James Gibbons

CIRCUITS OF KNOWLEDGE
James Gibbons is Poised to Use What He’s Learned
as Dean of the School of Engineering in Entirely New Ways

By Joan Hamilton
Photography by Marcos Lujan




O ON AN OVERCAST MORNING in early December, while most of the campus sleeps, a parade of shiny luxury cars slips into the Tresidder Memorial Union parking lot. Some of Silicon Valley’s most important players emerge. There are “suits” like venture capital legends Burton McMurtry of Technology Venture Investors and Franklin P. “Pitch” Johnson of Asset Management Co. There are academics like the white-thatched and sandal-wearing computer scientist John McCarthy, one of the “fathers” of artificial intelligence, and electrical engineer John G. Linvill, one of the forces behind Stanford’s Center for Integrated Systems.

And there are hybrids, like computer science visionary John Hennessy, the incoming dean of the School of Engineering, whose idea of a sabbatical in 1984 was to start the microprocessor company MIPS Computer Systems. Who could assemble such a pedigreed group at this hour? Inside Tresidder, the meeting room door opens and a grinning Jim Gibbons, retiring dean of engineering, who characteristically is running a

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MAY/JUNE1996

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