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The list of
University of California, San Diego people includes notable graduates, professors and administrators affiliated with the University of California, San Diego in the United States.
Notable alumni [ edit ]
Art and architecture [ edit ]
Micha Cárdenas, MFA (Visual Arts), 2009. Contemporary artist.
Moyra Davey, MFA (Photography), 1988. Contemporary artist.
Micol Hebron, Visual Arts, 1990-1992. Contemporary artist.
Hung Liu, MFA (Visual Arts), 1986. Contemporary artist. [1 ]
Elle Mehrmand, MFA (Visual Arts), 2011. Contemporary artist.
Dan Santat, BS (Microbiology), 1998. Author and illustrator, winner of 2015 Caldecott Medal.
Athletics [ edit ]
Geoff Abrams, MD (Medicine), 2006. Tennis player.
Mark Allen, BS (Biology), 1980. Six-time Ironman Triathlon World Champion, inducted into the Ironman Hall of Fame; named the world’s fittest man by magazine. Outside
Billy Beane, BA (Economics), 1985. General Manager of the Oakland Athletics.
Randy Bennett, BS (Biology), 1986. Saint Mary's College of California men's basketball head coach.
Jie Li, BA (Political Science), 2006. Winner of the US ING Cup, Open, Costen, Texas Open and many other championships.
Bob Natal, BS (Computer Science), 1987. MLB Catcher, Montreal Expos, Florida Marlins National League.
Julie Swail, BA (Economics), 1995. Olympian (women’s water polo); UC Irvine head coach.
Vern Valdez, defensive back for the American Football League Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills, and Los Angeles Rams.
Business [ edit ]
Garrett Gruener, BA (Computer Science), 1976. Co-founder of Ask Jeeves.
Jasper Kim, BA (Economics and Third World Studies), 1994. CEO of Asia-Pacific Global Research Group.
Adam Moyer, MFA (Visual Arts), 2008. Founder of Knockaround.
Greg Papadopoulos, BA (Systems Science), 1979. Executive VP and CTA of Sun Microsystems.
Robert J. Pera, MS (Electrical Engineering), 2002. Founder of Ubiquiti Networks.
Michael Robertson, BS (Cognitive Science), 1989. Founder of MP3.com, Lindows.com, and SIPphone.
Philip Rosedale, BS (Physics), 1992. Founder and CEO of Linden Lab. Creator of virtual 3D world Second Life.
Jason Snell, BA (Communications), 1992. Editorial director of and editor of Mac Publishing . Macworld
Nick Woodman, BA (Visual Arts), 1997. Founder and CEO of GoPro.
Computer science [ edit ]
Bill Atkinson, BS (Chemistry), 1974. Co-developer of the Macintosh computer.
Steve Hart, MA (Mathematics), 1980. Co-founder and vice president of engineering for ViaSat; recognized for excellence and growth by and Forbes Inc. BusinessWeek.
Brian Kantor, BA (Computer Graphics), 1986. Network News Transfer Protocol.
David E. Shaw, BS (Mathematics), 1972. Founder of D. E. Shaw & Co.
Guy “Bud” Tribble, BS (Physics), 1975. Principal architect of the original Macintosh computer and co-founder of NeXt, Inc.
Film, theatre, and television [ edit ]
Yareli Arizmendi, MFA (Acting), 1992. Actor in . Like Water for Chocolate
James Avery, BA (Theatre), 1976. Stage, screen and television actor who co-starred with Will Smith on the TV show . Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Rachel Axler, MFA (Playwriting), 2004. Emmy Award-winning writer for and The Daily Show . Parks and Recreation
David Barrera, MFA (Acting), 1994. ALMA Award-nominated actor for . 24
Hart Bochner, BA (Theatre), 1979. Film actor notably of . Breaking Away
Danny Burstein, MFA (Acting), 1990. Five-time Tony Award-nominated actor, Grammy Award nominee for . Follies
Ricardo Chavira, MFA (Acting), 2000. Actor, notably of . Desperate Housewives
Steve Cosson, MFA (Directing), 2001. Obie Award-winning artistic director of The Civilians.
