Dr. Alan C. Kay
Dr. Alan C. Kay Draper Prize
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  • Draper
Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering
Go To Award

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.

Pictorial lookback at "The Power of the Context"

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.

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  • Draper
  • 2004
  • Vision, conception, and development of the first practical networked personal computers.