Harvey Mudd College
HMC Seal
Endowment$225.5 million [1]
PresidentMaria Klawe
Academic staff83
LocationClaremont, CA, USA
CampusSuburban, 38 acres (15 ha)
ColorsBlack and Gold         
  Men's, Stag
  Women's, Athenas
  Wally Wart

Harvey Mudd College is a private residential liberal arts college of science, engineering, and mathematics, founded in 1955 and located in Claremont, California, United States. It is one of the institutions of the contiguous Claremont Colleges, which share adjoining campus grounds.

Harvey Mudd College shares university resources such as libraries, dining halls, health services, and campus security, with the other institutions in the Claremont Colleges, including Pitzer College, Scripps College, Claremont McKenna College, Pomona College, Claremont Graduate University, and Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences, but each college is independently managed by its own faculty, board of trustees, and college endowment and has its own separate admissions process. Students at Harvey Mudd are encouraged to take classes (acceptable for academic credit at Harvey Mudd) at the other four Claremont colleges, especially classes outside their major of study. Together the Claremont Colleges provide the resources and opportunities of a large university while enabling the specialization and personal attention afforded by the individual colleges. The Bachelor of Science diploma received at graduation is issued by Harvey Mudd College.

The college is named after Harvey Seeley Mudd, one of the initial investors in the Cyprus Mines Corporation. Although involved in the planning of the new institution, Mudd died before it opened. Harvey Mudd College was funded by Mudd's friends and family, and named in his honor.[3]

Academics[edit | edit source]

File:Hmc-dartmouth entrance.jpg

Harvey Mudd College entrance on Dartmouth Ave

Harvey Mudd College's mission is to educate scientists, engineers, and mathematicians to be well-versed in the social sciences and humanities so that they better understand the impact of their work on society.[4] The college offers four-year degrees in chemistry, mathematics, physics, computer science, biology, and engineering, as well as interdisciplinary degrees in mathematical biology, and a joint major in either computer science and mathematics; or biology and chemistry. Students may also elect to complete an Individual Program of Study (IPS) made up of courses of their own choosing. Usually between two and five students graduate with an IPS degree each year. Finally, one may choose an off-campus major offered by any of the other Claremont Colleges, provided one also completes a minor in one of the technical fields that Harvey Mudd offers as a major.

Because of its mission statement, Harvey Mudd College places an unusually strong emphasis on general science education, requiring a full one-third of math, science, and engineering courses, known as the "common core," outside of one's major. Students are also required to take another one-third of their courses in the humanities, social sciences, and the arts, in keeping with the school's tradition of "science with a conscience." The final one-third of courses comprises those in the student's major. The integration of research and education is an important component of the educational experience at Harvey Mudd College; upon graduation, every student has experienced some kind of research, usually in the form of a senior thesis or a Clinic Program. The undergraduate focus of HMC means that, unlike many larger science and engineering institutions, undergraduates at HMC get unique access to research positions over the summer and during the school year.

A unique opportunity for HMC students is the Clinic Program, which focuses primarily on projects in the fields of engineering, computer science, physics, and math. In the Clinic Program, teams of students work for a year on a project suggested by a company. They are expected to make regular reports to the company and to deliver a product at the end of the year. The Clinic Program offers students a first-hand look at a particular industry and allows the sponsoring company to hire an inexpensive Clinic team of four students, whom they often try to recruit after graduation.

Reputation[edit | edit source]

The middle 50% of entering SAT scores are 740–800 (out of 800) in mathematics, 690–760 in critical reading, and 680–760 in writing.[5] A third of the student body are National Merit Scholars, and at one point, about 40 percent of graduates were going on to earn a Ph.D. — the highest rate of any college or university in the nation.[6][7] Harvey Mudd today still maintains the highest rate of science and engineering Ph.D. production among all undergraduate colleges and second highest (Caltech ranks first and MIT third) compared to all universities and colleges, according to a 2008 report by the National Science Foundation.[8]

According to U.S. News & World Report's 2013 America's Best Colleges report, Harvey Mudd College is ranked the 12th best liberal arts college in the United States[9] and has the #2 ranking for undergraduate engineering schools in the US whose highest degree is a Master's.[10] Forbes in 2012 rated Harvey Mudd College #28 of its America's Best Colleges ranking, which includes military academies, national universities, and liberal arts colleges.[11] In 2006, Harvey Mudd was also named one of the "new Ivy leagues" by Kaplan and Newsweek.[12]

