Dr. Gordon S. Brown

Institute Professor, retired
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Gordon S. Brown
My career as an educator in electrical engineering . . . exposed me to a multitude of career opportunities for graduates and . . . (demonstrated) that an interdisciplinary competence is extremely valuable.

Gordon S. Brown studied at the Royal Melbourne Technical School and completed the SB, SM and ScD degrees in electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Upon graduation he joined the MIT faculty and established the Servomechanisms Laboratory where he helped develop the Whirlwind Digital Computer and the Automatically Programmed Tool System.

During World War II, Brown served as a fire control consultant for the Sperry Gyroscope Company and the Frankford Arsenal. In 1952 he became head of the Department of Electrical Engineering at MIT and initiated a program of innovative reform. Appointed dean of the School of Engineering, Brown instituted similar reforms in other departments, established research centers, and developed formal technology-transfer programs. In 1973, Brown was named Institute Professor, an honor bestowed by the MIT faculty and administration.

A founding member of the commission on Engineering Education of the National Academy of Engineering and of the Massachusetts Science and Technology Foundation, Brown is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Brown has received the President's Certificate of Merit, the George Westinghouse Award, the Lamme Medal, Joseph Marie Jacquard Annual Memorial Award, and the Rufus Oldenburger Medal. He has received five honorary degrees, including one from Purdue University in 1958, and has a building at MIT named in his honor.

Retired since 1974, Brown is involved in enhancing public school education in Tucson. Using a computerized systems approach cause, effect, feedback Brown's method stimulates student-teacher interaction and avoids the fragmentation of the standard curriculum.