Alan Kay

From Academic Kids

Alan Kay is an American computer scientist. He joined Xerox Corporation's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in 1970. In the seventies he was one of the key members there to develop prototypes of networked workstations using the programming language Smalltalk. These inventions were later commercialized by Apple with the Apple Macintosh. Alan Kay is one of the fathers of the idea of object-oriented programming, along with some colleagues at PARC and predecessors at the Norwegian Computing Centre. He is the conceiver of the Dynabook concept which defined the basics of the laptop computer and the tablet computer and he is also considered by some as the architect of the modern windowing graphical user interface (GUI).

After 10 years at Xerox PARC, Kay was Atari's chief scientist for three years. Starting in 1984, Kay was a Fellow at Apple Computer. He then joined Walt Disney Imagineering as a Disney Fellow, currently he is a Senior Fellow at HP and the president of the Viewpoints Research Institute.

Alan Kay collaborated with many others to start the open source Squeak dynamic media software in December 1995, when he was still at Apple and he continues to work on it. More recently he started, along with a few collaborators, the Croquet project, which seeks to offer an open source networked 3D environment for collaborative work.

Alan is a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

In 2003 Alan Kay received the ACM Turing Award for his work on object oriented programming. In 2004 he received the Kyoto Prize and the Charles Stark Draper Prize along with Butler W. Lampson, Robert W. Taylor and Charles P. Thacker

Kay has a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics and Molecular Biology from the University of Colorado, and a Master's degree and Ph.D. from the University of Utah.

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