Harvey Mudd College is one of the few colleges in the US with very low grade inflation.[13] As of 2010, only seven students in the history of the college have achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA.[14]

In 1997, Harvey Mudd College became the sole American undergraduate-only institution ever to win 1st place in the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest.[15] As of 2012, no American school has won the world competition since.[16]

Harvey Mudd College, along with Wake Forest University, long held out as the last four-year colleges or universities in the U.S. to accept only SAT and not ACT test scores in their admissions process.[17] In August 2007, however (the beginning of the application process for the class of 2012), HMC began accepting ACT results,[18] a year after Wake Forest abandoned its former SAT-only policy.[17]

According to self-reported data on PayScale, graduates of Harvey Mudd College earn the highest salaries among graduates of any college in the United States.[19] The Harvey Mudd College mathematics department is highly ranked and was the 2006 recipient of the American Mathematical Society award for an Exemplary Program or Achievement in a Mathematics Department.[20] The department's alumni, Josh Greene and Aaron Archer were winner and honorable mention for the Morgan Prize, the highest undergraduate research award in mathematics in the United States.

Student life[edit | edit source]

The cost for attending Harvey Mudd (tuition, student body fee, and room & board) total $56,268 for the 2011–2012 academic year. Financial aid is offered on the basis of both need and merit. Approximately 83% of students receive financial aid, and 40% qualify for merit-based awards.[21]

Harvey Mudd College dormitories[edit | edit source]

File:HMC library view.jpg

View of central campus, looking out of the former Norman F. Sprague Memorial Library.

The official names for the dormitories are (listed in order of construction):[22]

  • Mildred E. Mudd Hall ("East")
  • West Hall ("West")
  • North Hall ("North")
  • Marks Residence Hall ("South")
  • J. L. Atwood Residence Hall (Atwood)
  • Case Residence Hall (Case)
  • Ronald and Maxine Linde Residence Hall (Linde)
  • Frederick and Susan Sontag Residence Hall (Sontag)

Until the addition of the Linde and Sontag dorms, Atwood and Case dorms were occasionally referred to as New Dorm and New Dorm II; Mildred E. Mudd Hall and Marks Hall are almost invariably referred to as East dorm and South dorm.

During the construction of Case Dorm some students decided as a prank to move all of the survey stakes exactly six inches in one direction.[23] They did such a precise job that the construction crew didn't notice until after they had laid the foundation (and after the prank team informed someone on the project about the shifted stakes), but California earthquake law forced them to re-survey the site and bring in engineering consultation. The cost of this (nearly $5,000) was borne by the pranksters .[citation needed]

File:Hmc-hixon court.jpg

Galileo Hall and Hixon Courtyard

South Dorm is in the northwest corner of the quad. "East" was the first dorm, but it wasn't until "West" was built west of it that it was actually referred to as "East". Then "North" was built, directly north of "East". When the fourth dorm (Marks) was built, there was one corner of the quad available (the northwest) and one directional name, "South", remaining.[24] To this day "South" dorm is more north on the compass than "North" dorm is.

The fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth dorms built are Atwood, Case, Linde, and Sontag, respectively. They were initially referred to as "the colonies" by some students, a reference to the fact that they were newer and at the farthest end of the campus; these dorms are now more commonly referred to as "the outer dorms." The college had initially purchased an apartment building adjacent to the newer dorms to house additional students, but it was demolished to make room for the newest dorm, Sontag.

Since any HMC student, regardless of class year, can live in any of the dormitories, several of the dorms have accumulated long-standing traditions and so-called 'personalities'.[25] Two examples of these traditions are the parties Long Tall Glasses (a formal affair thrown by North) and TQ Day (a tequila-centered "beach" party thrown by West). The personality of a given dorm experiences changes over the years, however, as Harvey Mudd alumni may find upon visiting their alma mater long after graduation.

Athletics[edit | edit source]

Athletics teams from Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, and Scripps College compete as one team. Male athletic teams are called the Stags, and women's teams are called the Athenas. The teams participate in the NCAA's Division III and in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

College traditions[edit | edit source]

Individual dorms at Harvey Mudd have their own unique traditions, but the college itself hosts some campus traditions.

