Bob Boyd, one of my academic "uncles," recently unearthed our mutual scientific "genealogy":


Albert Michelson was largely self-taught, although he worked with both Simon Newcomb and Hermann von Helmholtz.

Henry Gale was a student of Albert Michelson at the University of Chicago.

William Smythe was a student of Henry Gale at the University of Chicago.

Charles Townes was a student of William Smythe at the California Institute of Technology.

Ray Chiao was a student of Charles Townes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Aephraim Steinberg was a student of Ray Chiao at the University of California, Berkeley.

Although it is always dangerous to extrapolate, one notes that the Nobel Prize appears to skip two generations in this family tree. By this reckoning, I expect one of my students to eventually earn a trip to Stockholm. I therefore encourage all future potential Nobel Prize winners to immediately start thinking about applying to do graduate work at the University of Toronto!

back to Aephraim's home page

UPDATE 2013: For an 89-generation genealogy with a pretty cool great^(85)-grandfather, check out the Academic Tree project!