List of Massachusetts Institute of Technology alumni
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This list of Massachusetts Institute of Technology alumni includes students who studied as undergraduates or graduate students at MIT's School of Engineering; School of Science; MIT Sloan School of Management; School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; School of Architecture and Planning; or Whitaker College of Health Sciences. Since there are more than 120,000 alumni (living and deceased), this listing cannot be comprehensive. Instead, this article summarizes some of the more notable MIT alumni, with some indication of the reasons they are notable in the world at large. All MIT degrees are earned through academic achievement, in that MIT has never awarded honorary degrees in any form.
The MIT Alumni Association defines eligibility for membership as follows:
The following persons are Alumni/ae Members of the Association:
All persons who have received a degree from the Institute; and All persons who have been registered as students in a degree-granting program at the Institute for (i) at least one full term in any undergraduate class which has already graduated; or (ii) for at least two full terms as graduate students.
- 1 Politics and public service
- 2 Architecture and design
- 3 Business and entrepreneurship
- 4 Education
- 5 Humanities, arts, and social sciences
- 6 Science and technology
- 7 Sports
- 8 Miscellaneous
- 9 Nobel laureate alumni
- 10 Astronaut alumni
- 11 References
Politics and public service
|LtGen James A. Abrahamson (USAF Ret'd)||SB – Aeronautical Engineering||1955||Director of President Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative
U.S. Air Force general
|Ben Bernanke||PhD – Economics||1979||Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank|||
|Samuel Bodman||ScD – Chemical Engineering||1965||Secretary of Energy (2005–2009)|||
|Jun Choi||SB – Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering||1994||Mayor of Edison, New Jersey|
|Henry Cohen||SM – Urban Planning||1949||Director of Föhrenwald Displaced Persons camp in the American sector of post-World War II Germany|
|Leighton I. Davis||SM – Aeronautical Engineering||1941||U.S. Air Force general|
|John M. Deutch||SB – Chemical Engineering, PhD – Chemistry||1961, 1966||Director of Central Intelligence and United States Deputy Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton|
|Jimmy Doolittle||SM, ScD – Aeronautical Engineering||1924, 1925||U.S. Air Force general|
|Herbert W. Ehrgott||SB – Mechanical Engineering||1930||U.S. Air Force general|
|Luis A. Ferré||SB, SM – Mechanical Engineering||1924, 1925||3rd Governor of Puerto Rico|
|Julius A. Furer||SM||1905||U.S. Navy admiral|
|J. Michael Gilmore||SB – Physics||Director of the Operational Test and Evaluation Directorate|
|Frank Kowalski||SM – Mechanical Engineering||1937||United States Representative from Connecticut|
|Herbert B. Loper||BS – Civil Engineering||1922||U.S. Army general|
|N. Gregory Mankiw||PhD – Economics||1984||Chairman of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisors|
|Mark McClellan||PhD – Economics||1993||Head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration|
|Katharine Dexter McCormick||SB – Biology||1904||Suffragette, funded research for the Pill|
|David Nolan||SB – Political Science||1965||Founder of United States Libertarian Party|
|John Olver||PhD – Chemistry||1961||US House of Representatives for Massachusetts|
|John Birdsell Oren||MD – Marine Engineering||U.S. Coast Guard admiral|
|Joseph J. Romm||SB – Physics, PhD – Physics||1982, 1987||Assistant Secretary of the U. S. Department of Energy|
|Francis Sargent||Dropped out; studied architecture||1939||64th Governor of Massachusetts|
|George Schultz||PhD – Economics||1949||Secretary of State|
|Phillips Waller Smith||SM – Ordnance Engineering||1935||U.S. Air Force general|
|Pete Stark||SB – General Engineering||1956||US House of Representatives for California|
|John E. Sununu||SB, SM – Mechanical Engineering||1987, 1987||United States Senator from New Hampshire|
|John H. Sununu||SB, SM, PhD – Mechanical Engineering||1961, 1963, 1966||White House Chief of Staff under President George H.W. Bush, Governor of New Hampshire, host of Crossfire|
|Tom Wolf||PhD – Political Science||1981||47th Governor of Pennsylvania|||
|Tadatoshi Akiba||PhD – Mathematics||1970||Mayor of Hiroshima; recipient of Ramon Magsaysay Award|
|Kofi Annan||SM – Management||1972||Former Secretary-General of the United Nations|
|Pedro Aspe Armella||PhD – Economics||1978||Mexican Secretary of Finance|
|Raghuram Rajan||PhD – Economics||1991||23rd Governor of Reserve Bank of India|
|Youssef Boutros Ghali||PhD – Economics||1981||Former Egyptian Minister of Finance|
|Virgilio Barco||SB – Civil Engineering||1943||Colombian president|
|Ahmed Chalabi||SB – Mathematics||1965||Controversial Iraqi politician; deputy prime minister of Iraq|
|Harold Demuren||PhD – Aeronautical Engineering||1975||Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority; first African elected as President of ICAO General Assembly|
|Mario Draghi||PhD – Economics||1977||President of the European Central Bank|
|José Figueres Ferrer||1926||President of Costa Rica|
|Pervez Hoodbhoy||MS – Solid-State Physics,
PhD – Nuclear Physics
|1973, 1978||Faculty member at the Quaid-e-Azam University since 1973; renowned nuclear research scientist in Pakistan|
|C.D. Howe||1907||Canadian politician and cabinet minister|
|Mao Chi-kuo||PhD||1982||Minister of Transport & Communications of the Republic of China (Taiwan) (2008–)|||
|David Miliband||SM Political Science||1990||British politician, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs|
|Mohammad Ali Najafi||SM – Mathematics||1979||Former Vice President of Iran|||
|Benjamin Netanyahu||SB – Architecture, SM – Management||1975, 1976||Prime Minister of Israel|
|Uzi Landau||PhD – Engineering||1976||National Infrastructure Minister of Israel|
|Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala||MCP – City Planning,
PhD – Urban Studies & Planning
|1978, 1981||Finance Minister of Nigeria (2003–2006) (2011–present), Foreign Minister of Nigeria, (2006)|
|Rachid Mohamed Rachid||PhD – Management||1993||Former Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry|
|Milen Velchev||SM – Management||1995||Bulgarian financial minister (2001–2005)|
|David Walter||SM – Political Science||circa 1970||British BBC and ITN correspondent and later political advisor|
|Robert Winters||Canadian politician|
|Tony Tan Keng Yam||SM – Operations Research||1964||President of the Republic of Singapore; held various cabinet positions|
|Lucas Papademos||SB – Physics,
SM – Electrical Engineering,
PhD – Economics
|1970, 1972, 1978||Vice President of the European Central Bank (2002-2010) and Prime Minister of Greece (2011–2012)|
|Ali Akbar Salehi||PhD – Nuclear Engineering||1977||Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran (2012–present)|
Architecture and design
- Christopher Charles Benninger (MCP 1971) – award winning architect and urban planner in India, Sri Lanka, prepared capital plan of Bhutan.
