Dr. Carver A. Mead
Dr. Carver A. Mead Founders Award
Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus, California Institute of Technology
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Carver A. Mead taught at the California Institute of Technology for over forty years. His most recent focus is a new approach to the standard problems of electromagnetic theory, and his recently published book, "Collective Electrodynamics," describes a new way of doing electrodynamics based directly on the quantum nature of the collective electron system.

His pioneering work in the fields of solid-state electronics and the management of complexity in the design of very large scale integrated (VLSI) circuits, was a leading force in the development of a design methodology for VLSI. This field has seen a merger of semiconductor and computer technologies. His later work emphasized the construction of silicon models of neural systems.

Professor Mead, an internationally known author/educator, has written and contributed to over 100 publications covering his wide range of interests in solid-state physics, microelectronics, and biophysics. Holding a number of patents in these fields, he has written, with Lynn Conway, the standard text for VLSI design, "Introduction to VLSI Systems." In 1989 he authored "Analog VLSI and Neural Systems," published by Addison-Wesley.Dr. Mead has also been the founder of, and consultant to a number of high-technology companies. Most recently he founded Foveon, Inc., and has produced a high-end digital still camera that captures electronic images with the quality of analog film. The Foveon chip is based on Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) technology.

Carver Mead is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineer, Inc. He is a Foreign Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, and Life Fellow of the Franklin Institute. He is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences.

Selected honors and awards include: Harold Pender Award (1984), "For his insight into the potential of VLSI, for his development of CAD technologies for VLSI technology, for his co-authoring of the most respected VLSI textbook to date, and for his contributions to the state-of-the-art of this field." The Harry Goode Memorial Award (1985) presented by The American Federation of Information Processing Societies, "In recognition of his pioneering contributions to the research and education of very large scale integration (VLSI) design." An Honorary Doctorate, The University of Lund (1987), "In recognition of his breakthrough in the development of structured methods for construction of microelectronic systems, and his enthusiastic work in spreading this technology." Walter B. Wriston Public Policy Award (1987) presented by the Hudson Institute, "For his role as an innovator and visionary thinker in the fields of technology and electronics." Honorary Degree, Doctor of Science, The University of Southern
California (1991), "In recognition of distinguished achievements." IEEE's John Von Neumann Medal (1996), awarded by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., "For leadership and innovative contributions to VLSI and creative microelectronic structures." And the Association for Computing's (ACM) Allen Newell Award (1997), "for career contributions within the field of computer science, and for contributions bridging computer science and other disciplines." In 1999, Mead was honored with the Lemelson-MIT Prize, a $500,000 award in honor of " . . . his many contributions to the field of microelectronics, which have led to a new business model for the industry and enabled a new wave of innovation in information technology."

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  • Founders
  • 2003
  • For visionary contributions in the field of microelectronics including VLSI technology and computational neural systems