Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson: Can you see me now?

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson: Can you see me now?

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson

A Pioneering Physicist and Engineering Leader

Black History Month provides us with the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the achievements of Black Americans who have made a significant impact on our society. One such individual is Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, a renowned physicist and leader in science and engineering.

Shirley Jackson writing on black board

(Dr. Jackson writing on a black board)

Born in Washington, D.C. in 1946, Dr. Jackson was raised in a family of scientists and went on to earn a PhD in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1973. She was the first African American woman to achieve this distinction at MIT in any field.

Throughout her career, Dr. Jackson has made many groundbreaking contributions to science and engineering. She conducted pioneering research in the field of theoretical physics, focusing on the structure of matter and the forces that govern the behavior of the universe. Her work also involved the development of new materials and technologies, including semiconductors, optical fibers, and wireless communication systems.

When asked about her interests she stated this:

"I am interested in the electronic, optical, magnetic, and transport properties of novel semiconductor systems. Of special interest are the behavior of magnetic polarons in semimagnetic and dilute magnetic semiconductors, and the optical response properties of semiconductor quantum-wells and superlattices. My interests also include quantum dots, mesoscopic systems, and the role of antiferromagnetic fluctuations in correlated 2D electron systems."

(Shirley Jackson (center) at MIT the year she earned her PhD in physics, 1973.)

One of her notable contributions to technology was her role in the development of caller ID, a system that allows telephone users to see the phone number of the person calling them before answering the call. 

Aside from her scientific accomplishments, Dr. Jackson has been a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion in the fields of science, engineering, and technology. She has served as a mentor to many young scientists, especially women and minorities, inspiring them to pursue careers in these fields.

Dr. Jackson has received numerous awards and honors, including being elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Academy of Sciences. She has also received numerous honorary degrees from universities worldwide.

Jackson standing at black board

(Shirley Jackson at MIT the year she earned her PhD in physics, 1973.)

Currently, Dr. Jackson is the President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and continues to be a leader in the science and engineering community, serving on several boards and committees dedicated to promoting science, engineering, and technology.

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson's contributions to science and engineering are immense and have had a lasting impact on the world of technology. Her legacy continues to inspire future generations of young scientists and engineers, and during this Black History Month, we celebrate her achievements and salute her pioneering spirit.

Thank You!

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Ann_Jackson



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