The Computer History Museum Presents An Evening with Ivan Sutherland

Mountain View, California  |  October 10, 2005

The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., as part of its Odysseys In Technology Series, sponsored by Sun Microsystems Laboratories, will present Ivan Sutherland, vice president and fellow at Sun Microsystems and 2005 Computer History Museum Fellow Award recipient, 7 p.m., Wednesday, October 19, at the Computer History Museum's Hahn Auditorium, 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd. For reservations, please visit,

Sutherland, who will receive the Computer History Museum Fellow Award at 6 p.m., Tuesday, October 18, in honor of his Sketchpad computer-aided design system and for lifelong contributions to computer graphics and education, believes that fun and research are inexorably intertwined.

"Research is fun! Like a team sport, the hunt for new knowledge brings purpose, comradeship, conversation, competition, and appreciation. Finding new knowledge brings the joys of novelty, beauty, simplicity, understanding, and sometimes even utility. Remembering that research is fun offers strategies for both researchers and managers," said Sutherland. "We all must remember that research is a human endeavor fraught with technical and emotional risks and frustrations. Reduce drudgery, stamp out frustration, encourage spirit, provide support, and recognize achievement to get both loyalty and results."

Sutherland was born in Hastings, Nebraska, in 1938. He received a B.S. from Carnegie-Mellon University, an M.S. from California Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His Ph.D. dissertation, "Sketchpad: A Man Machine Graphical Communication System," was a groundbreaking interactive computer-aided design system. Its innovations included hierarchical drawings, constraint-satisfaction methods, and an interactive graphical user interface. Sketchpad's interaction and functionality continues to inspire admiration among computer graphics professionals even today, over forty years later. From 1976 to 1980, Sutherland served as chairman of computer science at the California Institute of Technology. In 1980, he became a vice president of the consulting firm Sutherland, Sproull and Associates, which Sun acquired in 1990 to form the basis of its Research Laboratory.

Sutherland has won many awards for his work including the ACM Turing Award (1988); the IEEE Emanuel R. Piore Award (1986); and the IEEE John von Neumann Medal (1998). He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.

About Odysseys in Technology

Odysseys in Technology, The Computer History Museum Speaker Series Sponsored by Sun Microsystems Laboratories presents people and perspectives behind extraordinary innovations and advancements in the computer technology-related world. Each event in the Series provides stimulating interaction with authentic experts whose achievements have transformed how things are done or viewed, and examines how their personal stories might inform the present and future. These programs occasionally feature technologies or point events, with the objective to apply lessons of history to present day understanding and inspiration. Reservations are recommended to attend the Odysseys In Technology events. Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $10. The Odysseys In Technology lectures start promptly at 7:00 p.m. A reception is held at 6:00 p.m. for Computer History Museum members. For more information, please visit

About the Computer History Museum

The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, a public benefit organization with a 25-year history as part of the former Boston Computer Museum, preserves and presents for posterity the artifacts and stories of the information age. The Museum is dedicated to exploring the social impact of computing and is home to the world's largest collection of computing-related items -- from hardware (mainframes, PCs, handhelds, integrated circuits), to software, to computer graphics systems, to the Internet and networking -- and contains many rare objects such as the Cray-1 supercomputer, the Apple I, the WWII ENIGMA, the PalmPilot prototype, and the 1969 Honeywell "Kitchen Computer." The collection also includes photos, films, videos, documents, publications, and advertising and marketing materials. Currently in its first phase, the Museum brings computing history to life through its popular speaker series, seminars, oral histories and workshops. The Museum also offers self-guided and docent-led tours of Visible Storage, where nearly 600 objects from the collection are on display. A new exhibit, "Mastering The Game: A History of Computer Chess," opened in September 2005. Please check the Web site for open hours. Future phases will feature full museum exhibits and educational programs, including a timeline of computing history, theme galleries, a research center, and much more. For more information, please visit or call 650.810.1010.

Press Contacts:

PR Team
(650) 810-1059


FacebookTwitterCopy Link