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Did You Know

  • HC Torng (M.S. 1958, PhD. 1960) owns the patent for the first Intel Chip. The patent was first granted in 1989 to Cornell Research Foundation, covering a technique invented by HC Torng which enables microprocessors to increase processing speed by determining which instructions are not dependent on the results of others. This then allows the processor to execute those out of order, and more instructions to be executed during the same computer clock cycle.

  • In the late 1800s, Cornell Engineering awarded the nation’s first doctorates in Industrial Engineering and electrical engineering.

  • In 1997, The New York Times hailed Prof. Yu-Hwa Lo’s work with potential to “revolutionize the industry.” Dr. Lu’s patent for a compliant universal substrate for growing pure, single crystals was seen as a major turning point in manufacturing. In 1988, he co-founded CTO of Nova Crystals, Inc., which develops and manufactures high-end fiber-optic data and telecommunications components.

  • Jeffrey C. Hawkins (Electrical Engineering, B.S., 1979) invented the Palm Pilot, one of the first successful handheld personal digital assistant devices. The Palm Pilot’s form and function impacted the design of future smartphones.

  • CDMA (Code Division and Multiple Access) technology for cell phones was developed in 1989 by alum Irwin Jacobs , co-founder and former chairman of Qualcomm. This innovation greatly increased the number of calls cell phone towers could handle simultaneously and became the world’s fastest-growing and most advanced voice and data wireless communications technology.

  • Prof. and alum Lester Eastman, contributed to the pioneering advances in communications technology resulting from the development of high-speed and high-frequency gallium arsenide devices. His research now permeates cell phone technology and radar and satellite communication applications.

  • Prof. Malcolm S. McIlroy created the Electric Analyzer for Fluid Distribution Systems. This device’s tungsten lamp lit up with varying degrees of intensity to indicate change in fluid pressure of municipal gas or water pipes. At Cornell, he continued the development of a nonlinear resistor and resulted in an analog computer that has been a significant contribution to the solution of fluid pipeline network problems.

  • The Electric Wave Form Tracer was created by Harris J. Ryan, (Electrical Engineering, B.S., 1887). His new technology was applied to versatile monitors for modern cathode-ray oscilloscopes, television sets, radar and computers.

  • The moog synthesizer was patented in the mid-1960s by Robert Moog, (Applied and Engineering Physics, Ph.D., 1965). This invention was responsible for changing the landscape of popular music and ushering in the new genre of electronic music.

  • Jonathan J. Rubenstein, (Electrical Engineering, B.S., 1978; M.S., 1979), as vice president at Apple led the effort to take the ipod from an idea to a market product in less than a year. The ipod remains unrivaled in popularity and success as a portable media device.

  • David Duffield, (Electrical Engineering, B.S., 1962), the namesake for Duffield Hall, is the founder of two ultra-successful enterprise software companies: PeopleSoft and Workday. Dufffield’s foundation Maddie’s Fund has supported no-kill animal shelters, including Tompkins County SPCA.

  • The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico was designed by Engineering faculty member William E. Gordon. Built beginning in 1960, the observatory is the largest single-dish radar-radio telescope in the world and is home to numerous innovations including the discovery of the first exoplanets, creating a detailed map of the distribution of galaxies in the universe and mapping the surface of Venus.

  • The first implantable cardiac pacemaker was developed in 1960 by Wilson Greatbatch, (Electrical Engineering, B.S., 1950). This invention was named by the National Society of Professional Engineers as one of the 10 greatest engineering contributions to society.

  • In 1903, Cornell electrical engineering students sent out some of the first radio signals of what would eventually become WHCU, one of the oldest radio stations in North America.

  • In 1883, the first course of study in electrical engineering in the world was introduced at Cornell. In 1889, Cornell established an electrical engineering department which was then incorporated into the College of Engineering.

  • In 2008, Todd E. Humphreys, Paul Kintner and Mark Psiaki, and Brent Ledvina, demonstrated the first known GPS spoofing attack, where a hacker can fool a targeted GPS receiver to misestimating its position, time or both. This has guided the development of a new generation of spoofing detection countermeasures to ensure the security of civilian GPS.

  • The Gene gun is the second prototype of produced by Ed Wolf, John Sanford, and Nelson Allen at Cornell. Biolistic gene guns are used to genetically transform plants by shooting microprojectiles (tiny bullets) covered in DNA into plant cells. Prototype II incorporated several new features, including a plunger that accelerated microparticles using gunpowder rather than air.

  • Over half of our faculty regularly includes undergraduates in their research groups. Many of these students co‐author papers and attend international technical conference where they can meet the technical leaders of both today and tomorrow.

  • Hwa C. Torng’s, ‘60, research was the benchmark for Intel’s Pentium chips which enabled processors to read, evaluate, and execute instructions. It is widely, if not universally, installed in processors, and is the 7th most cited hardware patent in the U.S.

  • The 2013 class mean starting salary for a Cornell ECE Bachelor's degree recipient was $72,637.

  • Employers of our graduates include Accenture, Citigroup Global Markets, Draper Laboratory, Epic, Ernst & Young Consulting, Goldman Sachs, Google, IBM, Intel, JRI-America, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Northrop Grumman, Proctor & Gamble, Qualcomm, Raytheon, Ropes & Gray, Space Systems Loral, The Nielsen Company, and the U.S. Air Force.

  • ECE faculty include 12 IEEE Fellows, 10 National Science CAREER recipients, 5 DARPA/ONR/Air Force Young Investigators, 2 PECASE recipients, and 1 MacArthur Fellow, just to name a few.

  • Cornell University introduced the nation’s (and the world’s) first course of study in electrical engineering in 1883.

  • Edward D Wolf and facility staff member Nelson Allen designed and built the biolistic particle delivery system popularly called the Gene Gun. When purchased by DuPont in 1990 it generated the largest single royalty payment ever made in University history to date.

  • Wilson Greatbatch, ‘50 is responsible for inventing the cardiac pacemaker.

  • Malcolm S. McIlroy, ‘23 created the Electric Analyzer for Fluid Distribution Systems (Patent 2, 509, 024) a device whose tungsten lamp lit up with varying degrees of intensity to indicate change in fluid pressure of municipal gas or water pipes.

  • The Electric Wave Form Tracer was created by Harris J. Ryan, 1887, his new technology was applied to versatile monitors for modern cathode-ray oscilloscopes, television sets, radar and computers.

  • US Patent 502, 384 Dynamo-Electric Machine or Motor, was also created by Harris J. Ryan 1887, which overcame a major defect in the operation of DC (direct-current) machinery.

  • Harris J Ryan, 1887 grad built one of America’s first high voltage transformers in Ithaca NY.

  • 47% of our undergraduate class goes on to pursue advanced graduate degrees in engineering, medicine, law, and business at top schools such as: Stanford, Berkeley, Princeton, and Colombia University. 53% of our undergraduates find employment at companies ranging from large scale multinational engineering corporations to cutting‐edge start‐up companies.

  • Cornell ECE has been consistently among the Top Ten nationally ranked programs according to U.S. News & World Report.