Ross K Bassett

Picture of Ross K Bassett

Professor

Biography

I received my undergraduate education from the University of Pennsylvania, earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.  I then worked at IBM, designing semiconductor memory systems for large computers.  I eventually found myself interested in a number of questions about the technologies I was working on which could only be answered by a historical perspective.  I left IBM, to study history,  earning a masters degree at Cornell and then a doctorate at Princeton.   I have been particularly interested in the movement of technologies and engineers across a variety of boundaries.  My first book, a history of the MOS transistor, the dominant semiconductor of our time, examined how it moved from East Coast research labs to Silicon Valley start-ups, such as Intel, and subsequently entered every area of American life.  I have just completed a study of Indian graduates of MIT, showing the central role that MIT played in the technological imagination of a group of English language educated Indians.  

 

I am currently the director of the Benjamin Franklin Scholars at NC State, which allows engineering students to simultaneously pursue a degree in humanities or social sciences. 

 

I also serve as the treasurer of the Society for the History of Technology.

Publications

The Technological Indian (Cambridge:  Harvard University Press, 2016)

 "Aligning India in the Cold War Era:  Indian Technical Elites, the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur and Computing in India and the United States,"  Technology and Culture 50 (October 2009)

To the Digital Age:  Research Labs, Start-Up Companies and the Rise of MOS Technology  (Baltimore:  Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002) 

Presentations

"Before Bangalore and Silicon Valley:  How MIT and and IIT Graduates Have Shaped Computer History,"  Computer History Museum, July 15, 2010