Benicio del Toro, did not graduate. Actor, notably of . Traffic [2 ]
Maria Dizzia, MFA (Acting), 2001. Tony Award nominee . In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)
Johnny Ray Gill, MFA (Acting), 2010. Series regular on and Harry's Law . Rectify
Michael Greif, MFA (Directing), 1985. Director of and former artistic director of Rent La Jolla Playhouse. Three-time Tony Award nominee.
Naomi Iizuka, MFA (Playwriting), 1992.
Chane't Johnson, MFA (Acting), 2001. Television and film actor; coach for Denzel Whitaker.
Mike Judge, BS (Physics), 1985. Cartoonist/Director best known for , Beavis and Butt-head , and Office Space . Graduation speaker for the class of 2009. King of the Hill
Melanie Marnich MFA (Playwriting), 1998. Writer for , Jerome Fellowship from Big Love The Playwrights' Center.
Jefferson Mays, MFA (Acting), 1991. Tony Award winner, . I Am My Own Wife
Silas Weir Mitchell, MFA (Acting), 1995. Character actor and star of . Grimm
Joy Osmanski, MFA (Acting), 2003. Most notable credits include and The Loop . Allen Gregory
Neil Patel, MFA (Scenic Design), 1991. Broadway designer of , winner of Side Man Obie and Helen Hayes awards.
Jeanne Paulson, MFA (Acting), 1978. Tony Award nominee, . The Kentucky Cycle
Dileep Rao, BA (Theatre), 1995. Film actor in , Avatar . Inception
Caridad Svich, MFA (Playwriting), 1988. Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Kellie Waymire, MFA (Acting), 1993. Best known for and roles on Star Trek: Enterprise , and Six Feet Under . Also a prolific One Life to Live regional theatre actress.
Wong Fu Productions filmmaking trio: Wesley Chan, Ted Fu and Philip Wang, BA (Cinematography), 2006.
Paloma Young, MFA (Costume Design), 2006. Tony Award winner, Peter and the Starcatcher
Journalism [ edit ]
Law and politics [ edit ]
Literature [ edit ]
Debito Arudou, MA (International Affairs), 1990. Author and activist.
Greg Benford, Ph.D (Astrophysics), 1967. Nebula Award Winner
David Brin, MS (Applied Physics), 1978; Ph.D (Space Science), 1981. Nebula and Hugo Award Winner; science fiction author, notably of ; physicist. Uplift [3 ]
Angela Davis, MA (Philosophy), 1969. Radical activist and philosopher. [4 ]
Raymond E. Feist, BA (Communications), 1997. Author. [5 ]
Nancy Holder, BA (Communications), 1976. Bram Stoker Award winner.
Khaled Hosseini, MD (Medicine), 1993. Afghan-American novelist and physician; his 2003 debut novel, , was a #1 The Kite Runner New York Times bestseller.
Aaron Krach, BA (Visual Arts), 1994. Writer.
Virgil Nemoianu, Ph.D (Literature), 1971. Essayist, literary critic, philosopher of culture.
Rex Pickett, BA (Literature and Visual Arts), 1976. Author of . Sideways
Kim Stanley Robinson, BA (Literature), 1974; Ph.D (Literature), 1982. Two-time Nebula and Hugo Award winner
Alan Russell, BA (English and American Literature), 1978. Lefty Award winner and bestselling crime fiction author.
Vernor Vinge, Ph.D (Mathematics), 1971. Hugo Award winner Science fiction author, computer scientist, and mathematician.
Music and entertainment [ edit ]
Mark Applebaum, Ph.D (Composition), 1996. Composer and Professor of Music at Stanford University.
Milo Aukerman, Ph.D (Biology), 1992. Lead singer of punk rock band Descendents.
Chad Butler, BA (History of Science), 1997. Drummer of the rock band Switchfoot.
