EECS Alums: Major Players and Thinkers

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Bart Stuck, ’68, SM ’69, EE ’70, PhD ’72

Bart Stuck, ’68, SM ’69, EE ’70, PhD ’72

Bart Stuck

Bart Stuck has a long association with the EECS Department at MIT. His SB thesis was orally reviewed by Claude Shannon. He wrote his SM as a member of Yuk Wing Lee’s and Amar Bose’s group, and he completed his doctoral dissertation in space satellite dynamics under Prof. John V. Harrington, head of the MIT Space Center at the time, and his doctoral committee members also included Profs Arthur Baggeroer, and Roger Brockett.

Bart Stuck has many EECS teaching memories from those days of Amar Bose, Paul Gray, Herman Haus, James Melcher, William Siebert, David Staelin, Joel Moses, James Roberge, Donald Steinbrecher, Claude Shannon, David Forney, Harry Van Trees, Roger Brockett, and Michael Athans among others. As Paul Gray’s teaching assistant in Spring 1970, Stuck remembers seeing Paul walk in to a 9AM recitation after being up all night negotiating with students who had occupied MIT administrative offices. As he notes, Prof. Gray turned to him at the conclusion of the lecture to say “you teach the next one, two days from now so I can get some rest.”

Stuck also remembers being teaching assistant with William Siebert during a January midterm break, teaching Fourier analysis for electrical engineers in four weeks to a very hard working student group. “There are a huge number of concepts in this material,” Stuck notes. “I was amazed that students could absorb this much material in so little time. (Maybe they didn’t!).”

As co-founder in 1998 and currently managing director of Signal Lake, an early stage venture capital fund, Stuck observes: “Fast forward to today: what did I gain from this exposure? We have learned to look for three things when investing: people, products, and markets. People make all of this happen and each of the
faculty was an inspiring (in different ways) role model and teacher pushing you to be the best you could be. Products must be compelling and solve real problems often in very innovative ways that others have difficulty in copying, and the problem posing and solving techniques I learned from these faculty served me well. Last, markets: look for big global markets, perhaps emerging markets, where your business can grow to be a major commercial enterprise — as exemplified by Amar Bose, David Staelin, James Roberge, and Donald Steinbrecher.”

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