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Alan Kay

Foundational Researcher in Computer Science

Foundational Researcher in Computer Science

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London, UK
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Alan Kay Biography

Alan Kay, is one of the earliest pioneers of object-oriented programming, personal computing, and graphical user interfaces. His contributions have been recognized with:

the Charles Stark Draper Prize of the National Academy of Engineering[1] "for the vision, conception, and development of the first practical networked personal computers" the Alan. M. Turing Award from the Association of Computing Machinery "for pioneering many of the ideas at the root of contemporary object-oriented programming languages, leading the team that developed Smalltalk, and for fundamental contributions to personal computing" the Kyoto Prize from the Inamori Foundation "for creation of the concept of modern personal computing and contribution to its realization." This work was done in the rich context of ARPA and Xerox PARC with many talented colleagues.

While at the ARPA project at the University of Utah in the late 60s, he invented dynamic object-oriented programming[2], was part of the original team that developed continuous tone 3D graphics, was the co-designer of the FLEX Machine[3], an early desktop computer with graphical user interface and object-oriented operating system, participated in the design of the ARPAnet, and inspired by children[4], conceived the Dynabook, a laptop personal computer for children of all ages.

At the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in the Early 70's he invented Smalltalk, the first completely object-oriented programming, authoring and operating system (which included the now ubiquitous overlapping window interface), instigated the bit-map screen, screen painting and animation, participated in developing desk-top publishing, other desk-top media, and the development of the Alto1, the first modern networked personal computer. This was part of the larger process at PARC that created an entire genre of personal computing including: the GUI, Ethernet, Laserprinting, modern word processing, client-servers and peer-peer networking.

He has a BA in Mathematics and Biology, with minor concentrations in English and Anthropology from the University of Colorado, 1966. MS and PhD degrees in Computer Science (1968 and 1969, both with distinction) from the University of Utah, and Honorary Doctorates from the Kungl Tekniska Hoegskolan in Stockholm, Sweden, Columbia College in Chicago, Georgia Tech, the University of Pisa in Italy, the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, and the University of Murcia, in Murcia, Spain.

He has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Society of Arts, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the Computer History Museum.

Other honors include: J-D Warnier Prix d'Informatique, ACM Systems Software Award5, NEC Computers & Communication Foundation Prize, Funai Foundation Prize, Lewis Branscomb Technology Award, the ACM SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computer Science Education, and the CRN Hall of Fame.

He has been a Xerox Fellow, Chief Scientist of Atari, Apple Fellow, Disney Fellow, and HP Senior Fellow. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at UCLA. In 2001 he founded and is president of Viewpoints Research Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to children, learning and advanced systems research.

At Viewpoints Research Institute he and his colleagues continue to explore advanced systems and programming design by aiming for a "Moore's Law" advance in software creation of many orders of magnitude. Kay and Viewpoints are also deeply involved in the One Laptop Per Child initiative that seeks to create a Dynabook-like "$100 laptop" for every child in the world (especially in the 3rd world).

Outside of computing, Kay entered show business in the 50s as a professional jazz guitarist. Much of his subsequent work combined music and theatrical production. Today he is an avid amateur classical pipe organist and has just taken up jazz guitar again after more than 40 years.

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Speaker profile last updated by AAE Talent Team on 03/22/2024.

Alan Kay Videos

  • Keynote: Making Progress — Alan Kay - YouTube
    Dr. Alan Kay delivers the opening keynote of ETE 2021.--------------------------------------------Philly Emerging Technologies for the ...
  • Alan Kay, 2018: The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create It ...
    Alan Kay gives the 2018 Lindberg-King Lecture. Recorded Wednesday, September 26, 2018,. Show less Show more ...
  • An Interview with Computing Pioneer Alan Kay - YouTube

FAQs on booking Alan Kay

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  • What are the speaker fees for Alan Kay

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  • What topics does Alan Kay speak about?

    Alan Kay is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Business, Business Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Technology, Virtual Speakers.
  • Where does Alan Kay travel from?

    Alan Kay generally travels from London, UK, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
  • Who is Alan Kay’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Alan Kay for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Alan Kay for your next private or corporate function.
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Alan Kay is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Alan Kay for your event is $10,000 - $20,000. Alan Kay generally travels from LondonUK and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Linus Torvalds, Wingham Rowan, Frederick Smith, Leroy Hood and Charles Schwab. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Alan Kay for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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