What do some our alumni say about their education at HMC?

George Conner (’74)

Teradyne
It turns out that Physics was a great intro for my particular job. I started as a digital electronics design engineer and the electronics part could be handled with the few courses HMC offered. The tough part was understanding the complex interrelationships of the functional blocks of the system. My physics background helped in this area although I did spend some intensive time reading electronics books. As time progressed, my job became more of an architectural endeavour and that was where physics really started to help: architecture involves understanding the big picture, not just the details of electronics but mechanical, thermal, software etc. At one time or another I have used almost every branch of technology. Only physics gives you enough understanding of theory to let you jump in and start swinging no matter where you land.
Jan. 1, 1997

Joe Shanks (’79)

Photon Research Associates
My point is that the baseline skills for success in industry (I believe) are common sense, good communication skills, a reasonably broad background in science and decent computer skills. There will always be a market for bright people who satisfy these criteria, and a physics degree is a big plus for the applied science shops.
Jan. 1, 1997

Sean Burke (’82)

Sapient Health Network
The scope of my technical education at Harvey Mudd made it possible for me to design products in physics, mathematics, chemistry, and electrical engineering. I felt confident enough to teach myself new subjects... My current team covers a lot of technical ground, and I think that the broad scientific training I received in physics at Harvey Mudd continues to contribute to my ability to successfully educate myself in new subjects and to understand the post-graduate-level work being done by the group.
Jan. 1, 1997

Susan Lewallen (’76)

I graduated in physics in 1976, went to medical school and am now an ophthalmologist doing research in tropical eye diseases. HMC was a great education - can't say I really use a lot of physics, and I'd choke if I had to do a Fourier transformation, but I do rather enjoy optical problems (unlike a lot of my colleagues) and I repair the odd broken instrument...
Jan. 1, 1997