#SoCaltech: Bob Logan


“I started at Caltech working at the Booth Computing Center, where I had spent many hours as an undergrad waiting for output from Caltech's IBM 7094 computer. Since then, there has been a complete revolution in computing. A fitness band has more computing power now than all the systems in the Booth machine room in 1968. But the speed of change was even faster then, before Moore’s Law took over. We could get a $500,000 or $1 million machine, and there would be something significantly faster a year later. When I started out, we had a typical university computing center where people came in and ran punch cards for data analysis. Eventually, I designed and supervised the installation of the first real campus fiber optic network, which we ran down in the steam tunnels in 1993. Along the way, my work helped support a lot of important research. In the ’70s, for example, I ran the data collection system for the “Lunatic Asylum,” which analyzed moon rocks, so computing stayed interesting, and I always found something fun to do.”

Bob Logan (BS '68) entered Caltech as a freshman in 1964 and began working on campus at the Booth Computing Center after graduating. Since then, he has remained part of the campus computing group—which has had a number of different names—and is currently a senior director in Information Management Systems and Services. He was honored for his 50 years of service to the Institute at the 63rd Annual Staff Service & Impact Awards ceremony on May 31. 

 is an occasional series celebrating the diverse individuals who give Caltech its spirit of excellence, ambition, and ingenuity. Know someone we should profile? Send nominations to magazine@caltech.edu.