• 1924 February 21
    (b.) - ?


Professor Emerita, Department of Computer Science, University of California at Los Angeles, she is a computer scientist and engineer who has done pioneering work in the fields of expert systems and biomedical engineering. She was one of the first to apply computer technology to healthcare and medical research. She was born in New York City and attended public schools there. Demonstrating an early aptitude for mathematics, she began her higher education at City College of New York, initially planning to become an accountant. At City College she met Gerald Estrin in 1941; and they were married when she was seventeen. When Gerald Estrin entered the Army during World War II, she took a three-month engineering assistant course at Stevens Institute of Technology in 1942. She then began working at Radio Receptor Company building electronic devices. She began to develop an interest in engineering while working at Radio Receptor Company. After the war, she and her husband both entered the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where they both earned degrees in Electrical Engineering. She received her BSc in 1948, her MSc in 1949, and her PhD in 1951. They moved to Princeton, New Jersey, in the early 1950s, where Gerald joined the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and became associated with the group that formed around John von Neumann. She obtained a research position in the Electroencephalograph Department of the Neurological Institute of New York at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, where she developed an interest in biomedical engineering. Gerald obtained a teaching position at UCLA in 1953 and they moved to Los Angeles. Shortly afterwards she and Gerald went to Israel, where they helped to build the first computer there, the Weizmann Automatic Computer, or WEIZAC, in 1954. After their return, she became associated with the Brain Research Institute at UCLA in 1960, and organized the Institute's Data Processing Laboratory in 1961; she served as Director of the Data Processing Laboratory from 1970 to 1980. In 1980, she accepted a position as professor in the Computer Science Department of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. She has served as president of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, and as vice president of IEEE. In 1989 she was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was also awarded a Fulbright Fellowship at the Weizmann Institute in Israel to study EEG patterns in epileptics. She received an Outstanding Engineer of the Year Award from the California Institute for the Advancement of Engineering, an Achievement Award from the Society of Women Engineers (1981), the Haradan Pratt Award (1991), and the Superior Accomplishment Award from the National Science Foundation. She is a Fellow of IEEE, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a founding Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.
  • Date of Birth:

    1924 February 21
  • Gender:

  • Noted For:

    One of the first to apply computer technology to healthcare and medical research
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