Born in Serbia, Michael Pupin ’83CC became a citizen of the United States the day before graduation. Subsequently he earned a graduate degree in mathematical physics and returned to Columbia for a professorship. During that time Pupinproduced prolific electrical inventions that changed the face of telegraphy and telephony – most commonly long distance phone calls.
Through the course of his life Pupin obtained 34 patents, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1904, received a Pulitzer Prize for his autobiography, and trained many future great electrical engineers and physicists. Today the Columbia’s physics hall and the Engineering School’s prestigious Medal for Service to the Nation are named in his honor.
Photo Credit: Columbia University Archives