This month, the news and opinion website The Daily Beast pointed out in “Tech’s 29 Most Powerful Colleges” that the tech industry is one area where Dartmouth alumni rise to the top. The Beast analyzed the alma maters of top tech executives, “ … to identify which colleges, compared student-for-student (undergraduate enrollment data courtesy of the National Center for Education Statistics), have turned out the most undergraduates destined for high-tech greatness.” Dartmouth came out number one on the list.
The Daily Beast cited Dartmouth trustee John Donahoe ’82, president and CEO of eBay Inc., and Enrique Salem ’87, president and CEO of Symantec, as notable Dartmouth alumni. The coverage also included Stephen Russell ’58, who “led the team that developed one of the first videogames, Spacewar!, in 1962.”
“I’m delighted to see Dartmouth recognized for doing what it has always done best: train future leaders,” says Donahoe. “There is no doubt that my Dartmouth experience prepared me as a leader. I also believe that Dartmouth’s mission of developing future leaders has never been more important, and that Dartmouth students today are receiving the best undergraduate education in the world.”
“This ranking is not about which college produces the most innovative technologies, it is about which college produces technology leaders,” says Ellen Waite-Franzen, Dartmouth’s vice president for information technology and chief information officer. “One factor is that Dartmouth has long integrated information technology into the undergraduate experience. In 1962, math professors John Kemeny [who in 1970 became Dartmouth’s 13th president] and Thomas Kurtz proposed building a computation center. They recognized the importance of bringing computing into the life of all undergraduates—not just the mathematicians, engineers, and computer scientists. What Dartmouth discovered nearly 50 years ago is now part of the ethos of most campuses.”
(Kemeny and Kurtz also co-wrote the computer language BASIC. See this timeline for more on Dartmouth’s history in computing.)
David Kotz ’86, associate dean of the faculty for the sciences and professor of computer science, also cites Dartmouth’s “long history of innovation and entrepreneurism in many areas of technology,” and points to “present cutting-edge research in areas including computer science, engineering, and the life sciences.”
The Dartmouth Regional Technology Center, the tech incubator mentioned in The Daily Beast, is only the tip of the iceberg of tech at Dartmouth. Below is a look at just a fraction of the programs that help make Dartmouth a source of leaders in tech industries, and of technological innovation itself.
Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering, founded in 1867, is one of the country’s oldest professional schools of engineering, and one of its most forward-looking: There is only one engineering department—Thayer School itself. When expertise from across the engineering disciplines converges, the opportunities for innovation increase exponentially. Many Thayer faculty have founded their own companies. In 2008, Thayer launched the nation’s first doctoral-level Engineering Innovation Program, which provides graduates with the entrepreneurial training they need to turn research discoveries into marketable applied technologies.
At the Tuck School of Business, the Glassmeyer/McNamee Center for Digital Strategies fosters intellectual leadership by forging a learning community of scholars, executives, and students focused on the role of digital strategies in creating competitive advantage in corporations and value chains. The center conducts high-impact research, creates dialogue between CIOs and their functional executive colleagues, and drives an understanding of digital strategies into the MBA curriculum.
The Neukom Institute for Computational Science supports Dartmouth students and faculty in integrating computational technology into teaching, scholarship, and, most critically, into their thinking. The institute also supports the development of new technologies that will change the way we all think and work.The Neukom Institute for Computational Science supports Dartmouth students and faculty in integrating computational technology into teaching, scholarship, and, most critically, into their thinking. The institute also supports the development of new technologies that will change the way we all think and work.
The Dartmouth Regional Technology Center (DRTC) is a technology incubator that fosters the development of high-growth technology startup companies. Its business development and education operations are performed by Dartmouth College primarily through the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network and the Tuck School of Business.
Dartmouth manages the Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection (I3P), a consortium of leading universities, national laboratories, and nonprofit institutions dedicated to strengthening the cyber infrastructure of the United States.
The College’s Institute for Security, Technology, and Society (ISTS) is dedicated to pursuing research and education to advance information security and privacy throughout society. ISTS engages in interdisciplinary research, education, and outreach programs that focus on information technology (IT) and its role in society, particularly the impact of IT in security and privacy.
A notable project based at ISTS is Trustworthy Information Systems for Healthcare (TISH). The project’s multidisciplinary research drives innovation in information-sharing technology that ensures security and privacy while addressing the pragmatic needs of patients, clinical staff, and healthcare organizations to deliver efficient, high-quality care. The project is a partnership among ISTS, the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction, Vt., The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice (TDI), Google, and Intel.
Dartmouth is designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research (CAE-R) by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security for the academic years 2008 through 2013. The CAE-R program supports a national strategy to secure cyberspace by promoting education and research that address threats and vulnerabilities to the information infrastructure.