Professor James L. Adams attended Caltech (B.S.), U.C.L.A. (one year of art), and held short-term jobs in design and development in industry before receiving his Ph.D from Stanford (Mechanical engineering with an art minor). After receiving the degree he was employed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California where he was involved in the design of the first spacecraft to explore the Moon, Venus and Mars. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1966. The courses he has taught at Stanford range from mechanical and product design through courses having to do with the nature of technology.