In the early 1970s the first unicycle appeared on campus. The unicycling club, known as Gonzo Unicycle Madness, was formed, and to this day organizes an annual 9.6 mile ride known as "The Foster's Run," to the "Donut Man" donut shop in Glendora (originally known as "Foster's Donuts" hence the name of the event) for strawberry donuts.[26] Upon return to the campus, the ritual of the "shakedown" takes place (dismounting and then repeatedly jumping up and down), a necessary procedure after a unicycle ride of nearly twenty miles. Sometimes unicyclists on campus also meet to play unicycle hockey. In the early 1990s, though, the ridership of unicycles waned at the college. Currently, only a few Mudders ride unicycles, many of them at "South" dorm.

A student-led organization, Increasing Harvey Mudd's Traditional Practices (IHTP), works to revive college traditions that have slowly faded over the years, and also starts new traditions that the group hopes to see take root on campus. It hosts annual events such as the 5-Class Competition, Friday Nooners, Wednesday Nighters, Frosh/Soph Games, and the Thomas-Garrett Affair.[27]

Interdorm competitions are also regularly held, ranging from water polo to broomball.

The HMC honor code[edit | edit source]

HMC students developed, live by and enforce an Honor Code themselves. The Honor Code states:

Each member of ASHMC [Associated Students of Harvey Mudd College] is responsible for maintaining his or her integrity and the integrity of the college community in all academic matters and in all affairs concerning the community.

The Honor Code is so well followed that the college entrusts the students to 24-hour per day access to all buildings, including labs, and permits take-home exams, specified either as open-book or closed-book, or as timed or un-timed.

Architecture[edit | edit source]


The former Norman F. Sprague Memorial Library

The original buildings of campus were designed by Edward Durell Stone. Most are covered with thousands of square concrete features, called "warts" by the students, which would be perfectly suited to buildering except that, while some are set into the wall, others are simply glued on. In addition, these warts have the unusual usefulness of being great 'shelves' for unicycles and skateboards. One can walk towards Galileo Hall and see the warts (especially those near the entrances of buildings) being used as racks for unicycles and skateboards. Interestingly enough, the unofficial mascot of Harvey Mudd (featured on many college handbooks and other publications) is one of these concrete blocks with a face, arms, and legs, named "Wally the Wart."

Most of the computer labs and many classrooms are located in the basements (called the Libra Complex) of the concrete-block buildings. All of the buildings that make up the Libra Complex are interconnected via a series of underground tunnels, enabling convenient inter-building access.

Relations with Caltech[edit | edit source]

The California Institute of Technology, another school known for its strength in the natural sciences and engineering, is located 26 miles away from Harvey Mudd College. From time to time, Mudders have been known to amuse themselves by pranking Caltech. For example, in 1986, students from Mudd stole a memorial cannon from Fleming House at Caltech (originally from the National Guard) by dressing as maintenance people and carting it off on a flatbed truck for "cleaning."[28] Harvey Mudd eventually returned the cannon after Caltech threatened to take legal action. In 2006, MIT replicated the prank and moved the same cannon to their campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[29]

Another Mudd prank involved slight modifications to a freeway sign. By placing parentheses around Pasadena City College, a nearby community college, Mudd students changed the sign to read:

California Institute of Technology

(Pasadena City College)

Next Exit

Notable alumni[edit | edit source]

Notable Harvey Mudd College alumni include astronauts George "Pinky" Nelson (1972) and Stan Love (1987), diplomat Richard H. Jones (1972), and notable eSports personality Sean Plott.

Notable faculty[edit | edit source]

Commencement speakers[edit | edit source]

Commencement speakers at Harvey Mudd College have included inventors, entertainers, educators, astronauts, and civil rights leaders, among others.

