Alan Kay is best known for the idea of personal computing and the intimate laptop computer, and the invention of the now ubiquitous overlapping-window interface and modern object-oriented programming. These were catalysed by his deep interest in education and children, which continues today. He was one of the founders of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center and led one of several groups that together developed modern workstations and the forerunners of the Macintosh: including Smalltalk, the overlapping window interface, the EtherNet, Laserprinting, and network "client-servers".
Before Xerox, Kay was a member of the University of Utah ARPA research team that developed 3D graphics. His PhD in 1969 (with distinction) was awarded for the development of the first graphical object-oriented personal computer. His undergraduate degrees were in Mathematics and Molecular Biology (from the University of Colorado in 1966). He also participated in the original design of the ARPANet (which became the Internet).
After Xerox he was Chief Scientist of Atari, and from 1984 has been a Fellow at Apple Computer. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of Arts, and The World Economic Forum.
He has received numerous honors including the ACM Software Systems Award and the J-D Warnier Prize.
A former professional jazz guitarist, composer, and theatrical designer, he is now an amateur classical pipe-organist. (Kay, 1995)
on the web
Bio from the Bush Symposium, 1995