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Dawn Levy, News Service (650) 725-1944; e-mail:

Historian Stewart Gillmor to speak on life as a graduate student under Fred Terman

Stewart Gillmor, a visiting professor at Stanford in electrical engineering and a professor of history and science at Wesleyan University, will give a lecture on life as a graduate student in electrical engineering during the Depression at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, in the Packard Building, Room 101. The seminar is free and open to the public.

Gillmor will talk about student life and shenanigans under Professor Fred Terman, who was a major force behind the early growth of Stanford engineering. Money and space were tight in Terman's electrical engineering laboratory during the 1930s. Graduate students, including William Hewlett and Dave Packard, worked in wire-covered cubicles in the attic.

Gillmor will explain how Terman worked hard to obtain financial support and attract the best graduate students, which Terman felt was key to building a great university. From 1928 to 1941, Gillmor writes, Terman actually directed more graduate theses than anyone at the university, more than most departments.

Gillmor, who is completing a biography of Terman, also will describe work that launched the Hewlett-Packard Co.

For more information about the seminar, call (650) 725-9985.


By Louisa Dalton

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