- Walter Danforth Bliss – architect from California, with many buildings on the National Register of Historic Places
- Gordon Bunshaft (BArch 1933, MArch 1935) – architect of Lever House (New York City), Beinecke Library (Yale), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington DC); Pritzker Prize (1988)
- Ogden Codman, Jr. (1884) – Beaux-Arts domestic architect, interior designer
- John Desmond (MArch) – designed numerous public buildings in Baton Rouge, including the River Center
- Daniel Chester French (1871, one year) – sculptor of Abraham Lincoln (Lincoln Memorial), John Harvard (Harvard Yard), Minute Man (Concord, Massachusetts)
- Cass Gilbert (1880) – architect of the US Supreme Court Building, Woolworth Building (New York City)
- Charles Sumner Greene (1891) – partner in Greene and Greene, domestic architects of Arts & Crafts style, Gamble House (Pasadena)
- Henry Mather Greene (1891) – partner in Greene and Greene, domestic architects of Arts & Crafts style, Gamble House (Pasadena)
- Marion Mahony Griffin (1894) – co-designer of the master plan for Canberra, Australia
- Nathanael Herreshoff (SB 1870) – naval architect-engineer, yacht designer
- Raymond Hood (1903) – architect of Rockefeller Center (New York City), Tribune Tower (Chicago)
- Lois Lilley Howe (SB 1890) – second woman in the US to found an architecture firm
- Jarvis Hunt – Chicago architect
- Myron Hunt (SB 1893) – architect of Huntington Art Gallery, Rose Bowl (Pasadena)
- Piotr Kowalski (SB 1952) – artist, sculptor, architect, professor
- Austin W. Lord (1888) – architect of the administration buildings, Isthmian Canal Commission, Panama; director of the School of Architecture at Columbia University
- Kevin A. Lynch (SB 1947) – urban planner, author of the seminal book The Image of the City
- John O. Merrill (SB 1921) – structural engineer, architect, leader of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill
- Eleanor Manning O'Connor (SB 1906) – architect, educator, public housing advocate
- I. M. Pei (BArch 1940) – architect, Louvre Pyramid (Paris), Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Cleveland), Bank of China (Hong Kong), MIT Buildings 18, 54, 66, E15; AIA Gold Medal (1979), Pritzker Prize (1983)
- Sumner Spaulding (1892-1952) - architect, graduated in 1916, designed many buildings in California
- Louis Sullivan (one year) – influential founder of the Chicago School; "father of skyscrapers"; "father of modernism"; AIA Gold Medal (1944)
- James Knox Taylor (1880) – Supervisory Architect of Denver Mint, Philadelphia Mint, many post offices, court houses, other federal buildings
- Robert Taylor (1892) – MIT's first black graduate, architect of the Tuskegee Institute
- Harry Mohr Weese (BArch 1938) – architect, historic preservation advocate, designed first group of stations for Washington Metro system
Business and entrepreneurship
Computers and Internet
- Joseph Alsop (SB 1967) – co-founder of Progress Software
- Efi Arazi – Israeli industrialist and businessman, founder of Scitex Corporation
- Hugo Barra – VP of International for Xiaomi, former VP and product spokesman for Google Android
- Wesley Chan – investment partner at Google Ventures
- Larry DeMar (SB 1979) – programmer for Williams, co-creator of Defender and Robotron: 2084, and founder of Leading Edge Design
- John J. Donovan (Postdoc 1969) – founder of Cambridge Technology Partners, and Open Environment Corporation.
