University of Minnesota
Institute of Technology
myU OneStop

Thomas Misa Web

Thomas J. Misa


Area of expertise: History of computing and electronics, history of technology.

Ph.D., 1987, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States
M.A., 1982, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States
B.S., 1981, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States

Contact information
Office: 211 Andersen Library
Telephone: (612) 624-5050
E-mail: tmisa (at)
Personal Web Site:

ERA Chair in the History of Technology
Dexter Prize, 1997, Society for the History of Technology
IEEE Life Members Prize in Electrical History, 1987.
Listed in Directory of American Scholars; Contemporary Authors; Who’s Who in American Education.

Misa is an historian specializing in the interactions of technology and modern culture. Previous at Illinois Institute of Technology (1987-2005) he taught courses on computer history, the global economy, technology and culture, business history, industrial culture, technological risk, and history of engineering. He is active in the Society for the History of Technology, the international Tensions of Europe network, and several collaborative research and book projects.

Currently, he directs the Charles Babbage Institute, holding the ERA Land-Grant Chair in History of Technology with a faculty appointment in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His teaching is in the University’s graduate program in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine. He is PI for a multi-year NSF-funded study of FastLane, the computer infrastructure that NSF uses in all phases of its grant making.

Selected publications
Urban Machinery: Inside Modern European Cities. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2008.

"Understanding ‘How Computing Has Changed the World", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 29 no. 4 (Oct.-Dec 2007): 52-63.

Leonardo to the Internet: Technology and Culture from the Renaissance to the Present. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University, 2004.