate Program in Biochemistry & Structural Biology, Weill School of Medical Sciences, Cornell University; member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Linus Pauling, PhD 1925, faculty – Nobel laureate in chemistry (1954) and peace (1962)
  • Cornelius J. Pings - BS 1951, PhD 1955; (former faculty in chemical engineering and chemical physics) Former provost and professor of chemical engineering at University of Southern California; former president of Association of American Universities (AAU); Member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Kenneth Pitzer, BS 1935 – winner of the National Medal of Science, third president of Rice University, sixth president of Stanford University, Director of Research for U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (1949–1951)
  • Dana Powers - BS 1970, PhD 1975; senior scientist, nuclear energy and fuel cycle programs, Sandia National Laboratories. Member of National Academy of Engineering, and known for contributions to commercial nuclear power plant safety worldwide and to radioactive source-term processes.
  • Danny D. Reible - PhD 1982, Donovan Maddox Distinguished Engineering Chair at Texas Tech University. Formerly Bettie Margaret Smith Chair of Environmental Health Engineering and Director, Center for Research in Water Resources at the University of Texas, Austin. Member of National Academy of Engineering, and known for contributions to development of widely used approaches for the management of contaminated sediments.
  • Michael Rosbash, BS 1965
  • Melanie Sanford, PhD 2001
  • George C. Schatz, PhD 1976
  • Richard Scheller, PhD 1980
  • Peter G. Schultz, BS 1979, PhD 1984
  • Howard A. Stone, PhD 1988
  • Scott Strobel, PhD 1992
  • Kenneth S. Suslick, BS 1974
  • Timothy M. Swager - PhD 1988, John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Known for pioneering research into electronic polymers, liquid crystals, carbon nanomaterials, chemical sensors (particularly for explosives), etc. Member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Holden Thorp, PhD 1989
  • Margaret Tolbert, PhD 1986; Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at University of Colorado, Boulder; member of National Academy of Sciences; prominent researcher in field of atmospheric chemistry
  • Donald Truhlar, PhD 1970
  • Michael Tsapatsis - PhD 1994, Amundson Chair Professor in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota. Member of National Academy of Engineering, and known for contributions to design and synthesis of zeolite-based materials for selective separation and reaction.
  • Nicholas Turro, PhD 1963
  • John S. Waugh, PhD 1953
  • George M. Whitesides, PhD 1964
  • Edgar Bright Wilson, PhD 1933
  • Saul Winstein, PhD 1938
  • K. Dane Wittrup, PhD 1988; Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT; member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Peter T. Wolczanski, PhD 1981
  • Mark S. Wrighton, PhD 1972
  • Oliver R. Wulf, PhD 1926
  • Ajit Yoganathan - PhD 1978, Regents’ Professor, Wallace H. Coulter Distinguished Faculty Chair in Biomedical Engineering, and director, Center for Innovative Cardiovascular Technologies, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Member of National Academy of Engineering, and known for improvements in the biomechanics of prosthetic heart valves and the development of heart repair devices.
  • Yannis C. Yortsos, PhD 1979
  • Don Merlin Lee Yost, PhD 1926; (faculty) former professor of chemistry at Caltech; pioneering physical chemist who worked on nuclear magnetic resonance, electron spin resonance, and the microwave spectroscopy of gases, among other things; Member of National Academy of Sciences
  • William Gould Young, PhD 1929
  • Robert Zwanzig, PhD 1952

Biology and Medicine[edit]

