Distinguished Alumni

Electrical engineering and computer science are revolutionizing our daily lives.  Alumni of Case Western Reserve University are leading the way through innovation and advancement.  Below are just a few of those leaders who got their start at Case Western Reserve.

Distinguished Alumni from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Paul Buchheit (CWR ’98; GRS '98, computer engineering) was Google's 23rd employee. Buchheit is the creator and lead developer of Gmail, which anticipated many aspects of Web 2.0, including the idea of Ajax, long before that term was coined.

Craig Newmark (CIT '75, GRS '77, computer science) is the founder of craigslist.org, one of the top U.S. Web sites with roughly 5 billion page views per month. The site features a wide variety of postings including notices for jobs, housing, personals, services, and events for more than 400 cities worldwide.

Chi-Foon Chan (GRS '74, computer engineering and GRS ‘77, computer science) is President and Chief Operating Officer at Synopsys, Inc., Mountain View, CA. He has served as COO since April 1997 and as President and a Director of Synopsys since February 1998.

Larry Sears (CIT '69, electrical engineering and current adjunct faculty)  founded Hexagram, Inc. (now ACLARA RF Systems) in 1972 as a “design and build” supplier of electronic instruments and controls. ACLARA has since become one of the leading providers of telemetry products for automatically reading utility meters.  In 2006, Larry and wife Sally established the Undergraduate Design Lab at Case.


Distinguished Alumni from Case Western Reserve University in the Field of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Donald Knuth (CIT ’60; GRS '60 mathematics) is Professor Emeritus of the Art of Computer Programming at Stanford University. Knuth is the father of several areas such as analysis of algorithms, parsing, attribute grammars, empirical study of programming languages. Knuth is the author of the Art of Computer Programming, the book series that attempts to organize the vast field of computer methods. Knuth is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences and winner of the Kyoto Prize. 

Peter Tippett (GRS '81, biochemistry; MED '83) is CTO at Cybertrust. He has been a leader and visionary in the computer security industry for more than fifteen years, beginning with the development of the first-and highly acclaimed-anti-virus software, “Vaccine”. In 1992 Tippett sold his company, Certus, to Symantec which turned “Vaccine” into the incredibly popular “Norton AntiVirus.”

Larry J. Hornbeck (CIT '65; GRS '65, '74, physics) who invented MEMS-based digital light processor at TI. Hornbeck received numerous awards for his inventions and pioneering innovations in both the design and manufacturing of Digital Micromirror Devices (DMDs) integrated into metal-oxide semiconductor (MOS) technology.  Hornbeck is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Paul J. Friedl (CIT '55; GRS '57; '60, chemical engineering), known by many people as the “Father of the Personal Computer," was the chief architect and inventor of the world’s first personal computer, “SCAMP” or Special Computer APL Machine Portable.  SCAMP became the father of the IBM 5100 and the grandfather of the ubiquitous IBM PC, which was introduced in August 1981, nearly eight years later. The original SCAMP is now in the Smithsonian Institute.  Friedl also developed the predecessor of the modern spreadsheet program in 1973.