  • 2013 — Carl Wieman [30]
  • 2012 — Bill Nye (the Science Guy) [31]
  • 2011 — Marissa Mayer [32]
  • 2010 — Freeman A. Hrabowski III [33]
  • 2009 — Dean Kamen [34]
  • 2008 — Bill Nye (the Science Guy) [35]
  • 2007 — Mae C. Jemison [36]
  • 2006 — Joseph B. Platt (founding president of Harvey Mudd College)
  • 2005 — Michael G. Wilson (Class of 1963) [37]
  • 2004 — Henry Petroski
  • 2003 — Orson Scott Card
  • 2002 — George "Pinky" Nelson (Class of 1972)
  • 2001 — Joseph Costello (Class of 1974) (Douglas Adams was originally scheduled to speak but died two days before the ceremony)
  • 2000 — Bill Nye (the Science Guy)
  • 1999 — Donna Shirley
  • 1998 — Sheila Widnall
  • 1997 — John Shalikashvili
  • 1996 — Clifford Stoll
  • 1995 — George E. Brown, Jr. (Democrat Representative)
  • 1994 — Walter E. Massey (Provost/VP Univ. Calif.; former President of NSF)
  • 1993 — Daniel Goldin
  • 1992 — Denis Hayes (Environmentalist)
  • 1991 — Ben J. Wattenberg (Author/Columnist/Commentator)
  • 1990 — Sandra Kurtzig (CEO/Founder of ASK Computers)
  • 1989 — Robert N. Bellah (Professor/Sociologist/Author)
  • 1988 — Ben Bova (Author/Editor/Lecturer)
  • 1987 — Ray Bradbury
  • 1986 — Margaret L.A. MacVicar (Dean for Undergraduate Education, MIT)
  • 1985 — Michael G. Wilson ’63 (Film Producer/Writer)
  • 1984 — Bill Cosby
  • 1983 — Arthur Laffer
  • 1982 — James L. Gould (Associate Professor of Biology, Princeton)
  • 1981 — Ray Bradbury (Science Fiction Writer)
  • 1980 — Walter J. Mead (Professor of Economics, UCSB)
  • 1979 — Richard F. Post (Deputy Associate Director of Magnetic Fusion Energy at UC Lawrence Livermore Laboratories)
  • 1978 — John A. McCone (Former Director of CIA and Former Chair of US Atomic Energy Commission)
  • 1977 — D. Kenneth Baker (President, HMC)
  • 1976 — Joseph B. Platt (President, HMC)
  • 1975 — E. M. Benson, Jr. (Executive Vice President and Director, Atlantic Richfield Co., and HMC Trustee)
  • 1974 — Alvin M. Weinberg (Director, Office of Research and Development, Federal Energy Office)
  • 1973 — William H. Davenport (Founding Professor, HMC)
  • 1972 — Harvey Mudd II (Environmentalist)
  • 1971 — Myron Tribus (Senior Vice President, Xerox Corp.)
  • 1970 — Paul D. Saltman (Provost, Revelle College, UCSD)
  • 1969 — Eugene Hotchkiss III (Executive Dean, Catham College)
  • 1968 — Joseph B. Platt (President, HMC)
  • 1967 — Herbert F. York (Professor of Physics and Former Chancellor, UCSD)
  • 1966 — T. Keith Glennan (President, Case Institute of Technology)
  • 1965 — Frank R. Collbohm (President, The RAND Corp.)
  • 1964 — Herman T. Spieth (Chancellor, UCR)
  • 1963 — Detlev W. Bronk (President, The Rockefeller Institute)
  • 1962 — Donald J. Russell (President, Southern Pacific Company)
  • 1961 — Kenneth S. Pitzer (Dean of the College of Chemistry, UCB)
  • 1960 — Leonard Carmichael (Secretary, Smithsonian Institution)
  • 1959 — Lee A. DuBridge (President, Caltech)

