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Press Release

Contact: Teresa S. Thomas
412-268-3580

For immediate release:
February 27, 2002

Carnegie Mellon University's Dickson Prize in Science Goes To Inventor and Microelectronics Pioneer Dr. Carver Mead

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Dickson Prize in Science will be awarded this year to Carver Mead, a pioneering inventor whose work has helped to power the information age.

Mead will receive the $47,000 Dickson Prize on Tuesday, at 4:30 p.m., March 19, during a brief award ceremony in McConomy Auditorium in the University Center on campus. Immediately following the award presentation, Mead will give a lecture titled "The Coming Revolution in Photography," which is free and open to the public.

The lecture explores Mead's most recent interests in new technologies for digital photography. Mead is the founder of Foveon, Inc., a company responsible for introducing the first full-color image sensor. Mead predicts technologies like the ones under development by Foveon will replace film.

Carnegie Mellon's Dickson Prize in Science is awarded annually and honors the individuals for outstanding contributions to science.

Mead is internationally known for his work in microelectronics, specifically his design ideas for the Very Large Scale Integrated (VLSI) circuits that are used in semiconductors and for the High Electron Mobility Transistor (HEMT), the standard amplifying device used in microwave communications systems. Consumers use these transistors every day when making telephone calls or dialing into the Internet. In 1999, Mead won the prestigious $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for this work.

Mead also is a pioneer in the development of "neuromorphic electronic systems" that imitate the brain and nervous system.

In addition to starting Foveon, Mead is a founder of Sonic Innovations, which developed a digital hearing aid; and Synaptics, which developed the computer touch pad, a device found on laptop computers that eliminates the need for a mouse.

Mead was the Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Engineering and Applied Science at the California Institute of Technology, where he taught for more than 40 years. Mead also earned his bachelor's, master's and doctor's degrees from Caltech.

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