Introduction to Computer Science Life and Career of Ivan Sutherland By: Alicia Kenny COMP-1631
Growing up • Born in Hastings, Nebraska in 1938 • Sutherland showed interest early on in engineering having been expose to his father’s career as a civil engineer • He learned how to program a computer (during the 1950’s) which was an amazing feet for a high school student
Early Years Ivan Sutherland began the basis of his career with an impressive educational background • He attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology on a full scholarship where he obtained his B.S. in electrical engineering • Following Carnegie, he went to the California Institute of Technology to earn an M.S. • Then furthered his education even more by pursuing his PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of technology • Sutherland had his first big accomplishment with MIT having built the Sketchpad for his theses.
The Sketchpad was a computer program that allowed for graphical images to be displayed on a screen using a lightpen • It was the first step in achieving Graphical User Interface • It was an alternate way of communicating with the computer
Breaking into the real world • In 1963, Sutherland was appointed First Lieutenant in the Army and was dedicated to being an electrical engineer just like he always wanted • He was transferred a year later, at the age of just 26, to run the Information Processing Techniques office to take part in advanced research projects • He aimed to further the field of computer science and preferred to focus on artificial intelligence and timesharing
1965 -1968 • Sutherland moved from the army to the prestigious position as associate professor of electrical engineering at Harvard University • He has an honorary degree from Harvard • He remained there for 3 years where he developed computer graphic tools • This research was valid however Sutherland chose to head in a different direction in his future works
In 1968, Sutherland and one of his students, Bob Sproull, created what we call today an HDM or Head Mounted Display. • It was called the Sword of Democles and it was a machine that was hung from the ceiling due to its enormous weight and simply displayed images • Compared to today’s technology this device was primitive with very low quality graphics however, It is arguably the first evidence of having a virtualized display system Interesting Fact: This machine got its name from the Greek story of Democles who had a sword suspended by a hair above his throne and at any moment the hair could break, severing the King.
The Collaboration • Sutherland was offered a professorial position at the University of Utah • Here he met Dave Evans who founded the computer science department at the university • Using both of their computer graphics knowledge, Evans and Sutherland completed a series of projects which include computer games.
Evans&Sutherland • The two men formed a computer consulting company in Salt Lake City called Evans & Sutherland • It is known to be the very first computer graphics company • It has been around for the past 4 decades • In a year today, their company produces $150 million worth of products • They continue to be major developers in computer imaging systems along with being suppliers of simulation equipment used for training pilots
Includes full dome video imaging • Integrated digital universe database • They made a series of advanced theatre systems called Digistar • It is primarily used in planetariums, museums and science centres
Most of the virtual systems made by Evans and Sutherland use lasers to project the images • This creates spectacularly clear and life-like images • It contains ``Gap-Free`` pixel technology which allows for smooth and continuous viewing • GLV or Grating Light Valve modulator is also another feature which adds to its high quality • It has a microchip which has movable mirror parts. This allows for light to be modulated and displayed Laser Projection
Teaching career continues • Began Leading the computer science department at California Institute of Technology • Sutherland teamed up with Carver Mead making integrated circuit design an official field of academic study • They even began teaching it opening the doors for future generations of integrated circuit design specialists
1980-1991 Sutherland and his previous student Bob Sproull formed a company called Sutherland, Sproull and Associates • It was fairly successful which caught the eye of Sun Microsystems Laboratories who bought the company for its patents and key individuals Merger
Sutherland Today • Is now the vice president of Sun Microsystems • Holds 12 patents • Has written over 49 Publications • Sutherland is participating is research along side Marly Roncken at the Asynchronous Research Centre in Portland (part of Portland State University)
Awards • Computer History Museum Fellow - October 18, 2005 • R&D 100 Awards – July 12, 2004 • IEEE John Von Neumann Medal – December 9, 1997 • Smithsonian Computer World Award - 1996 • First Zworykin Award from the National Academy of Engineering – 1972 • A.M Turing Award - 1988
Bibliography • http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/sutherland.html • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Sutherland • http://www.cc.gatech.edu/classes/cs6751_97_fall/projects/abowd_team/ivan/ivan.html • http://www.virtualworldlets.net/Resources/Hosted/Resource.php?Name=Damocles • http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1195591/Ivan-Edward-Sutherland • http://arc.cecs.pdx.edu/about • http://www.es.com/products/displays/ESLaser/ • http://labs.oracle.com/people/mybio.php?uid=14675