- Arash Ferdowsi (dropped out); co-founder of CTO at Dropbox
- Carly Fiorina (SM 1989) – former CEO of Hewlett-Packard
- Andy Gavin – co-founder of Naughty Dog and creator of the first video game with a full 3D environment, Crash Bandicoot
- Shuman Ghosemajumder – author of Open Music Model, click fraud czar at Google
- Cecil H. Green (SB 1924, SM 1924) – co-founder of Texas Instruments
- William R. Hewlett (SM 1936) – co-founder of Hewlett-Packard
- Danny Hillis (SB 1978, SM 1981, PhD 1988) – co-founder of Thinking Machines and former Disney Fellow
- Mark Horowitz (SB 1978, SM 1978) – founder of Rambus
- Drew Houston – co-founder and CEO of Dropbox
- Irwin M. Jacobs (SM 1957, ScD 1959) – co-founder of Qualcomm with Andrew Viterbi, current chairman and former CEO; former MIT professor (1959–1966)
- Brewster Kahle (SB 1982) – internet archivist, founder of Alexa
- Mitch Kapor – software entrepreneur, founder of Lotus Corporation
- Earl Killian – software architect with 26 patents, MIPS
- Steve Kirsch (SB 1980, SM 1980) – inventor of the optical mouse, co-founder of Frame Technology Corporation and founder of Infoseek Corporation
- Alan Kotok (SB 1962, SM 1962) – chief architect PDP-10, associate chairman World Wide Web Consortium
- Pavel Krapivin (SB 2002) – co-founder of Doostang
- Daniel Lewin (SM 1998) – founder of Akamai
- Jack Little (SB 1978) – co-founder of MathWorks, which created and sells MATLAB
- Sonita Lontoh (M.Eng 2004) – green technology executive
- Patrick McGovern (SB 1960) – founder of IDG/Computerworld
- Steve Meretzky (SB 1979) – computer game designer
- Robert Metcalfe (SB 1969) – entrepreneur, founder of 3Com; inventor of Ethernet
- Pranav Mistry (PhD) – creator of the SixthSense device
- Nicholas Negroponte (B.Arch, M.Arch 1966) – founder, MIT Media Lab, One Laptop per Child Association
- Robert Noyce (PhD 1953) – integrated circuit pioneer, co-founder of Intel, Draper Prize (1969)
- Ken Olsen (SB 1950, SM 1952) – founder of Digital Equipment Corporation
- William Poduska (SB 1960, SM 1960, ScD 1962) – computer engineer and entrepreneur, founder of Prime Computer and Apollo Computer
- William A. Porter (MBA 1967) – founder of E*TRADE
- Allen Razdow (SB 1976) – founder of Mathsoft Inc.; inventor of Mathcad
- Alex Rigopulos (SB 1994, SM 1994) – founder of Harmonix Music Systems, developer of Guitar Hero and Rock Band
- Larry Roberts (SB 1961, SM 1961, PhD 1963) – member of design group for original ARPANET, co-founder of Caspian Networks and Packetcom, former CEO of DHL
- Sheldon Roberts (SM 1949, ScD 1952) – one of the "traitorous eight" who founded Fairchild Semiconductor; co-founder of Amelco which later became Teledyne
- Douglas T. Ross (SM 1954) – founder of SofTech, Inc.
- Megan Smith – Google executive; former CEO of PlanetOut
- Robert Spinrad (PhD) – computer pioneer; director of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center
- Ray Stata (SB 1958, SM 1958) – founder of Analog Devices
- Eric Swanson – co-founder of Sycamore Networks
- Theodore Tso – Google software engineer, maintainer of the ext4 filesystem
- Philippe Villers (SM 1960) – founder of Computervision, which is now part of Parametric Technology Corporation
- Andrew Viterbi (SB 1957, SM 1957) – electrical engineer; inventor of the Viterbi algorithm; co-founder of Qualcomm; former UCLA and UCSD professor
- Christopher Weaver (SM 1985) – founder of Bethesda Softworks and co-founder of Zenimax Media, Inc.
- Karel Bossart (SM 1927) – designer of the SM-65 Atlas missile
- William David Coolidge (SB 1896) – physicist who made major contributions to X-ray machines, director of the General Electric Research Laboratory
- Charles Stark Draper (SB 1926, SM 1928, SD 1938) – engineer and inventor; "the father of inertial navigation"; inducted to the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1981
- John M. Loh (SM Aeronautical Engineering - 1973) - retired four-star general in the United States Air Force; last served as Commander, Air Combat Command; 24th Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force
- Ernest Boyd MacNaughton (SB 1902) - bank president; president of The Oregonian; president of Reed College
- Jim Marggraff (SB Electrical Engineering, SM Computer Science) – inventor of the LeapPad Learning System, Fly pentop computer, and Livescribe smartpen
- Henry M. Paynter (SB civil engineering 1944, SM mathematics and science 1949, ScD hydroelectric engineering 1951, all MIT) – inventor of bond graphs
- Nicholas A. Peppas – professor of engineering, University of Texas at Austin, pioneer in drug delivery, biomaterials, hydrogels and nanobiotechnology
- RJ Scaringe (Sloan Automotive Laboratory) – CEO of Rivian Automotive, Rockledge, Florida
- Tom Scholz – founder of the rock group Boston and Scholz Research & Development, Inc., manufacturers of Rockman sound equipment
- Dorian Shainin (SB 1936) – quality paradigm pioneer and guru; considered one of the world's foremost experts in the fields of industrial problem solving, product reliability and quality engineering; known for the creation and development of the "Red X" concept
- Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui – CEO and founder of Techcorp Group of Companies in Pakistan, UAE, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and China
- Suhas Pandurang Sukhatme - former Chairman of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board of India
Manufacturing and defense
- Vaughn Beals – CEO of Harley-Davidson
- Amar Bose – founder and chairman of Bose Corporation
- Morris Chang – chairman of the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the largest semiconductor foundry in the world
- Nick DeWolf – co-founder of Teradyne
- Donald Douglas – founder of Douglas Aircraft Company
- John Dorrance – founder of Campbell Soup Company
- Pierre S. du Pont – Du Pont Company and General Motors executive
- T. Coleman du Pont – Du Pont Company president; U.S. Senator
- Armand V. Feigenbaum – quality expert
- William Clay Ford, Jr. – chairman of Ford Motor Company
- Bernardo Garza Sada – founder and president of the ALFA conglomerate of Mexico
- Kenneth Germeshausen – co-founder, and the first 'G', of the defense contractor EG&G
- Bernard Marshall Gordon (SB 1949, SM 1949) – electrical engineer, inventor, philanthropist, co-founded Analogic Corporation, National Medal of Technology (1986)
- George Hatsopoulos – founder of Thermo Electron Corporation
- Charles Koch – co-owner, Chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, the second largest private company in the US
- David H. Koch – co-owner of Koch Industries; Vice-Presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party
- Jay Last – one of the "traitorous eight" who founded Fairchild Semiconductor; co-founder of Amelco, which became Teledyne
- James McDonnell – co-founder of McDonnell Douglas
- Alan Mulally – president and CEO of Ford Motor Company
- William Emery Nickerson – co-founder of Gillette, now part of Procter & Gamble
- Willard Rockwell – founder of Rockwell International
- Henry Singleton – founder of Teledyne
- Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. – automobile entrepreneur, former CEO of General Motors
- Wong Tsu – first engineer of the Boeing Company
- Uncas Whitaker – founder of AMP Incorporated (now a division of Tyco International)
Finance and consulting
- Roger Ward Babson – entrepreneur, founder of Babson Institute (now Babson College), 1940 Presidential nominee on the Prohibition Party ticket
- Michael Brennan – pioneering finance academic, former president of the American Finance Association
- Richard Carrión – CEO of Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, and of Popular, Inc.
