Book: Points of View - a Tribute to Alan Kay
Edited by Ian Piumarta, a Senior Scientist for Viewpoints Research Institute, and Kimberly Rose, co-founder of the Viewpoints Research Institute, the book “Points of View - a Tribute to Alan Kay” (PDF) is a homage paid to Dr. Alan Kay for his great contribution for the advance of computer science, celebrating his 70th birthday on May 17th.
Dr. Alan Kay, best known for the phrase “The best way to predict the future is to invent it”, is one of the computer science visionaries who has had a significant influence on the evolution of software and hardware sciences over the last 40 years. Inspired by Sketchpad and Simula, Dr. Kay invented dynamic OOP while working on ARPA during late 60’s. Along with Ed Cheadle, Dr. Kay designed the FLEX Machine, an early desktop computer with a GUI and object-oriented OS. He also designed Dynabook, an early laptop computer for children.
Dr. Kay invented Smalltalk while working at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in the Early 70’s, where he was involved in the invention of Alto, the first networked personal computer.
Dr. Kay was the recipient of several awards including the Turing Award from the Association of Computing Machinery “for pioneering many of the ideas at the root of contemporary object-oriented programming languages, leading the team that developed Smalltalk, and for fundamental contributions to personal computing,” the Charles Stark Draper Prize of the National Academy of Engineering “for the vision, conception, and development of the first practical networked personal computers,” and the Kyoto Prize from the Inamori Foundation “for creation of the concept of modern personal computing and contribution to its realization.”
Currently, Dr. Alan Kay is presiding Viewpoints Research Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to children, learning and advanced systems research.
The book “Points of View - a Tribute to Alan Kay” is a collection of previously unpublished essays on Alan Kay written by friends and former or actual colleagues who have known him personally, trying to depict interesting aspects of Dr. Kay’s personality, character, vision, and life. Kimberly Rose wrote in her dedication:
Alan, with this book, Ian and I present to you, on behalf of several of your dear friends and colleagues, a tribute wherein we hope you will also learn something more about what you have given to us, taught us, and been to us— all of us who participated in this project. We believe this book also contains valuable lessons and historic information that will be of interest and value outside our circle and hope we can bring some of the remarkable influence you have had and lessons you have taught to a much larger group of people.
Following is the list the essays and their respective authors:
|Bob Sproull||Alan Kay: visionary designer|
|Ivan Sutherland||Old Salt Lake stories that you may not have heard|
|Adele Goldberg||Alan Kay and the Search for the Holy Grail|
|Bert Sutherland||Manager as Pupil|
|Bob Stein||Do it|
|Leonard Kleinrock||About an Ageless Alan Kay|
|John Sculley||Genius is Seeing the Obvious Twenty Years Ahead of Everyone Else|
|Bobby Blatt||The Vivarium—a place to learn about learning, and to think about thinking|
|Chunka Mui||Notes on a twenty-five-year collaboration|
|Mel Bergstein||Context, Inspiration and Aspiration: Alan Kay’s Influence on Business|
|Larry Smarr||The Emergence of a Planetary-Scale Collaboratory for Data-Intensive Research|
|Andy van Dam||Reflections on what Alan Kay has meant to me, on the occasion of his 70th birthday|
|Raj Reddy||Alan Kay and the Creation of the Centre Mondial Informatique et Ressources Humaines in Paris|
|Nicholas Negroponte||The Book in Dynabook?|
|David P. Reed||Get the verbs right|
|Chuck Thacker||A Tiny Computer|
|Douglas B. Lenat||The K Factor|
|Butler Lampson||Declarative Programming: The Light at the End of the Tunnel|
|Vishal Sikka||Some timeless lessons on software design|
|Vint Cerf||Thoughts on Alan’s 70th Birthday|
|Mitchel Resnick||Life as a Learning Lab|
|Bran Ferren||AK—A Graphic Exposé|
|Betty Edwards||A Tribute to Alan Kay|
|Bob Lucky||Portraits of Alan Kay|
|Greg Harrold||Greg and Alan conspire to create a wonderful new pipe organ|
|Quincy Jones||A three-sixty human being|
|Gordon Bell||Dear Alan, Re: What about your digital afterlife ?|
|Danny Hillis||The Power of Conviction|
The first edition of the book was depleted in hours, another being prepared for printing by the end of July. Those interested in getting a copy should contact the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org. A PDF version is available for download.