Chaya Czernowin, Ph.D (Composition), 1993. Composer and Walter Bigelow Rosen Professor of Music at Harvard University.
Paul Dresher, MA (Composition), 1976. Composer, guitarist, and improviser.
Nathan East, BA (Music), 1978. Bass guitarist.
David Felder, Ph.D (Composition), 1983. Composer and SUNY Distinguished Professor at the University at Buffalo.
Jon Foreman, did not graduate. Guitarist of rock band Switchfoot.
Tim Foreman, did not graduate. Bassist of rock band Switchfoot.
Trevor Grahl, MA (Composition), 2009. Composer.
Maria Ho, BA (Communications), 2005. Professional poker player.
David Evan Jones, Ph.D (Composition). Composer, Professor of Music, and Porter College Provost at UC Santa Cruz.
Kelly Kim, 1998. Professional poker player.
Paul Phillips, BS (Computer Science), 1996. Professional poker player.
John Warthen Struble, MA (Composition), 1976. Composer, pianist, and author of The History of American Classical Music.
Public service [ edit ]
George Blumenthal, Ph.D (Physics), 1972. Chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Kurt M. Campbell, BA (Special Project Major), 1980. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
Donald W. Murphy, BA (Biology), 1975. Deputy Director, U.S. National Park Service, 2001 to 2006; Director California State Parks, 1992 to 1999
Dana Shell Smith, BA (Political Science), 1992. United States Ambassador to Qatar, 2014-present.
Science, technology, medicine, and mathematics [ edit ]
Margaret Allen, MD (Medicine), 1974. First female heart transplant surgeon. [6 ]
Gregory Benford, MS (Physics), 1965; Ph.D (Physics), 1967. Science fiction author and physicist; also on the faculty of University of California, Irvine.
Bruce Beutler, BS (Biology), 1976. Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Chu Ching-wu, Ph.D (Physics), 1990. 's Researcher of the Year. US News and World Report
Brian Druker, BS (Chemistry), 1977; MD (Medicine), 1981. Oncologist/chief investigator who developed a new drug for leukemia treatment.
David Goeddel, BS (Chemistry), 1972. First full-time scientist and director of Genentech’s molecular biology department; co-founder, president and CEO of Tularik, Inc. [7 ]
Gerald Joyce, Ph.D (Biology) 1984. Researcher, Scripps Institute.
Antony Garrett Lisi, Ph.D (Physics), 1999.
M. Brian Maple, Ph.D (Physics), 1969. David Adler Lectureship Award in the Field of Materials Physics.
Eleanor Mariano, BS (Biology), 1977. Former director, White House Medical Unit; First Filipino American to reach the rank of Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy.
Walter Munk, Ph.D (Oceanography), 1947. Oceanographer.
George Perry, Ph.D (Marine Biology), 1979. Leading researcher in Alzheimer's disease.
Maurizio Seracini, BS (Bioengineering), 1973. Founded the Editech srl, Diagnostic Center for Cultural Heritage in Florence.
Susumu Tonegawa, Ph.D, (Molecular Biology), 1968. Nobel Prize recipient for medicine for his work on antibody diversity.
Craig Venter, BA (Biochemistry), 1972; PhD (Pharmacology), 1975. President of Celera Genomics, the first private firm to decode the human genome.
