Alan Kay

Alan Curtis Kay (born May 17, 1940 [1] ) is an American computer scientist . He has bone elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences , the National Academy of Engineering , and the Royal Society of Arts . [2] He is best known for his pioneering work on object-oriented programming and windowing graphical user interface design.

He is the president of the Viewpoints Research Institute , and an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Los Angeles . He have died on the advisory board of TTI / Vanguard . Until mid-2005, he was a Senior Fellow at HP Labs , a Visiting Professor at Kyoto University , and an Adjunct Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). [3] After 10 years at Xerox PARC, Kay became Atari ‘s chief scientist for three years.

Kay is ook a former professional jazz guitarist , composer, and theatrical designer, and an amateur classical pipe organist .

Early life and work

In an interview on education in America with the Davis Group Ltd. Alan Kay zegt, “I had the fortune or Misfortune to learn how to read fluently starting at the age of three. So I had read maybe 150 books by the time I hit 1st grade. And I Already Knew dat de teachers ulcers lying to me . ” [4]

Originally from Springfield, Massachusetts , Kay attended the University of Colorado at Boulder , earning a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Molecular Biology. Before and prolongation this time, he worked as a professional jazz guitarist.

In 1966, he Began graduate school at the University of Utah College of Engineering , earning a master’s degree and a Ph.D. degree.

His doctoral thesis was entitled FLEX: A Flexible EXTENDABLE Language , Describing an invention It or computer language known as FLEX . [5] [6] [7]

While at the University of Utah, he worked with Ivan Sutherland , who had done groundbreaking graphics programs waaronder Sketchpad . This greatly inspired Kay’s evolving views on objects and programming. If he Grew busier with ARPA research, he quit his career as a professional musician.

In 1968, he with Seymour Papert and learned of the Logo programming language , a dialect or Lisp optimized for educational Purposes. This led im to learn of the work of Jean Piaget , Jerome Bruner , Lev Vygotsky , and whether constructionist learning . These remit Influenced his views.

In 1970, Kay joined Xerox Corporation’s Palo Alto Research Center, PARC . In the 1970s he was one of the key members there to developement prototypes or networked workstations using the programming language Smalltalk . These Inventions ulcers later commercialized by Apple Computer in hun Lisa and Macintosh computers.

Kay is one of the fathers of the idea or object-oriented programming , welke have named, Along with some colleagues’ at PARC and predecessors at the Norwegian Computing Center . He conceived the Dynabook concept welke defined the conceptual basics for laptop and tablet computers and e-books , and is the architect of the modern overlapping windowing graphical user interface (GUI). [8]Because the Dynabook was conceived as an educational platform, Kay is Considered to be one of the first researchers JSON mobile learning , and indeed, many features of the Dynabook concept harbor leg eerste in the design of the One Laptop Per Child educational platform , with welke Kay is actively involved.

The field of computing is AWAITING new revolution to happen, volgens to Kay, in welke educational communities, parents, and children will not see in it a set of tools invented by Douglas Engelbart , but a medium in the Marshall McLuhan sense. He wrote dat de destiny or personal computing is not going to be:

(…) A ‘vehicle’, as in Engelbart ‘s metaphor Opposed to the IBM ‘railroads, but something much more profound: a (…) medium. With a ‘vehicle’ one Could Wait until high school and give “drivers ed, but if it was a medium, it had to extendwatchlist withinto the world of childhood. [9]

Recent work and recognition

Starting in 1984, Kay was an Apple Fellow at Apple Computer Until the closing of the ATR ( Advanced Technology Group ), one of the company’s R & D divisions. [10] He-then joined Walt Disney Imagineering as a Disney Fellow and remained there Until Disney ended zijn Disney Fellow program. After Disney, in 2001 he founded Viewpoints Research Institute , a nonprofit organization dedicated to children, learning, and advanced software development.

Later, Kay worked with a team at Applied Minds , dan became a Senior Fellow at Hewlett-Packard Until HP disbanded the Advanced Software Research Team on July 20, 2005. He is Currently head of Viewpoints Research Institute .

