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MICHAEL L. DERTOUZOS

1936–2001


Elected in 1990


“For creative leadership in computer science, technology, and education.”


BY VICTOR ZUE


MICHAEL LEONIDAS DERTOUZOS, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and longtime director of the Laboratory for Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), died on August 27, 2001, at the age of 64.

Michael was born on November 5, 1936, in Athens, Greece. His father was an admiral in the Greek navy and his mother was a concert pianist. These facts help explain both his lifelong love of sailing and his great interest in renaissance and baroque music. Upon graduating with a gymnasium diploma from Athens College in 1954, Michael moved from Athens to the Ozarks, having received a Fulbright scholarship to study electrical engineering at the University of Arkansas, where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1957 and a master’s degree in 1959. He then completed his Ph.D. in electrical engineering at MIT in three years (1964), having written his doctoral thesis on threshold logic. He immediately joined the faculty as an assistant professor.

Michael stayed at MIT for the rest of his life; he was promoted to full professor in 1973, and he was named the inaugural holder of the TIBCO Chair professorship in 2001. Michael’s early teaching led to a two-volume co-authored text in 1972 integrating fundamental subjects in electrical engineering with computation. For this work he won the Terman Education Award in 1975, given to the best educator in all fields of engineering under 40 years of age.



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