- Lisa Endlich – business author, former vice-president at Goldman Sachs
- Mark Gorenberg – partner of the venture capital firm Hummer Winblad Venture Partners
- Robert C. Hancké – Belgian economist
- Michael Hammer – pioneer of Business Process Reengineering, founder of Hammer and Co.
- Mansoor Ijaz – founder and chairman of Crescent Investment Management Ltd; developer of the CARAT trading system
- Edward H. Kim – former vice president at NASDAQ
- Shantanurao Laxmanrao Kirloskar – founder of Kirloskar Group
- Arthur Dehon Little – entrepreneur, founder of the eponymous management consulting firm Arthur D. Little in 1886
- Gerald W Lucas - real estate investor, entrepreneur, author and musician
- Mark Mobius – emerging markets investor and fund manager
- Kenichi Ohmae – former director of the Japan arm of McKinsey & Company, management consultants
- Tom Perkins – founder of venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers
- John S. Reed – chairman of the New York Stock Exchange
- Ed Seykota – commodity trader
- Jim Simons – mathematician; philanthropist; founder of Renaissance Technologies hedge fund
- John Thain – former CEO of Merrill Lynch, former Chief Executive Officer of the New York Stock Exchange
- William Toy – director at CDC, New York and Goldman Sachs; developer of the Black–Derman–Toy interest rate model
- Nigel Wilson – CEO of Legal & General
Health care and biotechnology
- Paul F. Levy (SB, MCP 1974) – former president of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center hospitals, former Executive Director of Boston's MWRA Harbor Cleanup project
- Robert A. Swanson – co-founder of Genentech
- Ron Williams – CEO of Aetna
- David A. Aaker – consultant and author of Marketing
- Colin Angle – co-founder of iRobot
- Aditya Birla – industrialist, deceased son of basant Kumar Birla and father of Kumar Mangalam who heads Aditya Birla Group
- Joseph Chung – co-founder of Art Technology Group with fellow MIT grad Jeet Singh
- Jack Crichton – oil and natural gas industrialist from Texas; Republican candidate for governor in 1964
- Samuel Face – inventor and co-developer of advances in concrete and piezoelectric technologies
- Victor Kwok-king Fung – prominent Hong Kong billionaire businessman and political figure
- Eugenio Garza Sada – Mexican businessman, philanthropist and founder of the Tec de Monterrey
- Arthur Gelb – co-founder, former CEO and former chair of The Analytic Sciences Corporation
- Helen Greiner – co-founder of iRobot
- David McGrath – founder of TAD Resources, now part of Adecco
- Dana G. Mead – former CEO and chair of Tenneco
- Nikolaos Mavridis – founder of the Interactive Robots and Media Lab
- Hamid R. Moghadam – co-founder, chairman and CEO of Prologis
- Stewart Nelson – founder of System Concepts
- Generoso Pope – founder and owner of The National Enquirer
- Alexander N. Rossolimo – founding chairman of Center for Security and Social Progress
- Michael J. Saylor – founder of MicroStrategy
- Jeet Singh – co-founded Art Technology Group with fellow MIT grad Joseph Chung
- Leelila Strogov – general assignment reporter for Fox 11 News
- Richard Tomlinson – British Intelligence Officer
- Helmut Weymar – founder of Commodities Corporation
- Nitin Bantwal Rao – entrepreneur, TED Fellow, Starting bloc fellow, co-founder of Dplay Inc. and Letmeknow.in
- Joseph Aoun (PhD 1982) – president of Northeastern University, linguist, author
- Theodosios Alexander (publishes as Theodosios Korakianitis) (MIT graduate degrees: SM in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering 1982; SM in Ocean Systems Management; SM in Mechanical Engineering; ScD in Mechanical Engineering 1987) - Dean of Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology of Saint Louis University; Professor and Chair of Energy Engineering, Queen Mary, University of London; former James Watt Professor at the University of Glasgow, Scotland; former Mechanical Engineering Professor at Washington University in St. Louis
- Dennis Assanis (SM in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering 1983, SM in Mechanical Engineering 1983, SM in Management 1986, PhD in Power and Propulsion 1986) – former Jon R. and Beverly S. Holt Professor and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan; Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs at Stony Brook University
- Larry Bacow (SB 1972) – former president of Tufts University, lawyer, economist, author
- Merrill J. Bateman (PhD 1965) – former president of Brigham Young University; Mormon Presiding Bishop
- Lawrence Berk (SB 1932, Architectural Engineering) – founder and former president of Berklee College of Music (1945–1978)
- William R. Brody (SB 1965, SM 1966) – former president of Johns Hopkins University, current president of Salk Institute
- Jared Cohon (SM 1972, PhD 1973) – former president of Carnegie Mellon University
- William Cooper (PhD 1976) – president of University of Richmond
- Allan Cullimore – former president of New Jersey Institute of Technology (1920–1947)
- Laura D'Andrea Tyson (PhD 1974) – chairman of the CEA under Clinton; former dean of the Haas School of Business; former dean of the London Business School
- Edwin Eigel (SB 1954) – former president of University of Bridgeport
- Davis Ellis (PhD 1962) – former president and chairman of the Boston Museum of Science
- Norman Fainstein (SB 1966, PhD 1971) – former president of Connecticut College
- Woodie Flowers (SM 1968, ME 1971, PhD 1973) – MIT professor, created Introduction to Design (2.70), founder of FIRST Robotics Competition, starting host of Scientific American Frontiers (1990–93)
- Philip Friedman (PhD 1972) – president of Golden Gate University
- David Garrison – founder and chair, University of Houston–Clear Lake Physics Department
- Thomas P. Gerrity – former dean of Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
- Hollis Godfrey (1889) – former president of Drexel University
- Eric Grimson (BSc 1975) – computer scientist and Chancellor of MIT
