Mildred S. Dresselhaus, 2010


For leadership in condensed matter physics, in energy and scientific policy, in service to the scientific community, and in mentoring women in the sciences.


Dr. Dresselhaus received an A.B. summa cum laude from Hunter College in 1951, an A.M. from Radcliffe College in 1953 and a Ph.D. in 1958 from the University of Chicago. She was a Fulbright Fellow at Newnham College at the University of Cambridge from 1951 to 1952. Born and raised in New York City at the height of the Depression, she was inspired at Hunter College by future Nobel Laureate Rosalyn Yalow, who recognized her talent and encouraged her to pursue science.

Dr. Dresselhaus’ extensive portfolio of research accomplishments includes many discoveries leading to fundamental understanding in various condensed matter systems. Dr. Dresselhaus has also served in many scientific leadership roles, including as the Director of the DOE Office of Science, President of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Chair of the American Institute of Physics Governing Board, as well as Co-chair of the most recent Decadal Study of Condensed Matter and Materials Physics. She is also widely recognized as having devoted considerable energy to mentoring students, raising community awareness, and promoting progress on gender equity. She is widely respected as a premier mentor and spokesperson for women in science.

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