Charles D. Kelman (1930- )
Dr. Charles Kelman developed the procedure and the instruments for phacoemulsification, the preferred surgical procedure for removing cataracts. In 1963, Kelman designed the ultrasonic phacoemulsifier, which liquefies cataracts so they can be removed by suction. The pioneering procedure reduced the risk of complications and transformed a 10-day hospital stay to an outpatient procedure. Kelman and his family live in Boca Raton, Florida.
Bernard Oliver (1916-1995), Claude Shannon (1916-2001)
Pulse Code Modulation
Oliver and Shannon developed Pulse Code Modulation, the first high-speed digital transmission system based on coded electronic pulses. Digital telephone systems and the ability to record on compact discs are attributed to PCM. Oliver had a respected career at Bell Laboratories and also at Hewlett-Packard, where he was pivotal in developing the first hand-held calculator. Shannon is considered the father of information theory, which is considered the foundation of today's computer technology.
Norbert Rillieux (1806-1894)
Automated Sugar Refining
Rillieux automated modern sugar production and made it dramatically more efficient, while producing a much higher quality of sugar. It transformed the lives of slaves who were previously forced to endure the dangerous and backbreaking task of boiling sugar cane in open cauldrons. His process elevated the U.S. from a minor role in the sugar industry to a major producer.