HP (NYSE:HPQ) today announced that
Alan Kay, one of the founders of Xerox PARC and a computer industry
pioneer, has joined the company.
He will be a Senior Fellow in HP Labs, researching and developing
new software platforms for devices and distributed applications,
based on open source code.
"We're delighted to have a person of Alan's stature join our
team," said Dick Lampman, HP senior vice president of research,
and director, HP Labs. "His energy, creativity and special
insights have had a huge impact on the industry."
Kay will report to Patrick Scaglia, vice president, Internet and
Computing Platform Technologies, HP Labs.
"Alan's interests coincide perfectly with our efforts to create
a new software platform for the 21st century," said Scaglia.
"The core technologies he's currently pursuing will be an ideal
complement to our own research and development."
"I'm excited about working with the outstanding team at HP
Labs and throughout the company," said Kay. "I agree with
HP on the need to support standards-based, modular systems, where
it makes sense for users and the industry."
Kay will continue his association with the Viewpoints Research Institute,
a nonprofit organization in Glendale, Calif., that he helped found
to improve both general education and understanding of complex systems.
He believes, for example, that it should be possible to teach children
as young as 5 years old to create simple programs using a set of
authoring tools known as "Squeak," which relies heavily
on images, rather than words.
"Our work with children is aimed at teaching them 'real math'
and 'real science' through making their own simulations, including
games," Kay said. "We want to help them develop thinking
and learning skills across a broad range of topics. We also believe
that many great inventions are created by working with children."
Kay is one of the earliest pioneers of personal computing and his
comment, "The best way to predict the future is to invent it,"
is widely quoted.
In the late '60s, Kay participated in the design of ARPAnet, the
forerunner of the Internet. He also created the Dynabook, an early
version of today's laptops, with a flat screen, stylus, wireless
network and local storage.
At Xerox PARC in the early '70s he invented Smalltalk, the first
complete, dynamic object-oriented language, development and operating
His work at PARC also included bitmap displays, used in all computers
today, as well as overlapping windows, icons and the point-click-and-drag
He also was chief scientist at Atari from 1981-84, where he set
up Atari Research Labs throughout the country. From early 1984 through
late 1996, he was a Fellow at Apple and independent researcher,
working on end-user languages, input-output devices and The Viviarium,
an educational research project that lasted nearly eight years.
In late 1996, he joined Walt Disney Imagineering, The Walt Disney
Company, as a Fellow working on digital media projects. His five-year
contract with Disney ended in September 2001.
HP is a leading global provider
of products, technologies, solutions and services to consumers and
businesses. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal
computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing.
HP completed its merger transaction
involving Compaq Computer Corporation on May 3, 2002. More information
about HP is available at http://www.hp.com/