- William Hogan (SB 1959, ScD 1965) – chancellor of University of Massachusetts Lowell
- Amos Horev (SB, SM) – former president of Technion
- Shirley Jackson (SB 1968, PhD 1973) – president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, physicist
- Martin C. Jischke (SM, PhD 1968) – former president of Purdue University
- Salman Khan – founder and executive director of Khan Academy
- Martin C. Libicki (BS Mathematics) - professor at the Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica, California
- Chung Liu (SM, EE 1960, PhD 1962) – former president of National Tsing Hua University
- John Maeda (SB, SM 1989) – former president of Rhode Island School of Design (2008-2013), graphic designer, computer scientist, author, venture capitalist
- Modesto Maidique (SB 1962, SM 1964, EE 1966, PhD 1970) – former president of Florida International University
- Julianne Malveaux (PhD 1980) – president of Bennett College
- James Mannoia (SB 1971) – former president of Greenville College
- David McClain (PhD 1974) – president of University of Hawaii
- Richard K. Miller (SM 1972) – president of Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
- Frederic Mishkin (SB 1973, PhD 1976) – economist; professor at Columbia Business School; Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (2006–2008); appeared in the documentary Inside Job
- Leo E. Morton (SM 1987) – chancellor of University of Missouri-Kansas City
- Richard Santagati (SM 1979) – former president of Merrimack College
- George A. Sparks (SM 1976) – president of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
- Nam-Pyo Suh (SB 1959, SM 1961) – president of KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)
- Lawrence H. Summers (SB 1975) – former president of Harvard University, economist, former presidential advisor
- Subra Suresh (ScD 1981) – president of Carnegie Mellon University, former Director of the National Science Foundation, former Dean of the School of Engineering at MIT
- Lee T. Todd, Jr. (SM 1970, EE 1971, PhD 1974) – president of University of Kentucky
- Hal Varian (SB 1969) – chief economist at Google, founding dean of the School of Information at UC Berkeley
- Patrick Henry Winston (SB 1965, SM 1967, PhD 1970) – author of standard textbooks on artificial intelligence and programming languages, MIT professor, co-founded Ascent Technology
- Elisabeth Zinser (SM 1982) – president of Southern Oregon University
- Steve Altes – humorist, National Medal of Technology recipient
- Stephen R. Barley (PhD 1984) – professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University
- Harry Binswanger – philosopher, associate of Ayn Rand
- Dylan Bruno – actor
- John W. Campbell (physics, dropped out) – writer, longtime editor of Astounding Science Fiction
- Idit Harel Capelton – educational psychologist and epistemologist
- James Eckhouse (1976, dropped out) – actor, Beverly Hills, 90210
- Nate Greenslit (PhD) – musician, writer and academic
- Herbert Kalmus (1903) – inventor of Technicolor, star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
- Kealoha, born Steven Wong (1999) – performance poet; Hawaii's first Poet Laureate and National Poetry Slam Legend; storyteller; Hawaii's SlamMaster
- Charlie Korsmo (2000) – actor, including Can't Hardly Wait and Dick Tracy
- Paul Krugman (PhD) – New York Times columnist, John Bates Clark Medal and Nobel Prize winner (economics)
- Ned Lagin – played keyboards and synthesizer at a number of the Grateful Dead shows between 1970 and 1975 and on a few mid-1970s albums.
- Hugh Lofting – author of Dr. Dolittle series of books; trained at MIT as civil engineer, 1904–05
- Dan Massey – sexual freedom scholar, religious philosopher, human rights activist, chief engineer at BBN Technologies, and senior scientist at Science Applications International Corporation
- Rajesh Mehta – musician, composer and founder of ORKA-M
- Charles Murray – researcher, co-author of The Bell Curve
- Samuel L. Myers Jr. (PhD 1976) – Roy Wilkins Professor of Human Relations and Social Justice, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota and Graduate Faculty, PhD Program in Applied Economics, University of Minnesota
- Tom Scott (SB 1966) – winner of Academy Awards for sound mixing for The Right Stuff and Amadeus
- John Underkoffler (SB 1988) – science and technology advisor to Steven Spielberg
- Erland Van Lidth De Jeude – Hollywood actor, opera singer
- David Walter – British BBC and ITN correspondent and later, political advisor (winner of Kennedy Memorial Scholarship to MIT)
- Samuel Washington Weis – painter
- James Woods (1969, dropped out) – Hollywood actor, Oscar nominee, Emmy winner
Science and technology
- Colin Adams – mathematician, knot theory expert, teacher, writer, math humorist
- Rakesh Agrawal – National Medal of Technology and Innovation Laureate and Professor of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University
- Mark Ain – founder of Kronos Incorporated
- Buzz Aldrin – combat pilot, astronaut, second man to walk on the Moon
- Pauline Morrow Austin – meteorologist, Director of Weather Radar at MIT, research staff in Radiation Laboratory
- Adrian Bejan – professor of mechanical engineering, proponent of the constructal theory of design and evolution in nature
- Gordon Bell – computer engineer and manager, designer of DEC PDP, manager of the VAX project
- Stephen Benton – invented rainbow hologram, pioneered digital holography
- Marc Blank – computer game designer and programmer, developed Zork adventure game
- Barry Blesser – audio engineer, pioneer of digital audio, former president of the AES
- Manuel Blum – computer scientist, received Turing Award (1995) for studies in computational complexity theory
- Dan Bricklin – co-inventor of Visicalc, the first WYSIWYG PC spreadsheet program
- Edward M. Burgess – chemist, inventor of the Burgess reagent
- David D. Clark – led the development of TCP/IP (the protocol that underlies the Internet)
