Computer science has lost two great people.
According to foreign media reports, on February 17, 2020, the famous computer scientist and mathematician Larry Tesler died at the age of 74.
The next day, February 18, Java and Internet creator Bert Sutherland also passed away at the age of 83.
Larry Tesler: Father of Copy-Paste UI
According to public information, Larry Tesler was born in New York in 1945. He studied computer science at Stanford University. After graduation, he worked at the Stanford University Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He got involved in artificial intelligence research and participated in anti-war and anti-corporate monopoly movements.
During his tenure, Larry Tesler co-developed Compel, a single-task language that makes concurrency more natural and is primarily used to introduce programming concepts to beginners.
Outside of research, Larry Tesler co-founded the anti-war experimental university Midpeninsula Free University. Larry Tesler not only writes reviews, but also teaches courses at the school on “How to End the IBM Monopoly,” “Contemporary Computing,” and “Procrastination.”
In 1973, Larry Tesler joined Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) to develop Gypsy, the world’s first mouse and graphical interface-based file management system, and an object-oriented dynamic reflective programming language Smalltalk.
It is worth noting that when designing the program for the word processing software Gypsy of Xerox Xerox computer, Larry Tesler added mouse operation and GUI graphical interface, and further combined mouse and GUI interface to invent copy and paste function keys. These concepts subsequently became one of the cornerstones of text editing and user interfaces for computer operating systems.
Later, Larry Tesler and Jobs met because of Jobs’ two visits to Xerox PARC. It is worth mentioning that it was also through the visit to PARC that Jobs saw the huge potential of graphical user interface (GUI) technology, and took it as inspiration to enter the development of Apple products such as Mac OS,
[Image source: Mac History Owner: Mac History]
Lei Feng Net Note: The picture shows the Apple Lisa development team
In 1980, Larry Tesler officially joined Apple to manage the Lisa application team. In 1993, Tesler was promoted to chief scientist at Apple. In 1997, Larry Tesler left Apple.
During his 17 years at Apple, Larry Tesler contributed significantly to Apple’s hardware development. In addition to Lisa, Larry Tesler has been involved in the development of a number of products, including the Macintosh, QuickTime, and the Newton Tablet (the predecessor to the iPad and iPhone).
It’s worth mentioning that the Macintosh and Lisa were the first personal computers to popularize cut, copy, and paste operations, thanks in large part to Larry Tesler’s involvement.
In addition to product development, Apple has two important investments that are also closely related to Larry Tesler – the acquisition of NeXT and the investment in British ARM; the former helped Apple to break through the trillion-dollar market value, and the latter was brought with an investment of $5 million. more than $800 million in revenue.
After leaving Apple, Larry Tesler worked at Stagecast (Lei Feng Network Press: an educational software startup spun off from Apple), and also served as Amazon’s VP of shopping experience, responsible for improving Amazon’s UI; Yahoo! User experience VP of Design and Design; participated in product research for 23andMe, a genetic information company. Larry Tesler has been a long-term UX consultant in California since 2009.
After the death of Larry Tesler, netizens at home and abroad paid tribute to him in the form of “copy and paste the same words” on social platforms.
Bert Sutherland: Creator of Java and the Internet
On February 18, 2020, the day after Larry Tesler’s death, another scientist at Xerox PARC, Bert Sutherland, died at the age of 83.
Like Larry Tesler, Bert Sutherland is a figure who has made great contributions to the field of computing, including personal computers, microprocessor technology, the SmallTalk programming language, the Java programming language, the Internet, and more.
Bert Sutherland studied electrical engineering at Rennes Institute of Technology in the United States, and then went to MIT for a master’s and doctoral degree, becoming a student of Claude Shannon, the father of information theory.
In 1975, Bert Sutherland joined Xerox PARC to run one of its two main laboratories.
As head of the laboratory, Bert Sutherland has a unique management philosophy. He believes that if you only work in the laboratory, the research project will eventually die. Based on this, he encourages researchers to take their research outside the laboratory and learn from the interaction of the public with computer equipment to make the equipment more suitable for people’s use needs.
Therefore, in terms of talent recruitment, Bert Sutherland did not recruit R&D personnel alone, but chose talents in psychology, cognitive science, anthropology and other fields.
On the management side, Bert Sutherland has developed a set of guidelines for managing fundamental research in an industrial setting, with a human-like approach to team management. For example, he believes that working in the laboratory should not only give people the opportunity to solve interesting problems, but also work with interesting colleagues.
In addition, it is worth mentioning that Bert Sutherland has a younger brother named Ivan Sutherland. Like Bert Sutherland, Ivan is also a pioneer in computer science, known as the father of computer graphics, virtual reality, human-computer interaction or computer-aided design.
Bert Sutherland worked with his brother Ivan to promote the design of very large scale integrated circuits (VLSI) – the most famous modern example of VLSI design is Intel’s Pentium processor.
The construction principles of VLSI required a novel approach to computer design, which Ivan and Carver were working on in the mid-1970s. However, how to disseminate the design in academia and industry has become a problem.
Later, with Bert’s support, Ivan’s team member Mead collaborated with Lynn Conway, a PARC scientist with expertise in computer architecture, to write the VLSI textbook and college syllabus. In addition, Bert provided PARC resources to make working prototypes of sample chips for students in VLSI courses across the country.
Bert Sutherland left Xerox PARC in 1981 and joined the Sun Computer Systems Laboratory in 1992. Later, Bert Sutherland worked at BNN Corporation’s Computational Science Department.
The people are gone, the classics are forever.
Salute to two great men!
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