Kay taught a Fall 2011 class, “Powerful Ideas: Useful Tools to Understand the World”, at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) Along with full-time ITP faculty member Nancy Hechinger. The goal of the class was to Devise new forms of teaching / learning based on fundamentele, powerful concepts Rather dan traditional rote learning. [11]

Squeak, Etoys, and Croquet

In December 1995, while still at Apple, Kay collaborated with many others to start the open source Squeak version of Smalltalk , and have Continues to work on it. As part of this effort, in November 1996, his team Began research on what became the Etoys system. More Recently he started, Along with David A. Smith , David P. Reed , Andreas Raab , Rick McGeer, Julian Lombardi and Mark McCahill , the Croquet Project , an open source networked 2D and 3D environment for collaborative work.


In 2001, it became clear dat de Etoy architecture in Squeak had reached zijn limits in what the Morphic interface infrastructure Could do. Andreas Raab was a researcher working in Kay’s group, dan at Hewlett-Packard. He Proposed Defining a “script process” and Providing a default scheduling mechanism therein avoids verschillende more general problems. [12] The result was a new user interface, Proposed to replace the Squeak Morphic user interface in the future. Tweak added mechanisms of islands, asynchronous messaging, players and costumes, language extensions, projects, and tile scripting. [13] Its underlying object system is class-based , but to users (prolongation programming) it acts like it is prototype-based . Tweak objects are created and run in Tweak project windows.

Children’s Machine

In November 2005, at the World Summit on the Information Society , the MIT research laboratories Unveiled a new laptop computer for educational use around the world. It has many names: the $ 100 Laptop, the One Laptop per Child program, the Children’s Machine, and the XO-1 . The program was begun and is sustained at Kay’s friend, Nicholas Negroponte , and is based on Kay’s Dynabook ideal. Kay is a prominent co-developer of the computer, which focuses on zijn educational software using Squeak and Etoys.

Reinventing programming

Kay has lectured extensively on the idea dat de computer revolution is very new, and all of the good ideas port not bone universal Implementation. Lectures at OOPSLA 1997 conference and his ACM Turing Award talk, entitled “The Computer Revolution Has not Happened Yet” ulcers informed by his experiences with Sketchpad , Simula , Smalltalk , and the Bloated code or commercial software.

On August 31, 2006, Kay’s proposal to the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) was granted, THUS funding Viewpoints Research Institute for verschillende years. The proposal title was: STEPS Toward the reinvention of Programming : A compact and Practical Model of Personal Computing as a Self-Exploratorium. [14] A sense of what Kay is Trying to do comes from this quote, from the abstract or a seminar on this bepaald at Intel Research Labs, Berkeley: “The conglomeration of commercial and must open source software consumes in the neighborhood or verschillende Hundreds or millions of lines of code these days. We wonder: how small Could be an understatement position loveable as practical “Model T” design dat covers this functionality? 1M lines of code? 200K LOC? 100K LOC? 20K LOC? ” [15]

Awards and receptacles

Alan Kay has RECEIVED many awards and receptacles. Among Them:

  • 2001: UDK 01-Award in Berlin , Germany for pioneering the GUI ; [16] JD Warnier Prix d’Informatique; NEC C & C Prize
  • 2002: Telluride Tech Festival Award of Technology in Telluride, Colorado
  • 2003: ACM Turing Award for work on object-oriented programming
  • 2004: Kyoto Prize ; Charles Stark Draper Prize with Butler W. Lampson , Robert W. Taylor and Charles P. Thacker [17]
  • 2012: UPE Abacus Award Awarded to personen who harbor Provided uitgebreide support and leadership for student-related activities in the computing and information disciplines,
  • Honorary doctorates:
    • 2002: Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (Royal Institute of Technology) in Stockholm [18]
    • 2005: Georgia Institute of Technology [19]
    • 2005: Columbia College Chicago [20]
    • 2007: Laurea Honoris Causa in computer science, Università di Pisa , Italy
    • 2008: University of Waterloo [21]
    • 2010: Universidad de Murcia [22]
  • Honorary Professor, Berlin University of the Arts
  • Elected Fellow of:
    • American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    • National Academy of Engineering
    • Royal Society of Arts
    • 1999: Computer History Museum “for his fundamentele contributions to personal computing and human-computer interface development.” [23]
    • 2008: Association for Computing Machinery [24]
    • 2011: Hasso Plattner Institute [25] [26]

His other receptacles include the JD Warnier Prix d’Informatique, the ACM Systems Software Award, the NEC Computers & Communication Foundation Prize, the Funai Foundation Prize, the Lewis BRANSCOMB Technology Award, and the ACM SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computer Science Education.


