Paul Gray named recipient of IEEE Founders Medal 2010

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December 3, 2009

Paul E. Gray, winner of the IEEE Founders Medal 2010

Department Head Eric Grimson shared today the news that Paul E. Gray, former EE student at MIT, (SB ‘54, SM ‘55 and ScD ‘60), Instructor, Assistant-, Associate- and Full Professor of Electrical Engineering, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Assistant and then Associate Provost, Dean of Engineering, Chancellor of MIT, President of MIT and Chairman of the MIT Corporation, has been named the 2010 IEEE Founders Medal winner.

In Department Head Grimson's words:

"It is with great delight that I write to inform you that Paul Gray has just been named the recipient of the 2009 IEEE Founders Medal. This is one of the IEEE's most prestigious awards, and is given for "outstanding contributions in the leadership, planning, and administration of affairs of great value to the electrical and electronics engineering profession."

The most recent winners include: Craig Barrett (Chairman, Intel); Steven Sample (President, USC); Anita Jones (UVA, and former director of DDRE); Toshiharu Aoki (NTT Data Corporation); Eugene Wong (UC Berkeley); and our own Millie Dresselhaus.

Paul's contributions to EECS, to MIT and to the nation are of enormous scope and impact. Among them: Paul was an award winning teacher who authored two influential textbooks and co-authored five others (many used for decades); Paul championed the founding and evolution of the UROP program, starting in 1969; Paul was a leading supporter of Project Athena, and helped foster MIT's continued commitment making computational tools available to all students at MIT; Paul helped launch the Leaders for Manufacturing program, a partnership among global operations companies, the School of Engineering, and the Sloan School that seeks to "discover, codify, teach, and disseminate guiding principles for world-class manufacturing and operations"; Paul was and is a tireless advocate for diversity, and during his presidency, the numbers of women and minority undergraduates nearly doubled at MIT; and Paul was a forceful presence in Washington and on the national stage, working to increase the public grasp of technical issues in the public realm.

Paul has held virtually every academic position at MIT in his career:Instructor, Assistant-, Associate- and Full Professor of Electrical Engineering, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Assistant and then Associate Provost, Dean of Engineering, Chancellor of MIT, President of MIT and Chairman of the MIT Corporation.

In light of this legendary career, Paul is best captured by the following observation -- to quote him:

 

'You've heard me say it...a lot of people have heard me say it -- in response to the question, "You've done all these things around here, what is the best job?" And I always say "Teaching is the very best job. Being professor at MIT is the best job; and it really is true.'

 

The department is delighted that Paul chose to return as a teacher and mentor after all of his years of service for the Institute. Please join me in congratulating Paul on this well-deserved recognition of his immense impact on MIT and the field."

Congratulations Paul!