Nick DeWolf

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Nicholas DeWolf
Nick DeWolf at the lectern on future plans at Teradyne (1959)
BornJuly 12, 1928
DiedApril 16, 2006(2006-04-16) (aged 77)
Aspen, Colorado
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of Technology (S.B., 1948)
Occupation(s)Engineer, businessman, executive
Known forfounding of Teradyne Corporation
SpouseMaggie DeWolf
Nick DeWolf with the ON! System Computer (circa 1986)

Nicholas DeWolf (July 12, 1928 – April 16, 2006) was co-founder of Teradyne, a Boston, Massachusetts-based manufacturer of automatic test equipment. He founded the company in 1960 with Alex d'Arbeloff, a classmate at MIT.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

DeWolf was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and graduated with an S.B. in EECS from MIT in 1948.[3]


During his eleven years as CEO of Teradyne, DeWolf is credited with designing more than 300 semiconductor and other test systems, including the J259, the world's first computer-operated integrated circuit tester.[4]

After leaving Teradyne in 1971, DeWolf moved to Aspen, Colorado, where in 1979, he teamed with artist Travis Fulton to create Aspen's "dancing fountain".[2] DeWolf also designed a computer system without hard disks or fans; this system (the ON! computer) booted up in seconds, a much faster time than even the computers of today.[citation needed]



DeWolf was also a keen and prolific photographer. His son-in-law and archivist, Steve Lundeen, is scanning DeWolf's complete archive and making it available on Flickr.[7][8]


DeWolf died in Aspen, Colorado at the age of 77.


  • "What the customer demands is last year's model, cheaper. To find out what the customer needs you have to understand what the customer is doing as well as he understands it. Then you build what he needs and you educate him to the fact that he needs it."[9]
  • "To select a component, size a product, design a system or plan a new company, first test the extremes and then have the courage to resist what is popular and the wisdom to choose what is best".[10]


  1. ^ "Teradyne corporate history". Archived from the original on 2014-02-15. Retrieved 2007-11-23.
  2. ^ a b Abraham, Chad, "Computer pioneer dies at 77: Nick DeWolf's genius illuminated, soaked Aspen", Aspen Times, April 17, 2006
  3. ^ "MIT Alumni Association". July 13, 2023.
  4. ^ "People | The Silicon Engine | Computer History Museum".
  5. ^ "Telluride Tech Festival Awards".
  6. ^ "Aspen Times".
  7. ^ "Who's Nick DeWolf". 18 November 2012. Retrieved 2010-11-19. Nick DeWolf was an engineer and entrepreneur who founded a company called Teradyne. In his spare time he was also cataloging his life with a camera. These amazing photos came long before Flickr but thanks to his son-in-law and archivist, Steve Lundeen, we can finally see his deep catalog of photos. So far there are 43,450!
  8. ^ "nick dewolf photo archive". Flickr. Retrieved 2017-07-02.
  9. ^ "Famous Quotes".
  10. ^ "Online Entrepreneurship Survey Course".

External links[edit]