Distinguished faculty [ edit ]
David Antin – Visual Arts
Eleanor Antin – Professor Emeritus of Visual Arts
Percival Bazeley – member of the Salk Polio vaccine team
Douglas Glynn Bolitho - breast cancer advocate
Kenneth Bowles – UCSD Pascal
Sydney Brenner – Nobel laureate in Medicine (2002)
Sheldon Brown – Director of Experimental Game Lab, Co-Director of Center for Research in Computing and the Arts, and Professor of Visual Arts
Keith Brueckner – theoretical physicist, National Academy of Sciences (Physics) member, and a founder of the UCSD Department of Physics
Geoffrey R. Burbidge – professor known mostly for his alternative cosmology theory, which contradicts the Big Bang theory
Margaret Burbidge – first to study and identify quasars; Carnegie fellowship winner (1947)
Craig Callender – philosopher of science
Micha Cárdenas – artist, theorist, Lecturer of Visual Arts and Critical Gender Studies, Collective Member of Lui Velazquez
Lin Chao – Professor of Biology
Shu Chien – bioengineering pioneer, National Medal of Science laureate
Patricia Churchland – neurophilosopher
Paul Churchland – philosopher of mind and philosopher of science
Harold Cohen – English-born artist, creator of AARON
Francis Crick – Nobel laureate in Physiology/Medicine (1962)
Paul Crutzen – Nobel laureate in Chemistry (1995)
Charles Curtis – avant-garde cellist
Chaya Czernowin – Israeli composer, former professor of composition
Anthony Davis – opera composer, jazz pianist
Diana Deutsch – Professor of Psychology, known for her research on the psychology of music
Bram Dijkstra – Professor of English Literature (1966–2000)
Russell Doolittle – Professor of Chemistry, known for research on molecular evolution
Mark Dresser – double bass player and improviser
Renato Dulbecco – Nobel laureate in Physiology/Medicine (1975)
Jeffrey Elman – psycholinguist and pioneer in the field of neural networks
Robert F. Engle – Nobel laureate in Economics (2003)
Robert Erickson – composer
Ronald M. Evans – discovered steroid and nuclear receptors; Lasker Award winner
Manny Farber – film critic and painter
Gilles Fauconnier – inventor of the modern-day theory of conceptual blending
George Feher – Wolf Prize in Chemistry (2006/7), National Academy of Sciences member, biophysicist
Brian Ferneyhough – composer, founder of New Complexity movement
David Noel Freedman – general editor of the Anchor Bible
Y.C. Fung – considered the father of bioengineering
Fred Gage – neuroscientist and stem cell biologist; discovered human adult neural stem cells
Clark Gibson - expert on African politics and electoral fraud
Maria Goeppert-Mayer – Nobel laureate in Physics
Joseph Goguen – Professor of Computer Science and Engineering
Adele Goldberg – Associate Professor of Linguistics (1997–1998)
Marvin Leonard Goldberger – theoretical physicist, National Academy of Sciences (Physics) member, former Dean of Natural Sciences, and former president of Caltech
Lawrence S.B. Goldstein – first to characterize kinesin molecular motors; head of UCSD stem cell research program
Jean-Pierre Gorin – film director, Visual Arts (since 1975)
Fan Chung Graham – mathematician, Akamai Professor in Internet Mathematics
Ronald Graham – mathematician, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering
Clive W.J. Granger – 2003 Nobel laureate in Economics
Deborah Hertz – Herman Wouk Chair in Modern Jewish Studies
Gretchen Hofmann - professor of ecological physiology of marine organisms
Edwin Hutchins – developed distributed cognition and cognitive ethnography; Mac Arthur Foundation Award Winner (1985)
Harvey Itano – biochemist known for his work on the molecular basis of sickle cell anemia and other diseases
Gabriel Jackson – Fulbright historian, author, and former department chairman
Irwin M. Jacobs – Former professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Chairman of Qualcomm
Fredric Jameson – literary critic and Marxist political theorist
Chalmers Johnson – Professor Emeritus of History
David K Jordan – Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, Provost of Warren College, Interim Provost of Sixth College, Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award 2008 recipient  
Allan Kaprow – Professor Emeritus of Visual Arts
Charles David Keeling – first alerted the world to the anthropogenic contribution to the "greenhouse effect" and global warming; discoverer of the Keeling Curve
