Misha Mahowald



Misha Mahowald was born in 1963 and was a computational neuroscientist who practiced neuromorphic engineering and was a lead reseracher for the Silicon Eye, which restored sight to the blind.

She graduated from the California Institute of Technology with a degree in biology in 1985 and continued at Caltech, earning a PhD in Computation and Neural Systems. For her thesis, she produced the silicon retina, for which she was granted 4 patents.

Her silicon retina used analog electrical circuits to mimic some functions of the human retina, and was one of the most complicated inventions of the time. She gained a reputation as one of the most famous female engineers of her age, and was featured in several scientific journals.

Afterwards she moved to the University of Oxford a year pursuing a post-doctoral fellowship, then moved to Zürich to help found the Institute of Neuroinformatics. She was made a member of the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame in 1996.

She died in Zürich in 1996, taking her own life at the age of 33.

Further Reading