The Edward Bowles Plaza is located between Mallinckrodt Center and Umrath Hall. The plaza primarily contains an outdoor amphitheatre that is used for shows and events. There is also a patio for students to eat and rest at.
In 1918, Dr. Edward L. Bowles served as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. After his first term with the military, Bowles attended Washington University and obtained a Bachelor's of Science in Electrical Engineering from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Washington University. While at Washington University, Edward Bowles met his future wife, Lois Wuerpel. In 1921, Bowles became a professor at MIT and soon after founded the department of electrical communications at MIT.
During World War II, Bowles left MIT to design systems to detect the German U-boats that were sinking freighters in the North Atlantic. In 1944, Bowles was asked to help Britain defend from the German "Buzz Bomb" missles. Edward Bowles was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his efforts during the war.
After the war, Bowles became a consultant for the president of Raytheon. He also continued his professorship at MIT, eventually transferring to what is now the Alfred P. Sloan School of Management. In 1955, he was the head of a congressional advisory committee concerning UHF television channels.
Edward Bowles and his wife, Lois Wuerpol were major contributors to the building fund of the Mallinckrodt Center. In 1955, Edward Bowles was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award.