Scientists From California

California has produced a number of Scientists who have made it big. These include Steve Wozniak, Sally Ride, Sam Harris, Dian Fossey, Alexander Shulgin and others.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 
Steve Wozniak
(Co-Founder of Apple Inc.)

Steve Wozniak
9
Birthdate: August 11, 1950
Sun Sign: Leo

Widely recognized as one of the two important pioneers of the personal computer revolution, Steve Wozniak is credited with co-founding Apple Inc. along with Steve Jobs. Not surprisingly, he has been described as one of the men that changed the course of history through technology. Apart from being a programmer and technology entrepreneur, Steve Wozniak is also a well-known philanthropist.

 2 
Dian Fossey
(Zoologist, Conservationist)

Dian Fossey
6
Birthdate: January 16, 1932
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Died: December 26, 1985
Zoologist, primatologist, and conservationist Dian Fossey conducted research on mountain gorillas in Rwanda from 1966 until she was murdered in 1985. She was part of the Trimates assigned to study apes by paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey. She wrote Gorillas in the Mist, which was later turned into a film.

 3 
Michio Kaku
(Theoretical Physicist and Author of the Best-Selling Books ‘Physics of the Impossible’ and ‘Physics of the Future')

Michio Kaku
16
Birthdate: January 24, 1947
Sun Sign: Aquarius

Apart from teaching at the City College of New York, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku also often pens his thoughts in blogs and has written several bestselling books, such as The God Equation. His research is focused on the string theory. He also believes in the existence of aliens.

 4 
Sam Harris
(Philosopher, Author)

Sam Harris
5
Birthdate: April 9, 1967
Sun Sign: Aries

One of the "Four Horsemen of Atheism," neuroscientist and author Sam Harris is known for his works on topics such as religion, artificial intelligence, and terrorism. His books include the New York Times bestseller The End of Faith. He hosted the podcast Making Sense and released a meditation app, too.

 5 
Sally Ride
(First American Woman To Go in Space, Physicist)

Sally Ride
19
Birthdate: May 26, 1951
Sun Sign: Gemini
Died: July 23, 2012
Astronaut and physicist Sally Ride was the first American woman and the youngest American astronaut to enter space. Following her death, it was revealed that she had been in a 27-year lesbian relationship with tennis player and professor Tam O'Shaughnessy. Sally herself was a ranked junior tennis player, too.

 6 
Eric Weinstein
(Mathematician)

Eric Weinstein
10
Birthdate: October 26, 1965
Sun Sign: Scorpio

Apart from being the MD of Thiel Capital, mathematician and economist Eric Weinstein is also a researcher at Oxford. The Harvard alumnus had quit academia for 20 years before he returned again. He coined the term “intellectual dark web” and works on topics such as gauge theory, risk management, and immigration.

 7 
Mike Leach
(Head coach)

Mike Leach
6
Birthdate: March 9, 1961
Sun Sign: Pisces
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 8 

Luis Walter Alvarez
4
Birthdate: June 13, 1911
Sun Sign: Gemini
Died: September 1, 1988

Experimental physicist and Nobel laureate Luis Walter Alvarez is best remembered for inventing the liquid hydrogen bubble chamber, which enabled the discovery of countless short-lived resonance particles. The University of California, Berkeley professor and MIT scientist had also been part of the development of the atomic bomb.

 9 
Leonard Adleman
(Computer Scientist)

Leonard Adleman
3
Birthdate: December 31, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn

Leonard Adleman is a computer scientist best known as a co-creator of the RSA encryption algorithm. He was honored with the 2002 Turing Award, often called the Nobel prize of Computer science, for this work. He is also a pioneer in the field of DNA computing and one of the original discoverers of the Adleman–Pomerance–Rumely primality test. 

