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Notable People

Applied Mathematics

  • George Birkhoff, attended Lewis Institute from 1896-1902 before receiving his degree at Harvard (AB 1905, AM 1906); great mathematician of the early 20th century, formulated the ergodic theorem.
  • Samuel Karlin (Mathematics ’44), Professor Emeritus, Department of Mathematics, Stanford University, numerous awards and honors including the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, others.
  • Karl Menger, Mathematics Professor (1946-1971), Department Chair, considered one of the finest mathematicians of the 20th century.
  • S.S. Shu, Mathematics Professor (1948-55 and 1963-68), went on to be a professor of mathematics and aeronautics and engineering science at Purdue University, president of National Tsing Huan University, co-creator of Hsinchu Science Park, and chairman of the board of the Industrial and Technological Research Institute in Taiwan.

Biology and Chemistry

  • Francis CG Hoskin, Professor of Biochemistry beginning in 1969, discovered an enzyme that neutralizes nerve gas.
  • Gloria Ray Karlmark (Chemistry and Mathematics, 1965) was one of the Little Rock Nine who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Ark. After IIT, she worked for IITRI, IBM and Philips International, and co-founded and was editor of Computers in Industry. She received the Congressional Gold Medal in 1999.
  • Susan Solomon (BS Chemistry ’77) shared in the 2007 Nobel Prize for Peace as co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which received the award along with former Vice President Al Gore. A senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, she was the first person to explain that manmade chlorofluorocarbons were destroying the ozone layer and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1992 at age 36.

Computer Science

  • Rajeev Chandrasekhar (MS Computer Science ’88) helped to design Intel's Pentium chip; founded one of India's prominent cellular franchises, BPL Mobile; is chair and chief executive officer of Jupiter Capital; and is a member of the upper house of India's Parliament.
  • Jack Dongarra (MS Computer Science ’73), University Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, University of Tennessee.
  • Victor Tsao (MS Computer Science ’80), started Linksys, which he sold to Cisco for $500 million in 2003.
  • Abdur Chowdhury (PhD Computer Science ’01) is the former Chief Scientist for Twitter.


  • Watts Humphrey (MS Physics ’50) received the National Medal of Technology. He directed the Software Engineering Institute during its development of the Capability Maturity Model.
  • Martin Jischke (BS Physics ’63), President of Purdue University, appointed in 2006 to President Bush's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, IIT trustee.
  • Leon Lederman, former Pritzker Professor of Physics, 1988 Nobel Prize winner.
  • Jack Steinberger, attended IIT in Physics for two years, researcher of neutrinos and winner of Nobel Prize for Physics in 1988 with Leon Lederman and Melvin Schwartz.