Who Inspire Us
Thelma Estrin is a professor at University
of California, Los Angeles. As a UCLA professor, Estrin
was a pioneer in the field of biomedical engineering, using computer
technology to solve problems in health care and medical research.
Estrin designed and then implemented the first system for analog-digital
conversion of electrical activity from the nervous system, a precursor
to the use of computers in medicine. She also published papers on
how to map the brain with the help of computers, and in 1975--long
before the Internet became popular and easy to use--she designed
a computer network between UCLA and UC Davis.
also helped to design Israel's first computer, the WEIZAC, in 1954.
She was the director of the Data Processing Laboratory at the Brain
Research Institute at UCLA. She served as president of the Institute
of Electrical & Electronics Engineers' (IEEE) Engineering in Medicine
and Biology Society in 1977 and later became the first woman elected
to national office in IEEE, serving as the organization's vice president.
She was also the first woman to join the board of trustees of the
Aerospace Corporation, where her leadership encouraged many women
to pursue careers in aerospace engineering.
three daughters are Margo, a medical doctor; Judith,CEO/president,
Packet Design and former CTO and senior vice president of Cisco
Systems; and Deborah, a computer science professor at USC.