 10 
Robert Tarjan
(Computer scientist)

Robert Tarjan
3
Birthdate: April 30, 1948
Sun Sign: Taurus

 11 
Hans Reiser
(Programmer, Entrepreneur, Computer scientist, Homicide)

Hans Reiser
4
Birthdate: December 19, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius

 12 
Barbara Liskov
(Computer scientist)

Barbara Liskov
4
Birthdate: November 7, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio

 13 
Tam O'Shaughnessy
(Tennis player, Writer)

Tam O'Shaughnessy
4
Birthdate: January 27, 1952
Sun Sign: Aquarius

 14 

Eugene Merle Shoemaker
5
Birthdate: April 28, 1928
Sun Sign: Taurus
Died: July 18, 1997

Best known for discovering the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet, with his wife, Carolyn, and David H. Levy, Eugene Merle Shoemaker was an American astrogeologist who had also worked with the U.S. Geological Survey. He had been part of NASA’s lunar exploration missions. Following his death, his ashes were transported to the Moon.

 15 
Alexander Shulgin
(Rediscoverer of MDMA)

Alexander Shulgin
4
Birthdate: June 17, 1925
Sun Sign: Gemini
Died: June 2, 2014

A pioneer of psychedelic drug synthesis, Alexander Shulgin came to be known as The Godfather of Ecstasy, for reinventing the drug MDMA, or ecstasy, for medical use. The Harvard drop-out, who later studied psychiatry and pharmacology, would often experiment his newly invented drugs on himself, his wife, and his friends.

 16 
Philippe Cousteau, Jr.
(Oceanographer, Environmental Activist and Grandson of 'Jacques Cousteau')

Philippe Cousteau, Jr.
3
Birthdate: January 20, 1980
Sun Sign: Aquarius

Known for the documentary Ocean's Deadliest, which he co-hosted with Steve Irwin, oceanographer Philippe Cousteau Jr. also earned an Emmy nomination for his work in Awesome Planet. The grandson of naval officer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Philippe had lost his father, sailor and filmmaker Philippe Cousteau, 6 months before his birth.

 17 
Suzanne Eaton
(Scientist and professor of molecular biology)

Suzanne Eaton
3
Birthdate: December 23, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Died: July 2, 2019

American molecular scientist Suzanne Eaton had spent most of professional life at the Max Planck Institute. The WICB Junior Award winner had initially also considered alternative academic careers in comparative literature and math. She was raped and murdered by a Greek man in Crete, where she had gone for a conference.

 18 
Jon Postel
(Computer scientist)

Jon Postel
5
Birthdate: August 6, 1943
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: October 16, 1998

 19 
David Brin
(Scientist)

David Brin
5
Birthdate: October 6, 1950
Sun Sign: Libra

 20 
Larry Wall
(Programmer, Engineer, Writer, Computer scientist)

Larry Wall
5
Birthdate: September 27, 1954
Sun Sign: Libra

 21 
Jim Gray
(Computer scientist)

Jim Gray
3
Birthdate: January 12, 1944
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Died: January 28, 2012

 22 
Alan Cooper
(Computer scientist, Writer)

Alan Cooper
3
Birthdate: June 3, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini

 23 
Fernando J. Corbató
(Computer scientist)

Fernando J. Corbató
2
Birthdate: July 1, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: July 12, 2019

 24 
Jelani Nelson
(Creator of AddisCoder)

Jelani Nelson
1
Birthdate: June 28, 1984
Sun Sign: Cancer
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 25 
Ralph Merkle
(Computer scientist)

Ralph Merkle
3
Birthdate: February 2, 1952
Sun Sign: Aquarius

 26 
Stanley Miller
(Chemist, Biologist, University teacher)

Stanley Miller
3
Birthdate: March 7, 1930
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: May 20, 2007

Stanley Miller was an American chemist best remembered for conducting several important experiments in abiogenesis. His 1952 Miller–Urey experiment proved that inorganic precursors could be used to synthesize complex organic molecules. Often referred to as the father of prebiotic chemistry, Miller was honored with the prestigious Oparin Medal in 1983.

