Carnegie Mellon University
#36 Overall Influence#35 Desirability Rank

Carnegie Mellon University

Private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

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By James Barham, PhD

In 1900, the Scottish-born industrialist and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, donated the funds to establish a vocational college called the Carnegie Technical Schools. In 1912, the Technical Schools’ name was changed to the Carnegie Institute of Technology (CIT).

Carnegie based CIT in Pittsburgh, where he had worked as a messenger boy for the Ohio Telegraph Company not long after arriving with his family in the US. By the turn of the twentieth century, that thriving industrial city had become the main base of operations for Carnegie’s vast steel factories. CIT’s site was adjacent to that of the campus of the University of Pittsburgh.

In 1913, the brothers, Andrew W. and Richard B. Mellon—scions of a wealthy Pittsburgh banking family (also of Scottish ancestry)—donated money to the University of Pittsburgh for the creation of a Department of Industrial Research. Andrew Mellon would go on to serve as US Secretary of the Treasury under President Warren G. Harding during the early 1920s.

In 1928, the Department of Industrial Research was reconstituted as a nonprofit corporation and renamed the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research (MIIR). In 1937, MIIR moved into a new facility on the Pitt campus, across the street from the world-famous Cathedral of Learning.

In 1967, CIT and MIIR merged to create a new, technically oriented university called Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). CMU’s campus is physically adjacent to, and partially overlaps, the University of Pittsburgh campus.

A total of 20 CMU-related individuals have received the Nobel Prize, including:

  • John L. Hall & Otto Stern — physics
  • Ada Yonath & Paul Flory — chemistry
  • John F. Nash, Herbert A. Simon, Oliver Williamson & John Lucas — economics

Computer science is a special strength of CMU, as is shown by its large number of Turing Award–recipients—13 in all—including:

  • Alan J. Perlis
  • Ivan Sutherland
  • Allen Newell
  • Geoffrey Hinton
  • Edward Feigenbaum
  • Edward M. Clarke
  • Manuel Blum
  • Raj Reddy
  • Shafi Goldwasser
  • Herbert A. Simon (the only person to win both a Turing Award and a Nobel Prize)

Also, one might say that CMU is not unlike a startup accelerator, given the number of CMU-connected engineers and entrepreneurs who have gone on to found important IT companies, including, notably, Xerox PARC, Adobe Systems, Sun Microsystems, Lycos, Red Hat, and Nest.

Finally, among other CMU-connected individuals, we may mention:

  • Painters, Andy Warhol & Philip Pearlstein
  • Novelist, Kurt Vonnegut
  • Actors, Holly Hunter, Christopher Reeve, Ethan Hawke, Patrick Wilson, & Ted Danson
  • Java programming language inventor, James Gosling
  • Statistician and machine-learning pioneer, Andrew Ng
  • NASA astronauts, Edgar Mitchell & Judith Resnik

From Wikipedia

Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie as the Carnegie Technical Schools, the university became the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1912 and began granting four-year degrees. In 1967, the Carnegie Institute of Technology merged with the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research, formerly a part of the University of Pittsburgh, to form Carnegie Mellon University. With its main campus located from Downtown Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon has grown into an international university with over a dozen degree-granting locations in six continents, including degree-granting campuses in Qatar and Silicon Valley, and more than 20 research partnerships.

Source: Wikipedia


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The People

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Where will you be attending?


5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213-3890

City Crime Rates

Property Crime

33 per 100k

Violent Crime

8 per 100k

What is Carnegie Mellon University known for?

Our answer to this is to show you the disciplines in which a school's faculty and alumni have had the highest historical influence. A school may be influential in a discipline even if they do not offer degrees in that area. We've organized two lists to show where they are influential and offer corresponding degrees, and where they are influential through scholarship although they don't offer degrees in the disciplines.

Top areas of influence with degrees offered

#5 World Rank
Computer Science
#15 World Rank
#50 World Rank
#20 World Rank
#28 World Rank
#34 World Rank
#62 World Rank
#49 World Rank
#51 World Rank
Political Science
#55 World Rank
#174 World Rank
#143 World Rank
#188 World Rank
#114 World Rank
#202 World Rank
#118 World Rank
#70 World Rank

Influential People

Who are Carnegie Mellon University's Most influential alumni?

Carnegie Mellon University's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Computer Science, Engineering, and Mathematics. Carnegie Mellon University’s most academically influential people include Scott Draves, Virginia Vassilevska Williams, and Virginia Vassilevska Williams.

Scott Draves
Scott Draves

American artist

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Virginia Vassilevska Williams
Virginia Vassilevska Williams

Theoretical computer scientist

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Virginia Vassilevska Williams
Virginia Vassilevska Williams

Theoretical computer scientist

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Robert Axtell

Computer scientist

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Dawn Song

American computer security expert

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Romesh Wadhwani

American businessman

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Mary Shaw
Mary Shaw

American software engineer

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William A. Barnett
William A. Barnett

American economist

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V. V. Chari

Indian-American economist

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Padmanabhan Balaram

Indian biochemist

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L. Stephen Coles

American gerontologist

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George Cowan

American physical chemist, businessman and philanthropist

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