- Wesley A. Clark – computing pioneer, creator of the LINC (the first minicomputer)
- Fernando Corbato – retired MIT professor, Turing Award (1990), co-founder of the Multics project
- Peter J. Denning (SM 1965, PhD 1968) – computer scientist, professor, co-founder of the Multics project, pioneered virtual memory
- Jack Dennis – retired MIT professor, co-founder of the Multics project
- Peter Diamandis – founder and chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation, co-founder and chairman of Singularity University, and co-author of New York Times bestseller Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think
- Whitfield Diffie – pioneer of public-key cryptography and the Diffie-Hellman protocol
- K. Eric Drexler – pioneer nanotechnologist, author, co-founded Foresight Institute
- Harold Eugene "Doc" Edgerton (SM 1927, ScD 1931) – former MIT Institute professor; co-founder, and the "E", of EG&G; stroboscope photography pioneer; Oscar winner 1940
- Theodore Miller Edison (1898–1992) – only child of Thomas Alva Edison who graduated from college; inventor with over 80 patents
- Farouk El-Baz – Supervisor of Lunar Science Planning, Apollo Program, NASA
- Charles H. Ferguson (PhD 1989) – technology policy expert, software entrepreneur, film director/producer, Oscar Award (2010)
- Carl Feynman – computer scientist, son of the physicist Richard Feynman
- Mike Fincke (SB Aero/Astro 1989, SB EAPS 1989) - NASA astronaut, American with most time in space
- Bob Frankston (SB 1970, SM EE 1974) – co-inventor of Visicalc (first WYSIWYG PC spreadsheet program); critic of telecommunications public policy
- Limor Fried – Open Source Hardware pioneer, founder of Adafruit Industries
- Simson Garfinkel – journalist, author, computer security researcher, entrepreneur, computer science professor
- Ivan Getting – co-inventor of the Global Positioning System (GPS), Draper Prize (2003)
- Jim Gettys – an original developer of X Window, former director of GNOME
- Bill Gosper (SB 1965) – mathematician, a founder of the original hacker community, pioneer of symbolic computing, originator of hashlife
- Gerald Guralnik (SB 1958) – Professor of Physics, Brown University; co-discoverer of Higgs mechanism and Higgs boson in 1964 with C.R. Hagen; awarded J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics in 2010
- C. R. Hagen (SB, SM 1958, PhD. 1963) – Professor of Physics, University of Rochester; co-discoverer of Higgs mechanism and Higgs boson in 1964 with Gerald Guralnik; awarded J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics in (2010)
- George Ellery Hale – astronomer, founded several astronomical observatories, developed Throop College of Technology into Caltech
- David A. Huffman – computer scientist known for Huffman coding used in lossless data compression
- Jerome C. Hunsaker (SM 1912, ScD 1923) – pioneering aeronautical engineer, airship designer, former head of MIT Mechanical Engineering Department
- William Jeffrey – defense technology expert, former director of National Institute of Standards and Technology
- Thomas Kailath – entrepreneur, retired Stanford professor, IEEE Medal of Honor (2007)
- Rudolf E. Kalman – electrical engineer, theoretical mathematician, co-inventor of Kalman Filter algorithm, Draper Prize (2008)
- Jordin Kare – high energy laser physicist, developer of "mosquito laser zapper"
- Leonard Kleinrock – computing and Internet pioneer, one of the key group of designers of the original ARPANET
- Henry Kloss (1953, dropped out) – audio engineer; entrepreneur; founder of Acoustic Research, KLH, Advent, Kloss Video, Cambridge SoundWorks, Tivoli Audio
- Loren Kohnfelder – introduced the term public key certificate for public key cryptography in secure network communication
- Raymond Kurzweil (SB 1970) – inventor, entrepreneur in music synthesizers, OCR and speech-to-text processing
- Leslie Lamport – computing pioneer in temporal logic, developer of LaTeX, Turing Award (2013)
- Robert S. Langer – biochemical engineer, biomedical researcher, MIT professor, inventor, entrepreneur, Draper Prize (2002)
- Norman Levinson (SB SM 1934, ScD 1935) – theoretical mathematician, former Institute Professor at MIT, developed Levinson recursion
- Edward Norton Lorenz – mathematician, meteorologist, MIT professor emeritus, invented chaos theory, discovered Lorenz attractor
- Joseph Lykken (PhD 1982) – theoretical physicist, proposed "weak scale superstring" theory
- Hiram Percy Maxim – inventor of the "Maxim Silencer" and founder of the American Radio Relay League
- Douglas McIlroy (PhD 1959) – mathematician, software engineer, professor, developed component-based software engineering, an original developer of Unix, member of National Academy of Engineering
- Fulvio Melia (PhD 1985) – theoretical astrophysicist, professor, author, editor, general educator
- Arnold Mindell (MSc 1961) – physicist, author, psychologist – developer of Process Oriented Psychology
- Douglas J. Mink (SB 1973, SM 1974) – astronomer, software developer, co-discovered rings around Uranus, bicycling activist
- Bill Parker – artist, engineer, inventor of the modern plasma lamp
- Bradford Parkinson – co-inventor of the Global Positioning System (GPS), Draper Prize (2003)
- Robert A. "Bob" Pease (SB 1961) – analog integrated circuit design expert, technical author
- Irene Pepperberg (SB 1969) – Brandeis University professor, researcher in animal cognition, trained Alex (parrot)
- Alan Perlis (SM 1949, PhD 1950) – computer scientist, professor, pioneer of programming languages, winner of the first Turing Award (1966)
- Radia Perlman (SB 1973, SM 1976, PhD 1988) – computer scientist, network engineer, invented numerous data network technologies, "Mother of the Internet"
- Adam Riess (SB 1992) – physicist, Nobel Prize winner in Physics awarded in 2011 for demonstrating the acceleration of the universe's rate of expansion
- Jerome Saltzer – retired MIT professor, timesharing computing pioneer, co-founder of the Multics project, Director of Project Athena
