In Memoriam: Mildred Dresselhaus, 1930-2017

Mildred DresselhausMildred Dresselhaus, Institute Professor Emerita of Physics and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, died on February 20 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She was 86 years old.

Known as the “Queen of Carbon Science,” Professor Dresselhaus was dedicated to increasing opportunities for women in science. She served on the faculty at MIT for a half-century. In 1968, Dr. Dresselhaus was the first woman at MIT to attain the rank of full professor with tenure. In 1985, she became the first woman to hold the rank of Institute Professor. Later in her career, Dr. Dresselhaus was awarded both the National Medal of Science and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Professor Dresselhaus was the author or co-author of eight books and approximately 1,700 research papers. She mentored more than 60 Ph.D. students.

Dr. Dresselhaus was a native of The Bronx, New York. She was a summa cum laude graduate of Hunter College of the City University of New York. Professor Dresselhaus held a master’s degree from Radcliffe College and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

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