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Dr. Mark Dean
*Mark Dean was born this date in 1957. He is a Black computer scientist.
From Jefferson City, Tennessee, Dean's grandfather was a high school principal; his father was a supervisor at the Tennessee Valley Authority Dam. As a boy, he and his father built a tractor from scratch. He recalled growing up that one white friend in sixth grade asked if he was really Black. His friend had concluded Dean was too smart to be Black. Dean was one of the few Black students attending Jefferson City (Tenn.) High School. He was both a fine athlete and a straight-A student.
In 1979 he graduated at the top of his class at the University of Tennessee though technically part of the university's Minority Engineering Program. He received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee. An M.S.E.E. in 1982 from Florida Atlantic University and a Ph.D. in E.E. from Stanford in 1992. He has been with IBM since 1980, and was named an IBM Fellow in 1995, one of only 50 active fellows of IBM's 200,000 employees; and the first African American to be so honored. He is currently Vice President of Performance for the RS/6000 Division in Austin Texas.
Dr. Dean holds more than 20 US Patents, including three of IBM's original nine PC patents. In 1997 he was inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame joining two other noted Black members, George Washington Carver and Dr. Percy Julian. In 1999, he lead the team that built a gigahertz (1000 MHz) chip which did a billion calculations per second.
Dr. Dean continues to move forward in computer science, pondering the future with a vision of what impact his team’s inventions can have on the world.
Dr. Scott Williams,
Professor of Mathematics
State University of New York at Buffalo