- Frederick P. Salvucci (SB 1961, SM 1962) – civil engineer, transportation planner, MIT professor, former Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation, public transit advocate, Big Dig advocate
- George W. Santos – pioneer in bone marrow transplantation
- Bob Scheifler – computer scientist, leader of the X Window System project, architect of Jini
- Julie Segre – epithelial biologist, Chief of the Human Genome Research Institute
- Oliver Selfridge – computer scientist, father of machine perception
- Amy B. Smith (SB 1984, SM 1995) – mechanical engineer, inventor, former Peace Corps volunteer, MIT senior lecturer and researcher in appropriate technology, MacArthur Fellow (2004)
- Oliver R. Smoot – namesake of the smoot unit of measurement, former chair of ANSI; former president of ISO
- Richard M. Stallman (grad student, dropped out) – computer programmer; Free Software activist; creator of EMACS editor, GNU; MacArthur Fellow (1990)
- Guy L. Steele, Jr. (SM 1977, PhD 1980) – computer scientist, programming language expert, an original editor of the Jargon File (Hacker's Dictionary)
- Robert F. Stengel (SB 1960) – professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, leading expert on flight dynamics and optimal control, AIAA Mechanics and Control of Flight Award (2000)
- Ivan Sutherland (PhD 1963) – computer graphics pioneer, former professor, ARPAnet and Internet pioneer, co-founded Evans & Sutherland, Turing Award (1988)
- Andrew S. Tanenbaum (SB 1965) – computer scientist, professor, textbook author (operating systems), creator of Minix (the precursor to Linux)
- Frederick Terman – electrical engineer; former provost of Stanford University; "father of Silicon Valley"
- Ray Tomlinson – innovator of email systems, pioneered the use of the "@" symbol for email
- Leonard H. Tower Jr. – early Free Software activist, software hacker
- Manuel Sandoval Vallarta – MIT professor, founder of the Physics Institute at UNAM; mentor of Nobel laureate Richard Feynman
- Robert Williams Wood – optical physicist, developed "black light", ultraviolet and infrared photography
- Edward Yourdon – computer pioneer, author, lecturer, popularized the term Y2K Bug
- Jimmy Bartolotta (2009) – professional basketball player
- Thomas Pelham Curtis 1894 – won Gold Medal in 110m hurdles at the inaugural Olympic Games
- Skip Dise (2003) – member of 2010 US National Rowing Team
- Johan Harmenberg – épée fencer, gold medal winner in the 1980 Olympics, world champion
- Larry Kahn – tiddlywinks champion
- Rachel Peterson (2009) – San Francisco 49ers cheerleader
- Jeff Sagarin (1970) – sports statistician
- Zeke Sanborn – Olympic gold medalist
- Henry Steinbrenner (1927) – hurdler in the 1928 Summer Olympics, father of George Steinbrenner
- Jason Szuminski (2000) – major league pitcher
- Steve Tucker (1991) – two-time member of the US Olympic rowing team
- Csaba Csere – automotive journalist, editor of Car and Driver
- Jeff Hwang – US Air Force fighter pilot and 1999 winner of Mackay Trophy
- Ray Magliozzi – radio personality, Car Talk
- Tom Magliozzi – radio personality, Car Talk
- Chandu S. Patel - finance guru and co-founder of Tickets, LLC.
- Randal Pinkett – chairman and CEO of BCT Partners; winner of television show The Apprentice
- Princess Ubol Ratana of Thailand
- Aafia Siddiqui – neuroscientist; alleged Al-Qaeda operative; convicted of assaulting with a deadly weapon and attempting to kill US soldiers and FBI agents
- Ellen Spertus – computer scientist and 2001's "Sexiest Geek Alive"
- Robert Varkonyi (1983) – winner of the 2002 World Series of Poker Main Event
Nobel laureate alumni
As of April 2011[update], the MIT Office of the Provost says that 76 Nobel awardees had or currently have a formal connection to MIT. Of this group, 29 have earned MIT degrees (MIT has never awarded honorary degrees in any form).
|Name||Degree||Degree Year||Award Year||Award||Citation||Notes|
|George Akerlof||PhD||1966||2001||Economics||"for their analyses of markets with asymmetric information"|||
|Sid Altman||SB||1960||1989||Chemistry||"for their discovery of catalytic properties of RNA"|||
|Kofi Annan||SM||1972||2001||Peace||"for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world"|||
|Robert Aumann||SM||1952||2005||Economics||"for having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis"|||
|Elias James Corey||SB, PhD||1948, 1951||1990||Chemistry||"for his development of the theory and methodology of organic synthesis"|||
|Eric Cornell||PhD||1990||2001||Physics||"for the achievement of Bose-Einstein condensation in dilute gases of alkali atoms, and for early fundamental studies of the properties of the condensates"|||
|Peter Diamond||PhD||1963||2010||Economics||"for [the] analysis of markets with search frictions"|||
|Richard Feynman||SB||1939||1965||Physics||"for their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics, with deep-ploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles"|||
|Andrew Z. Fire||PhD||1983||2006||Medicine/Physiology||"for their discovery of RNA interference – gene silencing by double-stranded RNA"|||
|Murray Gell-Mann||PhD||1951||1969||Physics||"for his contributions and discoveries concerning the classification of elementary particles and their interactions"|||
|Leland H. Hartwell||PhD||1964||2001||Medicine/Physiology||"for their discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle"|||
|H. Robert Horvitz||SB||1968||2002||Medicine/Physiology||"for their discoveries concerning 'genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death'"|||
|Henry W. Kendall||SB, PhD||1948, 1951||1990||Physics||"for their pioneering investigations concerning deep inelastic scattering of electrons on protons and bound neutrons, which have been of essential importance for the development of the quark model in particle physics"|||
|Lawrence Klein||PhD||1944||1980||Economics||"for the creation of econometric models and the application to the analysis of economic fluctuations and economic policies"|||
