Stanford University

The city of Palo Alto, which got its name from a tree in the region called “El Palo Alto”, began to emerge around the university. That tree still exists, and its image appears on the Seal of the University.
Nobody would probably have imagined, at that time, the extraordinary growth and evolution accomplished by Stanford through the years, becoming one of the most prestigious american universities, and that Palo Alto would become an important city.
Palo Alto is the birthplace of Silicon Valley with the onset of Hewlett-Packard (HP), which was founded by two Stanford students in 1938, William Hewlett and David Packard.


The Stanford Seal

Since the beginning of its activities in 1891, Stanford University used different Seals (logos), and each one of them displayed the “Palo Alto tree” as its main symbol.

From 1930 to 1970 the Stanford Seal displayed the image of an Indian with a big nose. The native people then started to object to the use of such a symbol by the University, and asked the Stanford administration to stop using it. This led the university president at that time, Richard W. Lyman, to decide to remove the Indian image from the Stanford Seal. Attempts have been made to reintroduce that image to the Stanford Seal, especially during the “Big Game”, which is the American football game played annually between Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley.

The current Stanford symbol still depicts the famous Palo Alto tree, with the words: “DIE LUFT DER FREIHEIT WEHTER” whose rough translation is “THE WIND OF FREEDOM BLOWS”


An unforgettable moment

Receiving graduate diplomas from the hands of his advisor, Dr. John Linvill, who, at the time, was the Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University.

My technical contribution and a tribute to Dr. John Linvill

“Lumped Models of Bipolar Transistors and Evaluation of Their Parameters” The reciprocity in asymmetric operation of bipolar transistors is shown in this graduate thesis. A small but fixed voltage applied directly to the polarizing emitter-base junction produces a current in the collector when it is grounded at the base of the transistor. Surprisingly, even when the transistor is very asymmetric in the base region, the same voltage applied directly to the collector-base junction yields the same current in the emitter when it is grounded at the base. In order to generate reliable results, several experimental methods were developed to perform the measurements and compare them to each other.
Such measurements were important for determining the lumped parameters of the bipolar transistor models that were developed by Dr. John Linvill.

(See complete reference in the published work)

John Linvill (August 8, 1919 – February 19, 2011)

It was an honor and a privilege to have had Dr. John Linvill as a teacher and mentor, who was, at that time, head of the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford. His expertise, patience, and extraordinary understanding of semiconductor technology were undoubtedly vital to my work at Stanford.

Additional information on the impact of John Linvill at Stanford University can be found in