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Notable Persons

This list of “Notable Persons” is only a sampling of the remarkable people who have been associated with MIT. An outstanding faculty and staff and a diverse community of students and scholars from around the globe continue to make significant contributions toward solving the world’s problems.

  • Harold Eugene (“Doc”) Edgerton
    [Professor of Electrical Engineering, inventor of stop action and multi-flash photography using stroboscopic technology, nighttime aerial photography, underwater photography]
  • Jay W. Forrester
    [Professor Emeritus; pioneer in computer development, invented random-access magnetic-core memory; also pioneer in system dynamics]
  • John Ripley Freeman
    [S.B. MIT 1876, internationally known hydraulics engineer who served as a consultant on water power, river control, water supply, and allied problems of hydraulic engineering]
  • Lois Lilley Howe, Eleanor Manning O’Connor, and Mary Almy
    MIT alumnae; principals in the firm of Howe, Manning & Almy, Inc., believed to be the first architectural firm in Boston founded by women and the second in the United States]
  • Shirley Ann Jackson
    [S.B. 1968, Ph.D. 1973, MIT; first African-American woman to receive a doctorate from MIT]
  • Arthur D. Little
    [attended MIT 1881-1884; founder of Arthur D. Little, Inc., an international consulting firm]
  • Katharine Dexter McCormick
    [S.B. MIT 1904; pioneer of the women’s suffrage and birth control movements, MIT benefactor]
  • Ellen Swallow Richards
    [S.B. MIT 1873; first woman admitted to MIT]
  • William Barton Rogers
    [Founder and first President of MIT]
  • Francis O. Schmitt
    [Professor of Biology; founder of Neurosciences Research Program]
  • Robert Robinson Taylor
    [S.B. MIT 1892; first black student admitted to MIT]
  • Norbert Wiener
    [World renowned mathematician who was instrumental in the development of communication and control theories. He coined the word “cybernetics” to describe this new science.]
  • MIT’s first Ph.D.s
  • Institute Professors [As of 2010, the Institute Professors are Emilio Bizzi, John M. Deutch, Peter Diamond, Ann M. Graybiel, John H. Harbison, Robert S. Langer, Barbara Liskov, John D. C. Little, Thomas Magnanti, Joel Moses, Phillip A. Sharp, Isadore M. Singer, Daniel I. C. Wang, and Sheila Widnall. Institute Professors Emeriti are Noam A. Chomsky, Mildred S. Dresselhaus, Jerome I. Friedman, Morris Halle, Chia-Chiao Lin, Mario J. Molina, Nevin Stewart Scrimshaw, Robert M. Solow, and John S. Waugh.]
  • MIT Nobel Prize Winners
  • Signers of the 11 January 1861 “Act of Association.” 37 men signed the Act to indicate their approval of the plan for the Institute.