MICHAL LIPSON is pioneer in the field of silicon photonics and is the inventor of foundational technology in the field, including the GHz silicon modulator. She is the cofounder of a company specialization in nonlinear silicon photonic components, holds more than 20 patents, and is the author of more than 200 technical papers. A fellow of the Optical Society of America and of IEEE, she was recently named one of the top 1 percent of highly cited researchers in the field of physics by Thomson Reuters. She is a MacArthur Fellow, and received the Blavatnik Award, IBM Faculty Award, and NSF Early Career Award. Prior to joining Columbia in 2015, she had been a member of the faculty of Cornell University since 2001, and was the Given Foundation Professor of Engineering at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. She holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in physics from the Technion and held a postdoctoral position at MIT's Materials Science Department.
The Eugene Higgins Professorship of Electrical Engineering was established by a gift from the Higgins Fund. When the Fund was created from a bequest by Eugene Higgins after his death in 1948, it was the largest educational trust in existence. An 1882 Columbia graduate, Higgins created the fund "to promote the general advancement of science by investigation, research and experiment" as well as "to encourage in the broadest and most liberal manner ... the application of the knowledge so obtained to be improvement and benefit of mankind."