December 2001


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Chip Off the Old Block

I am writing in response to the article “Chips Ahoy” (September 2001) about the pioneering work of Robert P. Colwell (Engineering ’77) and his early work on Intel’s Pentium microprocessor. I was impressed by the determination and hard work of Robert and his cohorts to realize their dreams of creating one of the most successful microprocessors of the 20th century. I also felt that I could appreciate more of what his successes, and failures as well, meant to him since I trod a similar path during the late ’50s in my pursuit of one of the first integrated circuits that was ever made at the time.

I was employed at that time by Westinghouse Electric Corporation at the Research and Development facility in Churchill, Pennsylvania. Another University of Pittsburgh graduate, Jacob Zubek (Engineering ’56, ’57), and I designed and built a three-watt audio amplifier in monolithic silicon, completely isolated by diffusion on a 100 mil by 300 mil chip.

I am writing this letter to not only commend an alumnus, Mr. Colwell, but to let it be known that there were other University of Pittsburgh alumni that contributed to the progress of the computer industry.

Martin J. Geisler
Engineering, ’56, ’66
Murrysville, Pennsylvania

Dear Ms. Flecker

Just a short note to wish you all the best in your future writing endeavors and to say you will be missed. There is only one question. Where shall I look for you in the future: Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker, or the fiction sections of Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Wherever, I wish you early and frequent successes.

Richard A. Garinger
Arts and Sciences, ’51
Covington, Washington

Editor’s note: Former Editor in Chief Sally Ann Flecker reports she is very busy as a freelance writer. Look for a feature story written by her in our next issue.

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