Walter Kohn – Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (1998), Chair of the UCSD Physics Department (1960s), Kohn-Sham equations
Barbara Kruger – artist and Professor of Visual Arts
Ronald Langacker – creator of cognitive grammar, Professor of Linguistics
William Lerach – guest lecturer on securities and corporate law; a leading securities lawyer in the United States
George Lewis – Professor of Music, jazz trombone player, MacArthur Fellowship winner (2002)
Lei Liang – composer, winner of Rome Prize and Guggenheim Fellowship
Arend Lijphart – Research Professor Emeritus of Political Science; elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1989; President of the American Political Science Association from 1995 to 1996; recipient of the prestigious Johann Skytte Prize in Political Science in 1997
George Mandler – experimental psychology, founder of UCSD Department of Psychology
Jean Matter Mandler – cognitive development
Babette Mangolte – French cinematographer and Professor of Visual Arts
Lev Manovich – New Media theorist, Director of Software Studies Initiative and Professor of Visual Arts
M. Brian Maple – National Academy of Sciences member, physicist
Herbert Marcuse – philosopher, mentor to Angela Davis
Harry Markowitz – Nobel laureate in Economics (1990)
Andrew Mattison – co-author of The Male Couple, co-founder of the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research
Mathew D. McCubbins – professor of political science
Mario Molina – Nobel laureate in Chemistry
Eileen Myles – poet, Professor of Literature
Donald Norman – Professor Emeritus of Cognitive Science and Psychology; co-founder and first chair of Cognitive Science; author of User Centered System Design; VP of Apple; National Academy of Engineering
Pauline Oliveros – composer, central figure in the development of post-war electronic art music
George Emil Palade – Nobel laureate in Physiology/Medicine (1974), Professor of Medicine in Residence and Dean for Scientific Affairs (Emeritus)
Richard Popkin – Professor of Philosophy
Samuel Popkin – Professor of Political Science
Miller Puckette – Creator of Puredata Programming Language, Co-Director of Center for Research in Computing and the Arts
Vilayanur S. Ramachandran – neuroscience and psychology
Jef Raskin – Assistant Professor in Computer Science, founder of the Apple Macintosh project
Roger Revelle (1909–1991) – oceanographer, scholar, namesake of Roger Revelle College
Roger Reynolds – 1989 Pulitzer Prize in Music
Sally Ride – Professor of Physics, former astronaut
Marshall Rosenbluth – Professor of Physics, member of the National Academy of Sciences, developer of the Metropolis algorithm, "Pope of Plasma Physics"
Herbert Schiller – Professor Emeritus of Communication (1970–2000)
Terry Sejnowski – Professor of Biological Sciences and Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Neurosciences, Psychology, Cognitive Science, and Computer Science and Engineering
Kartik Seshadri – Professor of Indian Classical Music
Lu Jeu Sham – National Academy of Sciences member, Kohn-Sham equations, physicist
Ravi Shankar – Indian musician, sitar player
Susan Shirk – Ho Miu Lam Endowed Chair of China and Pacific Relations; former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State during the Clinton administration
Larry Squire – Professor of Psychiatry, Neurosciences, and Psychology
John G. Stoessinger – political analyst; prize-winning author of ten leading books on world politics; guest lecturer in international relations; political science
Avrum Stroll – Professor of Philosophy
Harry Suhl – National Academy of Sciences (Physics) member
Leó Szilárd (1898–1964) – Hungarian physicist, Professor at the Salk Institute
Roger Tsien – Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (2008), Wolf Prize in Medicine
Chinary Ung – Grawemeyer Award-winning composer
Harold Urey – Nobel laureate in Chemistry
Benjamin Elazari Volcani, microbiologist; discovered life in the Dead Sea; pioneered biological silicon research
Joseph Wang – nanoengineer, ISI's World's Most Cited Engineer, ISI's World's Most Cited Chemist
Kenneth Watson – National Academy of Sciences (Physics) member
Herbert F. York (1921–2009) – Enrico Fermi Award (2000)
Efim Zelmanov – Fields Medal recipient, Professor of Mathematics
Bruno H. Zimm – National Academy of Sciences member, biophysicist
References [ edit ]