|Paul Krugman||PhD||1977||2009||Economics||"for developing new trade theory and"|||
|Robert B. Laughlin||PhD||1979||1998||Physics||"for their discovery of a new form of quantum fluid with fractionally charged excitations"|||
|Robert C. Merton||PhD||1970||1997||Economics||"for a new method to determine the value of derivatives"|||
|Robert S. Mulliken||SB||1917||1966||Chemistry||"for his fundamental work concerning chemical bonds and the electronic structure of molecules by the molecular orbital method"|||
|Robert Mundell||PhD||1956||1999||Economics||"for his analysis of monetary and fiscal policy under different exchange rate regimes and his analysis of optimum currency areas"|||
|Charles Pedersen||SM||1927||1987||Chemistry||"for their development and use of molecules with structure-specific interactions of high selectivity"|||
|William D. Phillips||PhD||1976||1997||Physics||"for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light"|||
|Burton Richter||SB, PhD||1952, 1956||1976||Physics||"for their pioneering work in the discovery of a heavy elementary particle of a new kind"|||
|Adam Riess||SB||1992||2011||Physics||"for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae"|||
|John Robert Schrieffer||SB||1953||1972||Physics||"for their jointly developed theory of superconductivity, usually called the BCS-theory"|||
|William Shockley||PhD||1936||1956||Physics||"for their researches on semiconductors and their discovery of the transistor effect"|||
|George F. Smoot||SB, PhD||1966, 1970||2006||Physics||"for their discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation"|||
|Joseph Stiglitz||PhD||1966||2001||Economics||"for their analyses of markets with asymmetric information"|||
|Carl E. Wieman||SB||1973||2001||Physics||"for the achievement of Bose-Einstein condensation in dilute gases of alkali atoms, and for early fundamental studies of the properties of the condensates"|||
|Robert Burns Woodward||SB||1936||1965||Chemistry||"for his outstanding achievements in the art of organic synthesis"|||
|James Alan Abrahamson||SB – Aeronautics/Astronautics||1955||Manned Orbital Laboratory (selected but program canceled)|
|Buzz Aldrin||ScD - Aeronautics/Astronautics||1963||Gemini 12, Apollo 11|
|Dominic Antonelli||SB – Aeronautics/Astronautics||1989||STS-119|
|Jerome Apt||PhD – Physics||1976||STS-37, STS-47, STS-59, STS-79|
|Kenneth Cameron||SB, SM – Aeronautics/Astronautics||1978, 1979||STS-37, STS-56, STS-74|
|Gregory Chamitoff||PhD – Aeronautics/Astronautics||1992||STS-124, Expedition 17, Expedition 18, STS-126|
|Franklin Chang-Diaz||ScD – Nuclear Engineering||1977||STS-61-C, STS-34, STS-46, STS-60, STS-75, STS-91, STS-111|
|Philip K. Chapman||SM, PhD||1964, 1967||1967|
|Catherine "Cady" Coleman||SB – Chemistry||1983||STS-73, STS-93|
|Charles Duke||SM – Aeronautics/Astronautics||1964||Apollo 16|
|Anthony W. England||SB, SM, PhD – Earth, Atmosphere, and Planetary Sciences||1965, 1965, 1970||STS-51-F|
|Mike Fincke||SB – Aeronautics/Astronautics; SB Earth, Atmosphere, and Planetary Sciences||1989||Soyuz TMA-4, Expedition 9, Soyuz TMA-13, Expedition 18, STS-134|
|John Grunsfeld||SB – Physics||1980||STS-67, STS-81, STS-103, STS-109, STS-125|
|Terry Hart||SM – Mechanical Engineering||1969||STS-41-C|
|Frederick Hauck||SM – Nuclear Engineering||1966||STS-7, STS-51-A, STS-26|
|Wendy Lawrence||SM – Ocean Engineering||1988||STS-67, STS-86, STS-91, STS-114|
|Mark C. Lee||SM – Mechanical Engineering||1980||STS-30, STS-47, STS-64, STS-81|
|William B. Lenoir||SB, SM, PhD – Electrical Engineering||1961, 1962, 1965||STS-5|
|Michael Massimino||SM - Technology Policy, SM - Mechanical Engineer, PhD - Mechanical Engineering||1988, 1988, 1990, 1992||STS-109, STS-125|
|Ronald McNair||PhD – Physics||1976||STS-41-B, STS-51-L|
|Pamela Ann Melroy||SM – Earth, Atmosphere, and Planetary Sciences||1984||STS-92, STS-112, STS-120|
|Edgar Mitchell||ScD – Aeronautics/Astronautics||1964||Apollo 14|
|Nicholas Patrick||SM, PhD – Mechanical Engineering||1990, 1996||STS-116|
|Albert Sacco||PhD – Chemical Engineering||1977||STS-73|
|Russell Schweickart||SB, SM – Aeronautics/Astronautics||1956, 1963||Apollo 9|
|David Scott||SM, Engineer in Aeronautics/Astronautics||1962, 1962||Gemini 8, Apollo 9, Apollo 15|
|William Shepherd||SM, Ocean Engineer||1978, 1978||STS-27, STS-41, STS-52, Soyuz TM-31, Expedition 1, STS-102|
|Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper||SB, SM – Mechanical Engineering||1984, 1985||STS-115, STS-126|
|Daniel Tani||SB, SM – Mechanical Engineering||1984, 1985||STS-108, STS-120, Expedition 16, STS-122|
|Robert Thirsk||SM, MS – Mechanical Engineering, Management||1978, 1998||STS-78, Soyuz TMA-14, Expedition 19, STS-127|
|Janice Voss||SM, PhD – Electrical Engineering, Aeronautics/Astronautics||1977, 1978||STS-57, STS-63, STS-83, STS-94, STS-99|
|Stephen Robinson||Postdoc at Man-Vehicle Lab, Aeronautics/Astronautics||1993||STS-85, STS-95, STS-114|
- "No honorary degrees is an MIT tradition going back to… Thomas Jefferson". MIT News Office. June 8, 2001. Retrieved 2011-04-18.
MIT's founder, William Barton Rogers, regarded the practice of giving honorary degrees as 'literary almsgiving …of spurious merit and noisy popularity.'
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Earl Killian's early work was in the software industry on networking, compilers, operating systems, and binary translation. In the last sixteen years, he has put his system software experience to work in computer architecture, designing instruction-set architectures, pipelines and performance models for microprocessors. As MIPS's Director of Architecture, he designed the MIPS III 64-bit instruction-set extension, and led the work on the R4000 microarchitecture. He was a cofounder of QED, which created the R4600 and R5000 MIPS processors. Most recently he was chief architect at Tensilica working on configurable/extensible processors.
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