Ross Bassett, PhD, is an associate professor of history at North Carolina State University and is the director of the Benjamin Franklin Scholars Program there. He spent eight years as an engineer in IBM’s semiconductor facility in East Fishkill, New York, before leaving to pursue graduate studies in the history of technology. Professor Bassett is the author of books and articles, and he speaks frequently on a variety of topics related to the intersections of history and technology.
His book, To the Digital Age, combines his two of his interests—semiconductor technology and history—to tell the story of how the MOS transistor came to be the dominant semiconductor technology of our time. For his research on MOS technology, Professor Bassett scoured archives at Bell Labs, RCA, IBM, Fairchild, Intel, and other companies and conducted dozens of interviews with key participants.
Currently Professor Bassett is working on a history of Indian graduates of MIT, how they helped create the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and modern technological India, as well as the important role they play in the American technology industry. He has recently had two articles published on the topic, “Aligning India in the Cold War Era: Indian Technical Elites, the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur and Computing in India and the United States,” and “MIT-Trained Swadeshi: MIT and Indian Nationalism, 1880–1947.
He received an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in history at Cornell, and a PhD in history from Princeton. His work on the MOS transistor was supported by the IEEE’s Life Member History Fellowship.