One of the foundational early advances in computer science that makes our increasingly digital world possible began with a small course at Caltech in the early 1970s taught by Carver Mead (BS '56, MS '57, PhD '60), the Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus. Mead received the 2022 Kyoto Prize for Advanced Technology in honor of his "leading contributions to the establishment of the guiding principles for VLSI systems design." VLSI, which stands for "very large-scale integration," is the process of combining millions of transistors onto a single chip that forms an integrated circuit and it is the cornerstone of the computers the world relies on today. [Caltech story]
Konstantin Zuev, Teaching Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, is the recipient of the 2022-2023 Carver Mead New Adventures Fund. The Carver Mead New Adventures Fund is an IST initiative created to champion exceptional projects that are at an early a stage of development – too early to attract industry or government support. The Fund embodies Carver’s approaches and practices, with a goal to expand Carver’s daring approach to research and innovation to many areas – and making such funding a permanent feature of the Caltech landscape.
Carver Mead, Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus, has been awarded the 2022 Kyoto Prize by the Inamori Foundation of Japan. According to the Inamori Foundation, he was awarded the honor for his "leading contributions to the establishment of the guiding principles for VLSI systems design." [Caltech story]
Metals that Work Like Magic, a podcast from the Wall Street Journal, features Jamil Tahir-Kheli, research staff member working with Carver Mead, Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus. The podcast focuses on the history of superconductivity research over the past forty years and potential applications.
Carver Mead, one of the fathers of modern computing, combines memoir and instruction in new video series. "My feeling is that these days, if it's not on the web, it doesn't exist," Professor Mead says of the decision to launch the new video channel. The video series is available for free on YouTube, and aims to provide a better understanding of the birth and evolution of modern computing, as told by one of its key participants and witnesses. [Caltech story]
Take a deep dive into a crucial moment in technological history with Carver Mead, Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus. In this first of a series of videos being produced by the Caltech Archives, titled 'My First Chip’, Professor Mead tells the story of meeting Gordon Moore, who would soon predict that every year the semiconductor industry would double the number of transistors that could be fabricated on a commercial integrated circuit. Carver Mead and his students worked on the physics of ultra-small transistors, and showed that, in addition to allowing greater density, they ran faster and used less power. This work proved that Moore’s prediction did not violate any laws of physics, and it became known as 'Moore's Law'–the term coined and made famous by Professor Mead.
Computation and Neural Systems (CNS) at Caltech explores the relationship between the physical structure of a computational system and the dynamics of its operation, as well as the computational problems that it can efficiently solve. At the symposium Professor Pietro Perona told the audience, despite CNS's success, its faculty members never rest on their laurels; they regularly reevaluate whether to continue the option and how to evolve its scope to keep it intellectually vibrant. Professor Carver Mead remarked, “I think it's true that the fields we bring together in CNS really do synergize. The goals aren't so different. Because to build something you have to understand it. And if you understand it, you can build it. That's a saying that Dick Feynman got from me." [Caltech story]
Carver Mead, Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus, has been named fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). He has significantly advanced the technology of integrated circuits by developing a method called very-large-scale integration (VSLI) that allows engineers to combine thousands of transistors onto a single microchip, thus exponentially expanding computer processing power. Election as an NAI fellow is an honor bestowed upon academic innovators and inventors who have "demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions and innovations that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society." [Caltech story]
Carver Mead, Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus, celebrated his 80th birthday on May 1, 2014. Professor Mead is best known for his pioneering work on VLSI (very-large-scale integration) circuit technology in the 1970s and 1980s, which made it possible to greatly increase the number of transistors placed on a single semiconductor chip. It is no exaggeration to say that the computer era we live in would not have been possible without VLSI technology. He remains as passionate today about science and engineering as he ever was. "There isn't really a time when you're too old to have new ideas," Mead says. [Caltech interview] [Share Your Memories] [ENGenious article]