"Creator: Ivan Sutherland"
(10/04) Vol. 10, No. 2, P. 28;
Ivan Sutherland is best known for the 1963 MIT Ph.D. thesis that led to
Sketchpad, the first graphical user interface, which paved the way for
much of the computer-aided design (CAD) industry. Cyon Research's Dr.
Joel Orr recalls that Sutherland's paper and dissertation served as a
blueprint for the interaction between people and computer graphics. "So
clear and comprehensive was his exposition, that it wound up being a
master plan for the computer graphics industry--as the hardware
advanced to the point of being able to inexpensively express all that
Sutherland outlined," he explains.
Sketchpad introduced many tools and methods of enduring value, such as
a recursively traversed hierarchical framework for modeling graphical
objects, recursive techniques for geometric transformations, and a
display file for screen refresh. During his tenure at the University of
Utah, Sutherland and David Evans founded the school's Computer Science
program, and helped cultivate an exceptional group of inventors and
future industry leaders, including laptop creator Alan Kay, Adobe
Systems founder John Warnock, and Silicon Graphics and Netscape founder
As a Caltech professor in the late 1970s, Sutherland made sizable
contributions to the introduction of integrated circuit design as an
academic discipline, which led to chip design advances and the
foundation of Silicon Valley. In 1988, Sutherland's groundbreaking work
with computer graphics earned him an ACM Turing Award. "Sutherland hit
on techniques so elemental, that even with the incredible advances we
attribute to 40 years of Moore's Law, they are still relevant," asserts
AEC Automation News editor in chief Randall Newton.
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Via : ACM TechNews Alert for Friday, November 5, 2004