Technology innovator to headline Steinmetz Memorial Lecture

Publication Date

Lynn Conway, one of the most prominent engineers in the tech industry, will

Lynn Conway

present the Steinmetz Memorial Lecture Tuesday, April 21, at 7 p.m. in the Nott Memorial.

Her talk, “Our Travels Through Time: Envisioning Historical Waves of Technological Innovation,” is free and open to the public.

A professor emerita of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan, Conway has often been referred to as the “hidden hand” in the microchip design revolution.

Her innovations during the 1970s at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) have impacted chip design worldwide. Many high-tech companies and computing methods have foundations in her work.

Conway received her B.S. and M.S.E.E. degrees from Columbia University.

She began her career at IBM Research in 1964. She also worked at the Memorex Corporation, PARC and the Defense Advanced Research Project's Agency (DARPA). She also served as visiting associate professor of EECS at M.I.T. in 1978-79. She joined the University of Michigan in 1985 as professor of EECS and associate dean of the College of Engineering.

A textbook she co-authored with Carver Mead of Caltech in 1979, Introduction to VLSI Systems, is considered a landmark publication that helped standardize chip design instruction. Used in college engineering courses around the world, the textbook developed guidelines to make chip design scalable and accessible to a broad audience of engineers for the first time.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering and an IEEE Fellow, Conway holds five U.S. patents for inventions on visual communications and control.