List of Notable Caltech Alumni


Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Feb 23, 2022 10:13 PM IST

Caltech, with over 24,000 alumni, has produced leaders in almost each and every field we can imagine. Many of them were even honoured with Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award. This article has also discussed such notable Caltech alumni who have become known faces worldwide.

List of Notable Caltech Alumni

California Institute of Technology (Caltech), earlier known as Throop University, is one of the leading private educational institutes in the world. It is famous for its expertise in engineering and natural sciences. Caltech is authorised by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and is currently associated with Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The university's campus has five Institutes - Rosen Bioengineering Centre, Beckman Institute, Kavli Nanoscience Institute, Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience, and the Resnick Sustainability Institute. Apart from California's Pasadena, Caltech has its campuses in Washington, Hawaii, Louisiana and Switzerland.

What is Caltech Famous for?

For the past three years, Caltech has ranked number 1 in Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Apart from this, it has also produced 32 Nobel Laureates in 123 years.

The university is quite research-focused. Over 90% of its undergraduate students enrol themselves in opportunities like Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) under which the students research on various topics under the guidance of graduate mentors.

Apart from its academic curriculum, the campus also showcases a wide area of interest in sports. These include Baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer, tennis, etc. The university also offers over 100 clubs for students in areas like:

  • Community service

  • Outdoor adventures

  • Faith, diversity and cultural awareness

  • Music

  • Theatre

Caltech is undoubtedly famous for its courses and education system as well. Keep on reading to get more information.

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Programs Offered by Caltech

The institute provides undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in various fields. These include:

  • Mathematics

  • Chemistry

  • Biology

  • Computer Science

  • Physics

  • Earth Sciences

Its academic structure includes six divisions, namely:

  • Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy

  • Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

  • Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Biology and Biological Engineering

  • Geological and Planetary Sciences

  • Engineering and Applied Science

To know more about the courses and application process, take help from our CollegeDekho experts. Write to us at for the best advice from experts for a bright future.

List of Notable Caltech Alumni

Let us now discover some of the notable Caltech alumni which are sorted as per their popularity in different fields.

Howard Hughes

Howard Robard Hughes Jr. - manufacturer, aviator, and motion pictures' producer-cum-director. He was also a famous billionaire businessman. His film archives consist of over 200 work collections, which has now become a part of the Academy Film Archive.

He attended Caltech at just the age of 15, securing a successful career in engineering. He also took flying lessons alongside. For the unversed, Hughes was acknowledged and credited for developing the first retractable landing gear.

Sabeer Bhatia

Indian-American businessman Sabeer Bhatia, who is also a co-founder of mailing site Hotmail. The email entrepreneur has now recently invested in a venture - ShowReel.

While studying engineering at Birla Institute of Technology & Science, he took a transfer exam conducted by Caltech in Maths, Physics and Chemistry. Bhatia once said in an interview that the most valuable thing he learnt in the university was the 'ability to think on your own.'

Also Read:

List of Notable UCL Alumni List of Notable MIT Alumni
List of Notable Harvard Alumni List of Notable Stanford Alumni

Steingrimur Hermannsson

Steingrimur Hermannsson served as Iceland Prime Minister from 1983-1987 and again from 1988-1991. He has also been as Minister of Justice, Ecclesiastical Affairs and Agriculture, Minister of Fisheries and Communications and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

He obtained a master's degree in electrical engineering from Caltech in 1952. However, after facing difficulties in his private life, Hermannsson preferred entering into politics.

Adam D'Angelo

Adam D'Angelo is best known as co-founder and CEO of Quora, a community-based question and answer site and application. He was earlier associated with social media giant Facebook as a chief technology officer, and later on as vice president of engineering.

He moved to Caltech, after developing a music suggestion software with the help of his friends, to complete his higher education. Side-by-side Adam also developed a website called BuddyZoo. After completing his studies, Adam decided to join Mark Zuckerberg during the budding days of Facebook.

Regina E. Dugan

Regina E. Dugan - a businesswoman, technology developer and inventor. Regina was sworn in as the first female director of the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a government agency.

After completing her undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, Regina wanted to explore more and hence, got herself admitted to Caltech for PhD. In California, apart from her studies, she also learnt to fly helicopters and after several trials, Regina got ready for her first solo. Most recently, she served as a vice president of engineering at Facebook from 2016-to 2018.

The university is known for its tight-knit community, which is exemplified by the institute's residential life. The aforementioned names were just a few from the list of notable alumni of the university, who gained immense success in their respective fields.

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