GORDON BELL TO BE INDUCTED AS A FELLOW OF THE COMPUTER HISTORY MUSEUM

BY Byron Spice - Tue, 2003-10-14 12:00  Printer-friendly version

Mountain View, Calif. - October 13, 2003 - The Computer History Museum today announced that computer industry pioneer, Gordon Bell, will be inducted as a Fellow of the Museum at the annual Computer History Museum Fellow Awards Celebration to be held at 6 p.m., Tuesday, October 21, at the Computer History Museum, 1401 N. Shoreline Drive in Mountain View, Calif. Bell was chosen as a Fellow Award recipient for his key role in the minicomputer revolution and for his contributions as a computer architect and entrepreneur.

According to John Toole, executive director and CEO of the Computer History Museum, Bell's accomplishments are the foundation for today's computing ubiquity. "Many of the technologies that we consider the fabric of our everyday lives would not exist without Gordon's undying passion toward architecting paradigm-shifting technologies and pushing them forward from the laboratory into usable acceptance," said Toole.

Cited as being one of the original strategists behind bringing together a U.S. government cross-agency committee that allowed the Internet to form, Bell had the childhood dream of becoming an engineer. "The computer, as we know it, wasn't even around when I was a child. My first true taste of computing came in 1952 when I began at MIT. I had a strong feeling that computers were really where the next thing big would be. I ended up receiving a masters in computer science in 1957," said Bell.

He went on to become a Fulbright Scholar and continued his studies of computer science. From 1960 to 1983, Bell served as vice president of research and development at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), where he was responsible for the development of VAX and VAX Computing Environment, among other products. From 1966 to 1972, he was professor of computer science and electrical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. In 1995, Bell began his tenure at Microsoft's newly established Bay Area Research Center (BARC), where he remains today.

Bell is also the author of, among other books, High Tech Ventures: The Guide to Entrepreneurial Success. He serves on the boards and technical advisory boards of Cradle Technology, Diamond Exchange, The Vanguard Group and the Bell-Mason Group. Bell's awards include the IEEE von Neumann Medal, the American Electronics Association's Inventor Award, the 1991 National Medal of Technology and the 1995 MCI Communications Information Technology Leadership Award for Innovation.

Even though Bell remains modest about his innovations, he proudly proclaims the basis for his accomplishments. "My father was an electrical contractor who encouraged continual learning and exploration and constantly fed my imagination with new influences. I sincerely believe that good, engaged parenting can lead to the revelation of the great things in all of us," Bell said.

Since 1987, the Computer History Museum has publicly recognized individuals of outstanding merit who have contributed to the development of computing. Chosen on the basis of accomplishment, Fellows are nominated by a panel composed of computer historians, Museum Fellows, staff and trustees.

In order to properly assess the historical importance of a prospective Fellow's contribution, at least 10 years must have elapsed between the time of the achievement and the nomination. The accomplishment must have strongly influenced the intellectual, disciplinary or industrial underpinnings of computing.

In addition to Bell, other 2003 Computer History Museum Award winners include Tim Berners-Lee and David Wheeler.

The Computer History Museum thanks its sponsors for the event: Headline - Hewlett-Packard, Fellows Sponsors - Microsoft, Sponsors - 1185 Design and San Jose Mercury News, Patrons - Elaine and Eric Hahn, Maxtor and Sun.

Reservations are required to attend the event, and proceeds support the preservation and educational missions of the Computer History Museum. For tickets or more information please visit our Web site at MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES: For interviews with or images of Gordon Bell, please contact Catriona Harris directly at 650/810-1036, or harris [atsymb] computerhistory ~replace-with-a-dot~ org.

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