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Alumni/ae Notes

* Winter 2011-12
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Features

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Class Notes
For the full text of the Class Notes section as printed in the Rensselaer Alumni Magazine, log in or create a password.

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Steven Sasson ’72 Awarded Davies Medal
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* Steven Sasson ’72 Awarded Davies Medal
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Steve Sasson ’72, inventor of the digital camera, was awarded the Davies Medal for Engineering Achievement, the highest honor bestowed by the School of Engineering at Rensselaer.

Sasson joined the Eastman Kodak Company as an electrical engineer. At 25, he designed the first digital still camera and playback system, which recorded black-and-white digital images to a magnetic cassette tape. The prototype captured its first image in December 1975.

He continued to work with digital photography throughout the 1980s and received more than 10 key digital imaging patents. In 1989, he led the development of the first prototype megapixel electronic digital camera.

His breakthroughs continued to unfold into the 1990s when he developed one of the first photographic-quality thermal printing systems, derivatives of which are still used in self-serve imaging kiosks.

Sasson was awarded the 2009 National Medal of Technology and Innovation. He was inducted into the Rensselaer Alumni Hall of Fame in September.

As part of the Davies Award ceremony, Sasson gave a presentation, “Disruptive Innovation: The Story of the First Digital Camera,” in which he talked about the complex dynamics that arise between people and technology during a period of disruptive innovations in an established corporation.

“No matter how clear it appears to you, there are things that you haven’t thought of, and these things will inevitably shape and bring your ideas to new levels,” Sasson said. “And these challenges will be your first indications of where these changes will come from. So don’t let the questions dilute your enthusiasm; use them to fuel it by testing and refining your vision.”

“Disruptive Innovation: The Story of the First Digital Camera”: Video

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