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The late Samuel E. Blum (1920-2013) earned degrees from Rutgers University, a B.S. in chemistry and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry. After working at the Batelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, on semiconductor materials, he joined IBM's Watson Research Center and was part of the research group that developed the excimer laser ablative techniques leading to LASIK and PRK surgery.
He held 11 patents and was a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.