2004 Recipients of the Charles Stark Draper Prize (Print This)
Find photographs of Alto, the first networked personal computer.
Dr. Alan C. Kay | Pictorial lookback at "The Power of the Context"
One of the earliest members of Xerox PARC, Dr. Alan Kay, inspired by the needs of children, was the inventor of Smalltalk - the first dynamic object-oriented language, development, and operating system, which originated the overlapping window and icons graphical user interface.
Before Xerox PARC, Dr. Kay was a member of the University of Utah Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA) research team that developed 3D graphics, and participated in the original design of the ARPANet. While there, he was one of the designers of the FLEX machine, an early interactive object-oriented personal computer, and he conceived the Dynabook, a notebook-sized "laptop" computer for children.
Dr. Kay has received the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Software Systems Award, J-D Warnier Prix d’Informatique, NEC Corporation C&C Prize, and the Funai Prize. He has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of the Arts, the Computer Museum History Center, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He has been Chief Scientist of Atari, and a Fellow at Xerox, Apple, and Disney. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Hewlett-Packard Co., an Adjunct Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and a Visiting Professor at Kyoto University, Japan.
Dr. Alan Kay has a bachelor of arts in mathematics and molecular biology from the University of Colorado, his master of science and doctorate degrees in computer science from the University of Utah, and an honorary doctorate from the Kungl Tekniska Hoegskolan in Stockholm. Additional pictures of Dr. Alan Kay are available elsewhere on this site.
Dr. Butler W. Lampson
Butler W. Lampson is currently a Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft Research working on security, fault-tolerance, and user interfaces. As the Alto’s system architect, Dr. Lampson designed all and wrote much of the operating system for the machine, and was later instrumental in adding further capabilities, most notably the laser printer. His innovations while at Xerox PARC included developing the techniques that allowed the first "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" (WYSIWYG) text editor to run successfully. In addition, he was one of the designers of the SDS 940 time-sharing system, the Xerox 9700 laser printer, two-phase commit protocols, the Autonet LAN, the Simple Distributed Security Infrastructure (SDSI) system for network security, the Microsoft Tablet PC software, and several programming languages.
Dr. Lampson is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the ACM and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received the ACM Software Systems Award in 1984 for his work on the Alto, the IEEE Computer Pioneer award in 1996, the National Computer Systems Security Award in 1998, the IEEE von Neumann Medal in 2001, and the Turing Award in 1992.
Dr. Butler W. Lampson received his bachelor of arts degree from Harvard University, a doctorate degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) from the University of California at Berkeley, and honorary doctor of science degrees from the Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule, Zurich, and the University of Bologna. Additional pictures of Dr. Butler W. Lampson are available elsewhere on this site.
Mr. Robert W. Taylor
As founder and manager of the Computer Science Laboratory at Xerox PARC from 1970 through 1983, Mr. Robert W. Taylor recruited fellow Draper Prize recipients Kay, Lampson, and Thacker, in addition to the industry-leading cast of talented computer researchers that came after them at Xerox PARC. An acknowledged genius at assembling outstanding teams of researchers, suggesting avenues of exploration and motivating colleagues to push the technological envelope, Mr. Taylor was instrumental in creating PARC’s exceptional record of innovation and accomplishment.
Before Xerox PARC, Mr. Taylor was Director of the Information Processing Techniques Office of ARPA in the Department of Defense, where he supported key research underlying much of the fundamental technology in today’s computer industry. While there, he initiated a project to build the first packet network, the ARPANet, which would become the direct ancestor of today’s Internet. In 1983, Mr. Taylor founded the Systems Research Center of the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), which he managed until his retirement in 1996.
Mr. Taylor is a Fellow of the ACM and received its Software Systems Award in 1984. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1991. In 1999, the President of the United States awarded him the National Medal of Technology "for visionary leadership in the development of modern computing technology, including computer networks, the personal computer and the graphical user interface"
Mr. Robert W. Taylor was born in Texas in 1932. He earned his bachelor of arts and master of arts degrees from The University of Texas
Additional pictures of Mr. Robert W. Taylor are available elsewhere on this site..
Mr. Charles P. Thacker
Responsible for engineering the hardware for Alto, Mr. Charles P. Thacker wrote much of its microcode and can be credited, together with Butler Lampson, for the superb economy of the Alto’s design. Constructing the first batch of Altos himself, Thacker oversaw production for the rest, as well as devising its packaging.
In 1983, Thacker was a founder of the Systems Research Center at DEC, and in 1997, he joined Microsoft Research to help establish the Microsoft lab in the United Kingdom. He joined Microsoft’s Emerging Technology Group as Distinguished Engineer in 1999. Thacker has led teams that have designed a number of innovative networks and computer systems over the years, including the first multiprocessor personal workstation, the first system to employ the DEC Alpha chip, the Autonet, and AN2 local area networks, and the Microsoft Tablet PC.
Widely recognized for his contributions to the industry, Mr. Charles Thacker was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, is a distinguished alumnus of the Computer Science Department at the University of California, is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a fellow of the ACM, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Additional pictures of Mr. Charles P. Thacker are available elsewhere on this site