Formation of the Lawrence Scientific School, marking Harvard’s first major effort to provide a formal, advanced education in science and engineering.
Lawrence Scientific School was dissolved and the undergraduate and graduate programs separated; the graduate engineering program is incorporated into the Graduate School of Applied Science.
The Harvard Engineering School was established. As is recorded in the President’s Reports for 1917-18, the School was authorized to offer the B.Sc., M.Sc., and a doctor’s degree. The immediate cause
for the establishment of the School was a decision of the Supreme Judicial Court in 1917, outlawing the arrangements reached with MIT in 1914.
One of the most important inventions in broadcasting and telephone came out of the Harvard Engineering School’s Cruft Laboratory, the crystal oscillator invented by George Washington Pierce (Ph.D., 1900), Rumford Professor of Physics and director of Harvard’s Cruft High-Tension Electrical Laboratory. The oscillator enabled a given radio station to stay “fixed” at a proper frequency and allowed multiple telephone calls to occur over a single line.
The Harvard Engineering School incorporates graduate-level and professional programs.
A cyclotron was constructed at the Graduate School of Engineering’s Gordon McKay Engineering Laboratory. Projected to be the largest such operating facility in the world, it was built to support research in biology and medicine as well as physics. In 1942 the cyclotron was sent to Los Alamos.
The undergraduate Department of Engineering Sciences’ name changes to the Department of Engineering Sciences and Applied Physics to reflect an increased emphasis on applied physics.
Howard Aiken (Ph.D., 1937) developed the Mark I series of computers, the first large-scale automatic digital computer in the USA. Around the same time, a new generation of technically-trained students began to share their knowledge well beyond Harvard’s campus. Alumnus and donor of an endowed professorship at SEAS), Allen E. Puckett S.B. ’39, S.M. ’41, went on to define modern aerodynamics, served as CEO as Hughes Aircraft, and won the National Medal of Honor in Technology.
The Graduate School of Engineering merges its faculty with the undergraduate program, (the Department of Engineering Sciences and Applied Physics), into the Division of Engineering Sciences within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
The Division of Applied Science is formed from the merger of the Division of Engineering Sciences and the Department of Engineering Sciences and Applied Physics.
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), the scientific foundation for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), was pioneered by Nicolaas Bloembergen, Edward M. Purcell, and Robert V. Pound at Harvard. Purcell won the 1952 Nobel Prize in Physics for this discovery. Bloembergen, a Harvard graduate student who went on to become a faculty member of DAS, went on to share a Nobel Prize in physics in 1981 for contributions in the development of laser spectroscopy.
The year Bill Gates would have graduated had he not left to found Microsoft. His classmate and future colleague, Steven A. Ballmer AB ’77, did finish his degree and returned in 1999 to dedicate the Maxwell Dworkin Building that he and his former classmate made possible, perfectly melding the past with the optimism of the present.
Harvard offers a stand-alone undergraduate concentration in computer science; CS had previously been part of applied mathematics.
A paper authored at Harvard on cracking in films and layered materials goes on to become one of the 10 most cited papers in the field of engineering.
Division of Applied Sciences name is changed to the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
DEAS strengthens its presence in foundational areas, including applied mathematics, applied mechanics, applied physics and materials science, and environmental sciences and augments them by forming new relationships with other parts of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Programs in computer systems research, electrical engineering, and bioengineering are fostered and developed. As a result, DEAS plays a key role in university-wide initiatives supporting computation, biologically-inspired engineering, and systems biology.
2001 & 2007
A light beam is brought to a complete stop, then restarted. Six years later, a light pulse is made to disappear from one cold atom cloud then retrieved from another cloud nearby. In the process, light was converted into matter then back into light.
Facebook, a social networking company that began in a dorm room at Harvard, is launched.
A team of researchers discovered how the Venus flytrap snaps up its prey in a mere tenth of a second by actively shifting the curved shape of its mouth-like leaves.
A new nano-optical device is developed that can focus laser light tighter than traditional optics, which could lead to higher-density data storage.
Harvard proposes to transform the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences into the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers officially ratifies the transition to the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
Harvard names Cherry A. Murray as dean.