Science and Technology

  • Photo of Paul Butler

    Paul Butler


    As a young SF State astronomy student, he and astronomer Geoff Marcy helped start a new space race by becoming the first to discover planets outside our solar system. In 2003 he was named "Space Scientist of the Year" by Discover Magazine.

  • Yvonne Cagle

    Yvonne Cagle


    SF State was the launch pad for this biochemistry major, now a medical doctor and NASA astronaut assigned to the Johnson Space Center's Space and Life Sciences Directorate.

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  • Photo of Debra Fischer

    Debra Fischer

    Planet hunter/professor

    Part of a planet-searching team formed at SF State in 1983, she has helped locate the majority of the 130-plus known planets beyond our solar system, including three she found as a student studying under Professor Geoff Marcy.

  • Kenneth Fong

    Kenneth Fong


    He chopped vegetables to pay his way through SF State and stayed on the cutting edge as the founder of Clontech Laboratories Inc., which makes tools for gene mapping and genetic engineering.

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  • Photo of Eric Kelly

    Eric Kelly

    Technology CEO

    The CEO of San Diego-based Overland Storage, he was named one of the 50 Most Important African Americans in Technology by Black Money and U.S. Black Engineer magazines.

  • Stan Mazor

    Stan Mazor

    Microprocessor inventor

    Then working at a little company called Intel, this mathematics major and three colleagues set off the computer revolution in 1971 when they invented the first microprocessor.

  • Photo of Bob Pasker

    Bob Pasker

    High-tech developer

    As a history major, he studied the past, but he had his eyes on the future as the chief architect of the market-dominant WebLogic Application Server, now part of BEA Systems.

  • Photo of Jayshree Ullal

    Jayshree Ullal

    Tech executive

    President and CEO of Arista Networks, this electrical engineering grad was named one of the "Top Ten Executives" at 2011's VMWorld, the global conference for virtualization and cloud computing.

    Read more about Jayshree Ullal
  • Jody Vandergriff


    Though she started in biomedical research, her experience designing software for scientists sparked a new passion: product development. She went on to co-found and build WebDAM, a leading cloud-based digital asset management platform for enterprise marketing teams. In March 2014, WebDAM was acquired by Shutterstock.

  • Photo of David Walden

    David Walden

    Internet pioneer

    Part of a team that developed ARPANET, the precursor of the Internet, this math major spent much of his time at SF State playing bridge and hanging out at the computer center.

  • Photo of Lisa White

    Lisa White

    Geoscientist/SF State professor

    Lisa White thought she was going be a photographer when she enrolled at SF State as an undergraduate. Then she took her first geology class. Now this paleontologist supports her hobby by taking pictures in the field.