Misha Mahowald Scientist

Dr. Michelle (Misha) Mahowald (1963–1996) was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As a young girl, she used the name Misha (short for Michelle) as a nom-de-plume in her diary, but later adopted it as her official name. After graduating high school, she attended the California Institute of Technology, graduating with a degree in biology in 1985. She continued at Caltech as a PhD student in Computation and Neural Systems under the supervision of Professor Carver Mead, a specialist in computer science. For her thesis, Mahowald created her own project by combining the fields of biology, computer science, and electrical engineering, to produce the 'silicon retina.' The silicon retina used analog electrical circuits to mimic the biological functions of rod cells and cone cells in the retina of the eye. The invention was not only highly original and potentially useful as a device for restoring sight to the blind, but it was also one of the most eclectic feats of electrical and biological engineering of the time. This remarkable example of engineering earned Mahowald a well-deserved reputation as one of the most famous female engineers of her age.

Personal details

Date of birth
Date of death
1996 at age of 33
Places lived
Minneapolis , Minnesota
pop. 400,070 (2013)
Minnesota , United States of America
pop. 5,420,380 (2013)


1. California Institute of Technology Colleges/University

The California Institute of Technology (commonly referred to as Caltech) is a private research university located in Pasadena, California, United States. Caltech has six academic divisions with strong emphases on science and engineering. Its 124-acre (50 ha) primary campus is located approximately 11 mi (18 km) northeast of downtown Los Angeles.

Type Private school
2012. 1.87 bil. $
Institution colors
1200 East California Blvd, 91125 - Pasadena, California
2013. 977
2011. 978
2010. 967
2009. 947
2005. 900
2013. 1,204
2011. 1,253
2010. 1,208
Acceptance rate
2014. 8.0 %
2013. 10.6 %
2012. 11.8 %
2010. 13.0 %
Local tuition
2013. 41.5 K $
2010. 35 K $
Official web page www.caltech.edu
Wikipedia article

Institution social analysis

Notable alumni by career
Notable alumni by gender
Notable alumni by party membership

People attended California Institute of Technology connected by profession and/or age

b. 1960., Scientist
b. 1952., Scientist
b. 1933., Scientist
b. 1911., Scientist
b. 1937., Scientist
b. 1948., Scientist
b. 1900., Scientist
b. 1908., Scientist


Check Misha Mahowald on wikipedia.

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