Pierce, John, 1910–2002, American electrical engineer, b. Des Moines, Iowa, grad. California Institute of Technology (Ph.D. 1936). Pierce worked at the Bell Telephone Laboratories, where he proposed (1954) a communications satellite three years before Sputnik I was launched and worked on the Echo and Telstar communications satellites. He also was involved in many advances in digital music, and coined the word transistor [from tran sfer across a re sistor ]. After his retirement (1971), Pierce served on the faculty at the California Institute of Technology and Stanford Univ. until 1983. He was a prolific author of science-fiction short stories, essays, articles, and poems under the pseudonyms J. J. Coupling and John Roberts.
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