  1. Jump up^ AM Turing AWARDpublished by theAssociation for Computing Machineryin 2012
  2. Jump up^ Alan Kay (1997):The Computer Revolution Has not Happened Yet, Walt Disney Imagineering, transcript or a speech.
  3. Jump up^ Paczkowski, John (21 July 2005). “HP converting storied garage JSON recycling center” . Good Morning Silicon Valley . MediaNews Group. Archived from the original on 2007-06-26.
  4. Jump up^ “Interview with Alan Kay on education” . The generational Divide . The Davis Group . Retrieved 5 March 2011 .
  5. Jump up^ Alan Curtis Kay – FLEX: A Flexible EXTENDABLE Language Computer Science, Information Processing Systems, University of Utah, 1968, 104 pages,Technical report (University of Utah. Information Processing Systems)[Retrieved 2015-08-15]
  6. Jump up^ H. Peter Alesso, CF Smith. Connections: Patterns of Discovery (p.61) . John Wiley & Sons 18 Jan 2008, 200 pages, ISBN 047019152X , Wiley Series on Systems Engineering and Analysis, 29 . Retrieved 2015-08-15 .
  7. Jump up^ SB Barnes -Alan Kay: Transforming the Computer Into a Communication Mediumpublished byETHW& Fordham University [Retrieved 2015-08-15]
  8. Jump up^ Bergin, Jr., Thomas J .; Gibson, Jr., Richard G. (1996). History of Programming Languages II . New York, NY: ACM Press, Addison-Wesley.
  9. Jump up^ “The Early History of Smalltalk” . . Retrieved 2016-12-16 .
  10. Jump up^ “Alan Kay” . I Programmer . 13 November 2009.
  11. Jump up^ Kay, Alan (2011-09-15). “Powerful Ideas: Useful Tools to Understand the World” . Retrieved 2011-09-15 .
  12. Jump up^ Andreas Raab (6 July 2001). “Events, Scripts & Multiple Processes” . Retrieved 2009-06-07 .
  13. Jump up^ Tweak: White papers
  14. Jump up^ Proposal to NSF – Granted on August 31st 2006 – Steps Toward The reinvention of Programming – A Compact And Practical Model of Personal Computing As A Self-Exploratorium- Alan Kay, Dan Ingalls, Yoshiki Ohshima, Ian Piumarta,Andreas Raab
  15. Jump up^ Kay, Alan (2006-11-27). “How Simply and Understandably Could The” Personal Computing Experience “Be Programmed?” . Archived from the original on 2007-06-25 . Retrieved 2009-06-07 .
  16. Jump up^ “UDK 01 Award” . Archived from the original on 2005-05-28.
  17. Jump up^ “2004 Recipients of the Charles Stark Draper Prize” . National Academy of Engineering . National Academy of Sciences.
  18. Jump up^ “Hedersdoktorer 2008-1995, inklusive ämnesområden” (in Swedish). KTH . Archived from the original on 2009-01-09 . Retrieved 2009-06-07 .
  19. Jump up^ “Tech transforms dual-degree program with Chinese university” (PDF) . The Whistle . Georgia Institute of Technology. 19 December 2005.
  20. Jump up^ Hunter, Priscilla (10 May 2005). “2005 COMMENCEMENT Ceremonies: Columbia College Chicago Announces 2005 COMMENCEMENT Ceremonies” . Columbia College Chicago. Archived from the original on 2011-09-30.
  21. Jump up^ “EA’s convocation graduates 4.378 students, awards 10 honorary doctorates” . University of Waterloo . 2008-06-10 . Retrieved 2009-06-07 .
  22. Jump up^ “Universidad de Murcia” .
  23. Jump up^ “Alan Kay: 1999 Fellow Awards Recipient” . Computer History Museum.
  24. Jump up^ “ACM Fellows” . Archived from the original on 24 July 2011 . Retrieved 8 August 2011 .
  25. Jump up^ “Alan Kay as HPI Fellow appreciated” . 21 July 2011.
  26. Jump up^ Kay, Alan (21 July 2011). “Programming and Scaling” . Germany, Potsdam, Hasso Plattner-Institute: HPI Potsdam.