links to this page:    
View this PageEdit this Page (locked)Uploads to this PageHistory of this PageTop of the SwikiRecent ChangesSearch the SwikiHelp Guide
Alan Kay
Last updated at 1:54 pm UTC on 11 December 1999
Email: alank@wdi.disney.com

Photo: External Image

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." – Alan Kay

[Photo: http://www.research.apple.com/people/features/kay.gif - link no longer works, new link?
The new link is http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~history/GASCH1.KAY..GIF
but if we make it a hyperlink, it becomes a picture–is there any way to quote a .GIF reference? (jla)]

This is a group of students who attended the Open Charter School in Los Angeles, CA. The Open School was our main research site while at Apple Computer. The kids in the photo are now about 12 or 13 years old and attending middle school somewhere in the LA area. –Kim Rose

Dr. Alan Kay is a renowned visionary, and pivotal researcher in modern computer science. He is best known for developing the idea of personal computing and the concept of the intimate laptop computer, the Dynabook, and inventing the now ubiquitous overlapping window interface that has made PCs easier to use. He also invented modern object-oriented programming. These ideas and innovations were triggered by his deep interest in education and children.

Before 1970, Kay was a member of the University of Utah ARPA research team that developed 3D graphics. As a member of the ARPA community, he also participated in the early design of the ARPANet, which became the Internet.

In 1970, Kay joined Xerox Corporation's Palo Alto Research Center: PARC. In the early '70s, he led one of several groups at Xerox PARC that together extended, merged, and developed his ideas and earlier work into modern workstations and the forerunners of the Macintosh, Smalltalk, EtherNet, laser printing, and network client-servers.

After 10 years at Xerox PARC, he was Atari's chief scientist for three years. Starting in 1984, Kay was a Fellow at Apple Computer, Inc., where he was one of a few select scientists with an independent charter to pursue radical ideas for Apple's future. He recently joined Walt Disney Imagineering as a Disney Fellow. Kay 's current interests continue to center on creating better learning environments for children and adults, especially to understand better ways to extend, capture, transmit and think about ideas via computer media.

Dr. Kay holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering (computer sciences) from the University of Utah. His Ph.D. was awarded for the development of the first graphical object-oriented personal computer. He earned undergraduate degrees in mathematics and molecular biology from the University of Colorado. Kay is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Royal Society of Arts. A former professional jazz guitarist, composer and theatrical designer, he is now an amateur classical pipe-organist.

Long bio: http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~history/GASCH.KAY.HTML

Links to other Alan Kay information:

(these last two seem to be gone...?)
(links 4 & 6 don't work - I'm not sure that #5 is correct...)
(Where did they go? ( jla How to set a morph's heading ))

I love him.