Jim joined the Stanford faculty in 1957 and was appointed professor of electrical engineering in 1964 and dean of the School of Engineering in 1984. In 1983 Jim was named Reid Weaver Dennis Professor of Electrical Engineering and in 1984 the Frederick Emmons Terman Dean of the School of Engineering. Jim served as dean from September 1984 to June 1996.
Jim has been an advisor and board member of public companies such as Cisco Systems, El Paso Energy, Lockheed Martin, and Raychem.
Jim's research accomplishments are in the area of semiconductor device analysis, process physics technology, and solar energy. Jim has written or cowritten several books and nearly 300 papers. He was named Special Counsel to the Stanford University President and Provost for Industry Relations in 1966. Jim is credited with developing the Tutored Video Instruction Technique, a model for education of engineers, with colleagues from Stanford in 1972. In recent years, Jim applied that model to improve productivity and quality in children's education, particularly for children of migrant farm workers and at-risk teens.
Jim has received many awards and was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1997, Jim was inducted into the Santa Clara County Business Hall of Fame and was one of three chosen for the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame.
Jim received a BS (1953) degree from Northwestern University and a PhD (1956) from Stanford University.