Matthew Goldman ’83 (’88 MS) might not always have been able to see television’s future—but he’s definitely helped create it. He would be the first person to tell you that he doesn’t have much in common with red-carpet celebrities like Bryan Cranston, Justin Timberlake, and Helen Mirren. But there is one similarity worth mentioning: each has taken home four Emmys.
Goldman’s engineering Emmy wins—shared with the teams and companies he worked with to develop his award-winning technology—weren’t broadcast to millions. But the statues, which sit on a bookshelf in his office, are prestigious, nonetheless. They recognize work that has transformed the way we watch television.
Having emerged as one of the brightest leaders in a medium that has undergone almost constant upheaval, Goldman, has helped propel the changes that have made watching television more expansive and immersive. And the ambition and curiosity that have driven him to where he is today were honed, in part, during his days at WPI.
Early inklings of a leading voice Goldman, son of an engineer who was general manager of an independent cable company, admits that before he arrived at WPI, he dreamed of going to MIT, where one of his brothers studied. But when he arrived on WPI’s campus after receiving his acceptance letter, he knew he was home. “It was such a small, personal place,” he says. “It felt like going to camp.”
He loved the small classes, the ability to meet one-on-one with his professors, and the opportunity to do hands-on projects. But more than anything, he loved the chance to get deeply involved in many parts of campus life. He joined a fraternity, served as junior prom spring weekend chairman, and was elected student body president his senior year.
He still marvels at the opportunities he could create for himself. Through his classes and leadership work, he learned to collaborate with others, whether that meant finishing an academic project or hosting a campus wide event. As a student leader, he loved rubbing shoulders with some of WPI’s most powerful decision makers. “I got to hang out with the provost and the dean of students,” he says. “That meant a lot to me, especially when I think I might have been a nobody at a different school.” Those skills he sharpened at WPI—working with others and solving hard problems—would prove to be exceptionally valuable going forward.