 27 
Walter Alvarez
(Geologist widely known for the theory that dinosaurs were killed by an asteroid impact)

Walter Alvarez
3
Birthdate: October 3, 1940
Sun Sign: Libra

 28 
Michael Freedman
(Mathematician)

Michael Freedman
3
Birthdate: April 21, 1951
Sun Sign: Taurus

 29 
Allan Alcorn
(Computer scientist, Engineer)

Allan Alcorn
3
Birthdate: January 1, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn

 30 

Eric Allin Cornell
3
Birthdate: December 19, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius

 31 
Barry Boehm
(Computer scientist, Engineer)

Barry Boehm
3
Birthdate: May 16, 1935
Sun Sign: Taurus

 32 
Allen Newell
(Psychologist, Computer scientist, Mathematician, University teacher)

Allen Newell
3
Birthdate: March 19, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: July 19, 1992

 33 
Dana Scott
(Mathematician, Computer scientist, Engineer, Topologist, University teacher)

Dana Scott
3
Birthdate: October 11, 1932
Sun Sign: Libra

 34 
Curtis T. McMullen
(Mathematician)

Curtis T. McMullen
2
Birthdate: May 21, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini

 35 

Robert B. Laughlin
2
Birthdate: November 1, 1950
Sun Sign: Scorpio

 36 
Frederick Reines
(Physicist)

Frederick Reines
2
Birthdate: March 16, 1918
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: August 26, 1998

 37 
Andrew Fire
(Biologist)

Andrew Fire
2
Birthdate: April 27, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus

Geneticist Andrew Fire is best known for his Nobel Prize-winning work on the double-stranded RNA. The MIT alumnus did most of his research under the guidance of Nobel laureate Philip A. Sharp. His discovery of the RNAi later aided scientists work on the cure for ailments such as AIDS and cancer.

 38 
Willis Lamb
(Physicist)

Willis Lamb
2
Birthdate: July 12, 1913
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: May 15, 2008

 39 
Alexei Filippenko
(Known for Studies of Supernovae, Active Galaxies, Black Holes, Accelerating Expansion of the Universe)

Alexei Filippenko
2
Birthdate: July 25, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo

Renowned astrophysicist Alexei Filippenko, who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, is primarily focused on supernovae and galaxies. Apart from writing 900 research papers, he has also penned a bestselling book and appeared on programs such as The Universe. He loves tennis and often travels to view solar eclipses.

 40 
John Ousterhout
(Computer science researcher who created the Tcl scripting language and the Tk platform-independent widget toolkit, and proposed the idea of coscheduling)

John Ousterhout
2
Birthdate: October 15, 1954
Sun Sign: Libra

 41 
Jon Bentley
(computer scientist)

Jon Bentley
2
Birthdate: February 20, 1953
Sun Sign: Pisces

 42 
Tim D. White
(Anthropologist, Archaeologist, Prehistorian, Paleoanthropologist, University teacher)

Tim D. White
2
Birthdate: August 24, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo

 43 
Frederick Seitz
(Physicist)

Frederick Seitz
2
Birthdate: July 4, 1911
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: March 2, 2008

 44 
Owen Chamberlain
(Physicist)

Owen Chamberlain
2
Birthdate: July 10, 1920
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: February 28, 2006

 45 

Dudley R. Herschbach
2
Birthdate: June 18, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini

 46 
Leland H. Hartwell
(Researcher)

Leland H. Hartwell
2
Birthdate: October 30, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio

 47 
Charles P. Thacker
(Computer scientist)

Charles P. Thacker
2
Birthdate: February 26, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: June 12, 2017

 48 
W.E. Moerner
(Physical Chemist)

W.E. Moerner
2
Birthdate: June 24, 1953
Sun Sign: Cancer

 49 
Edwin McMillan
(Physicist)

Edwin McMillan
2
Birthdate: September 18, 1907
Sun Sign: Virgo
Died: September 7, 1991

 50 
Deborah S. Jin
(Physicist)

Deborah S. Jin
2
Birthdate: November 15, 1968
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Died: September 15, 2016