  • David Agard, PhD 1980
  • Bruce Ames, PhD 1953
  • Thomas F. Anderson, BS 1932, PhD 1936
  • Utpal Banerjee, PhD 1984
  • Howard Berg, BS 1964
  • Andrew Benson, PhD 1942
  • Steven Block, PhD 1983
  • James F. Bonner, PhD 1934; former faculty
  • Frank Brink, MS 1935; former professor and President of Rockefeller University; made major contributions to the understanding of neuronal activity through his targeted research on the cycle of excitation, response, and recovery in nerve fibers; member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Edward M. Callaway, PhD 1988; Audrey Geisel Chair in Biomedical Science and Professor in Systems Neurobiology Laboratories at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Pioneered novel molecular, genetic, and viral tools for revealing the detailed structure and function of neural circuits including a method that allows the tracing of a single neuron's connections to its neighbors, particularly in the visual cortex as it relates to perception and behavior. Fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • Horace W. Davenport, BS 1935, PhD 1939; William Beaumont Professor Emeritus of Physiology at the University of Michigan. Pioneered the study of gastroenterology and laid a foundation for more effective ulcer treatments by revealing how gastric acid works in digestion without consuming the stomach itself. Member of National Academy of Sciences.
  • Mark M. Davis, PhD 1981; Burt and Marion Avery Family Professor of Immunology at Stanford University; member of National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine; Director, Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Ronald W. Davis, PhD 1970
  • Michael D. Ehlers, BS 1991; Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer of the Neuroscience Research Unit, Pfizer
  • Sarah Elgin, PhD 1972
  • Gerald D. Fasman, PhD 1952; Rosenfield Professor of Biochemistry, Brandeis University; major contributor to fundamental studies of protein structure-function relationships; Member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Edwin Furshpan, PhD 1955; Robert Henry Pfeiffer Professor of Neurobiology (Emeritus) at Harvard Medical School. Member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Michael Gazzaniga, PhD 1964
  • James L. Gould, BS 1970
  • Leland H. Hartwell, BS 1961 – Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine (2001)
  • Stephen F. Heinemann, BS 1962, former Professor of Neuroscience at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and former President of the Society for Neuroscience. Well known for major contributions to study of molecular neurotransmission between synapses. Member of National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine.
  • Sterling B. Hendricks, PhD 1926
  • Ira Herskowitz, BS 1967
  • Leonard Herzenberg, PhD 1955
  • Steven A. Hillyard, BS 1964; Professor (Emeritus) of Neuroscience at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Widely recognized for investigations in the area of human cognitive processes and is a leading figure in the electrophysiological study of human attention using the event-related potential (ERP) technique. Fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • David Ho, BS 1974 – AIDS researcher
  • David Hogness, BS 1949, PhD 1953
  • Leroy Hood, BS 1960, PhD 1968; former faculty
  • Norman Horowitz, PhD 1939, former faculty – biochemist and advocate of unmanned space exploration
  • Clyde A. Hutchison III, PhD 1968
  • Harvey Itano, PhD 1950
  • Lily Y. Jan, PhD 1974; Jack and DeLoris Lange Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at University of California, San Francisco; member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Yuh Nung Jan, PhD 1974; Jack and DeLoris Lange Professor of Molecular Physiology at University of California, San Francisco; member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Tan Jiazhen, PhD 1937
  • A. Dale Kaiser, PhD 1955
  • Lawrence C. Katz, PhD 1984
  • Alfred G. Knudson, BS 1944, PhD 1956
  • Monty Krieger, PhD 1976; Whitehead Professor of Molecular Genetics at MIT; member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Quynh-Thu Le, BS 1989, Katharine Dexter McCormick and Stanley McCormick Memorial Professor and Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine. Medical doctor known for her research on the management of head and neck cancers. Elected member of Institute of Medicine of National Academies.
  • Edward B. Lewis, PhD 1942; former faculty – Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine (1995)
  • Leonard Lerman, PhD 1950
  • Dan L. Lindsley, PhD 1952; Research Professor (Emeritus) of Biology at University of California, San Diego (UCSD). World leading geneticist, particularly the study of chromosome structure and function in Drosophila. Member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Sharon R. Long, BS 1973
  • Robert Metzenberg, PhD 1955
  • William Newsome, PhD 1979
  • Baldomero Olivera, PhD 1966
  • Maynard Olson, BS 1965
  • Arthur Pardee, PhD 1947
  • John Quackenbush, BS 1983
  • Charles M. Rice, PhD 1981; Maurice R. and Corinne P. Greenberg Professor in Virology, Rockefeller University; Member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Arthur Riggs (geneticist), PhD 1966
  • Gordon H. Sato, PhD 1955
  • Michael Sheetz, PhD 1972
  • Donald C. Shreffler, PhD 1962, former Professor and Chairman of Department of Genetics at Washington University, St. Louis Medical School. Widely known for contributions to immunogenetics, paving the way for detailed studies of MHC genes. Member of Institute of Medicine (IOM) of National Academies and member of National Academy of Sciences.
  • Folke K. Skoog, BS 1932, PhD 1936
  • Howard M. Temin, PhD 1959
  • Christopher Voigt, PhD 2002
  • Sam Wang (neuroscientist), BS 1986

Mathematics and Computer Science[edit]

Engineering[edit]

Geology and Planetary Science[edit]

Business[edit]

Economics, Finance, and Social Science[edit]

  • Robert Barro, BS 1965
  • Gary W. Cox - BS 1978, PhD 1982; William Bennett Munro Professor of Political Science at Stanford University; Member of National Academy of Sciences and fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Willard G. Manning, Jr. - BS 1968; Professor Emeritus, Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, and Department of Health Studies, Biological Science Division/Medical School - University of Chicago. Elected member of Institute of Medicine of National Academies. Distinguished researcher in field of health insurance research and healthcare economics.
  • Robert C. Merton, MS 1967; Nobel laureate in economics (1997)
  • Stephen Ross, BS 1965
  • Mark Satterthwaite, BS 1967
  • Vernon L. Smith, BS 1949; Nobel laureate in economics (2002)
  • Barry Weingast, PhD 1978

Government and Politics[edit]

Other fields[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

Members of the faculty are listed under the name of the academic division to which they belong.

Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy[edit]

The Feynman section at the Caltech bookstore, a tribute to his enduring impact

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering[edit]

Biology and Biological Engineering[edit]

Engineering and Applied Science[edit]

Geological and Planetary Sciences[edit]

Humanities and Social Sciences[edit]

References[edit]