Technology Pioneer, A.M. Turing Award Winner
Alan Kay is best known for pioneering personal and laptop computers, and the inventions of the now ubiquitous overlapping-window interface (GUI), and modern object-oriented programming—as part of the larger Advanced Research Projects Agency and Xerox PARC research communities. He likes to say “No one owes more to his research community than I do”.
His deep interests in developing children’s learning and thinking were the catalysts for these ideas, and they continue to inspire his research.
He has intertwined “the Arts”—professional jazz musician in his early years, avid classical pipe organist to the present, deep involvements in theater and design)—and “the Sciences” (which are also “Arts”)—with a B.A. in Mathematics and Molecular Biology, with concentrations in Anthropology and English from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and M.S. (1968) and Ph.D degrees in Computer Science from the University of Utah.
Recognition includes the ACM’s Turing and Software Systems Awards, the National Academy of Engineering’s Draper Prize, the Kyoto Prize, and other awards and honorary degrees. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Association for the Advancement of Science, Royal Society of Arts, and the Computer History Museum.