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Microsoft Researcher Receives Technology Award

Charles P. Thacker played a "central role in the creation of the personal computer and the development of networked computer systems."

Paul McDougall

June 15, 2007

1 Min Read

Microsoft researcher Charles P. Thacker has been tapped for the prestigious John von Neumann award for outstanding achievement in computer science.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers gives the prize annually. The group cited Thacker for playing a "central role in the creation of the personal computer and the development of networked computer systems."

"Mr. Thacker's influential work at Microsoft and in the computer industry -- as well as within the greater technology industry -- has resulted in fundamental breakthroughs and technology upgrades in personal and network computing, and has paved the road for so many of the innovations that affect the lives of people every day," said IEEE president Leah H. Jamieson, in a statement Friday.

Among other things, Thacker -- one of only 18 Microsoft fellows -- is credited with developing a computer time-sharing system while working at the Xerox Palo Alto Research.

Thacker also served as chief hardware designer on a project that led to the first personal computer -- the Alto -- and contributed to the development of the fist laser printer.

Thacker is also a co-inventor of the Ethernet local networking technology. He joined Microsoft in 1997 after a stint at Digital Equipment.

Thacker will receive his medal this weekend at an IEEE event in Philadelphia.

Previous winners of the award include Edwin Catmul, president of Pixar Animation Studios; Michael Stonebraker, a professor at MIT; and Sun Microsystems researcher Ivan Edward Sutherland.

Another Microsoft researcher, Butler Lampson, won the medal in 2001.

About the Author(s)

Paul McDougall

Editor At Large, InformationWeek

Paul McDougall is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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