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. As of June 30, 2012."U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2012 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2011 to FY 2012" (PDF). 2012 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. http://www.nacubo.org/Documents/research/2012NCSEPublicTablesEndowmentMarketValuesFinalJanuary232013.pdf.
  2. National Center for Education Statistics. "IPEDS Data Center". http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/Snapshotx.aspx?unitId=acacb0afabb4. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  3. "History of Harvey Mudd College". Harvey Mudd College. http://www.hmc.edu/highlights/history.html. Retrieved 2006-08-22.
  4. "Mission". Harvey Mudd College. http://www.hmc.edu/about1/mission.html. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
  5. "Fast Facts". Harvey Mudd College, Admissions Department. http://www.hmc.edu/about/fastfacts1.html.
  6. "Choosing a College: Liberal Arts Colleges". http://www.amatecon.com/etext/cac/cac-ch03.html.
  7. "Introduction to HMC Mathematics". Harvey Mudd College, Math Department. http://www.math.hmc.edu/program/dept-intro.html.
  8. "HMC Named Leader in Ph.D. Production". http://www.hmc.edu/newsandevents/leader_phd.html.
  9. "America's Best Colleges 2013: Liberal Arts". U.S. News & World Report. http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/liberal-arts-rankings. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
  10. "Best Colleges Specialty Rankings: Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs". U.S. News & World Report. http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/spec-engineering. Retrieved 2012-10-05.
  11. "America's Best Colleges". Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/colleges/harvey-mudd-college/. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
  12. Barbara Kantrowitz and Karen Springen (2006-08-28). "25 New Ivies". Newsweek. Archived from the original on 2006-11-30. http://web.archive.org/web/20061130105040/http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14325172/site/newsweek/. Retrieved 2006-12-13.
  13. Donald Asher (2007). Cool Colleges. Ten Speed Press. pp. 83.
  14. "Harvey Mudd College Faculty Minutes May 14, 2008". http://www.hmc.edu/about/administrativeoffices/deanoffaculty1/committeeminutes1/fmm1/200720081/may14.html.
  15. "1996-97 21st Annual ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest Final Report". 1992-03-02. http://icpc.baylor.edu/past/icpc97/Report.html.
  16. Forsberg, Birgitta (2005-04-09). "American universities fall way behind in programming: Weakest result for U.S. in 29-year history of international technology competition". San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/04/09/BUG9EC5LBI1.DTL.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Marklein, Mary Beth (2007-03-19). "All four-year U.S. colleges now accept ACT test". USA TODAY. http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2007-03-18-life-cover-acts_N.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-18.
  18. "Harvey Mudd College Begins Accepting ACT Scores for Admission". Harvey Mudd College. January 25, 2007. http://www.hmc.edu/headline/ACT.htm.
  19. "Top US Colleges — Graduate Salary Statistics". 2010-09-29. http://www.payscale.com/best-colleges/top-us-colleges-graduate-salary-statistics.asp.
  20. "Harvey Mudd Mathematics Department Garners AMS Award" (PDF). Notices of the American Mathematical Society 53 (4). April 2006. http://www.ams.org/notices/200604/comm-harveymudd.pdf.
  21. Harvey Mudd College (Feb 2010). "Costs and Aid". Harvey Mudd College Admissions. http://www.hmc.edu/admission1/costsandaid.html. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
  22. "Campus map". Harvey Mudd College. http://www.hmc.edu/campusmap/.
  23. Stephanie L. Graham (Winter 2005). "A Treasured Friendship". Harvey Mudd College Bulletin. http://bulletin.hmc.edu/archives/2005/winter/a_treasured_friendship.html. Retrieved 2006-12-13.
  24. "Mysteries of Mudd". Harvey Mudd College Bulletin. Winter 2005. http://bulletin.hmc.edu/archives/2005/winter/mysteries_of_mudd.html. Retrieved 2006-12-13.
  25. Nisha Gottfredson (March 2004). "Thy Name is Mudd: The hidden Mudder mythos – it's more than you think.". Claremont Student. http://www.cstudent.org/issues/2004/mar/feature/. Retrieved 2006-12-13.[dead link]
  26. Gonzo Unicycle Madness
  27. IHTP at Harvey Mudd College, http://www.hmc.edu/studentlife1/activities1/studentorgs1/ihtp.html
  28. "Caltech Cannon Heist Memorial Page". http://people.bu.edu/fmri/somers/cannon.html.
  29. "Howe & Ser Moving Co.". http://www.howeandser.com/. Retrieved 2006-04-16.
  30. "Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman to Give HMC Commencement Speech". Harvey Mudd College. http://www.hmc.edu/newsandevents/wieman-commencement-2013.html. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  31. "Bill Nye to Address Graduates". Harvey Mudd College. http://www.hmc.edu/newsandevents/nye-commencement-speaker-2012.html. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  32. "Google's Marissa Mayer to be Commencement Speaker". Harvey Mudd College. http://www.hmc.edu/newsandevents/commencement-mayer-2011.html. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  33. "Civil Rights Leader, University President to Speak at Commencement". Harvey Mudd College. http://www.hmc.edu/newsandevents/commencement-speaker-2010.html. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  34. "Kamen to Deliver HMC Commencement Address". Harvey Mudd College. http://www.hmc.edu/newsandevents/commencement2009speaker.html. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  35. "Nye Urges Grads to Change the World". Harvey Mudd College. http://www.hmc.edu/newsandevents/commencement2008.html. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  36. "HMC Honors Grads at 49th Commencement". Harvey Mudd College. http://www.hmc.edu/newsandevents/commencement2007.html. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  37. "Campus News". Harvey Mudd College Bulletin. http://bulletin.hmc.edu/archives/2005/Summer05/campus_news.html. Retrieved 3 March 2011.

External links[edit | edit source]

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