Mildred Dresselhaus
Institute Professor, emerita
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics, emerita

Mildred Dresselhaus is Institute Professor emerita of electrical engineering and physics at MIT. She was schooled in the New York City public school system before matriculating to Hunter College. She later received a Fulbright Fellowship to attend the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University (1951–52), followed by a Master’s degree at Radcliffe College and a PhD at the University of Chicago. Professor Dresselhaus began her MIT career at Lincoln Laboratory, where her work has led to a fundamental understanding of the electronic structure of semi-metals, especially graphite. She came to MIT in 1967 as a visiting professor, and recognized for her enthusiasm for teaching and mentoring, was named full professor just one year later. Awarded the National Medal of Science in 1990, Professor Dresselhaus’s area of study is carbon science, including electronic materials and nanotechnology.

Highlights of this interview include:

  • Work at Lincoln Lab before becoming a professor at MIT.
  • Research on nanotubes.
  • MIT’s turbulent political climate during the 1960s.
  • Importance of interdisciplinary research and education at MIT.
  • Advocating for women in science.