Elected in 1974
“For leadership in integrated circuits research and
innovation in related computer-aided design.”
BY PAUL R. GRAY, DAVID A. HODGES, AND
A. RICHARD NEWTON
Don Oscar Pederson was born on September 30, 1925, in Hallock, Minnesota. He entered Iowa State College in the fall of 1943 but was soon drafted. He served in Germany as a private in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946. After the war, he completed his undergraduate education at North Dakota Agricultural College (now North Dakota State University), where he earned a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1948. He earned master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1949 and 1951, respectively. After receiving his Ph.D., Pederson stayed on for a period as a researcher in Stanford’s electronics research lab. From 1953 to 1955, he worked at Bell Telephone Laboratories, in Murray Hill, New Jersey, and also taught night classes at Newark College of Engineering (now the New Jersey Institute of Technology).
Soon Don concluded that he enjoyed teaching even more than his work at Bell Laboratories. In 1955 he contacted acquaintances in California and subsequently was offered and accepted a position as an assistant professor at the University of California at Berkeley. He was an exciting and popular teacher, well remembered by generations of students. With colleague Ernest Kuh, he coauthored Principles of Circuit Synthesis (McGraw-Hill, 1959), a leading undergraduate text of its time. Later he authored another textbook, Electronic Circuits