Willis J. Tompkins received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Maine at Orono in 1963 and 1965, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in biomedical electronic engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1973. His past employment includes academic, industrial, and hospital experience.

He is currently Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he has been on the faculty since 1974. He is one of the faculty co-founders of the Department of the UW Biomedical Engineering Department. He previously served for five years as Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His teaching specialty is on the topic of computers in medicine, an area in which he has developed two courses. One of these two courses, he has evolved and taught for 35 consecutive years. He has received several education awards including the University of Wisconsin Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. His research interests include development of microprocessor-based medical instrumentation, on-line biomedical computing, and real-time computer processing of electrocardiograms.

Dr. Tompkins has published more than 240 journal papers, book chapters, and conference articles. He has served as research advisor for more than 90 M.S. and Ph.D. graduates. He has published four textbooks. Dr. Tompkins has lectured extensively in countries outside the U.S. including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, The People's Republic of China, Republic of China (Taiwan), Thailand, Singapore, Soviet Union, and Uruguay.

Dr. Tompkins is a Life Fellow of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), a Founding Fellow of the AIMBE (American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering), and an Inaugural Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society. He is a past President of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society and has received the IEEE EMBS Career Achievement Award. He is also a member of the IEEE Computer Society, the IEEE Education Society, and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Wisconsin.