Name That Nerd

Steve Jobs

My Favorite Nerd

My favorite nerd is Steve Jobs. When Steve Jobs stepped down as head of Apple in August 2011, a stream of accolades began to flow that, upon his death, turned into a flood. Why is this? He invented things, right? One news report claimed Steve Jobs “invented the personal computer as a user-friendly device, invented the notion that the mouse could be our real interface with that computer, never mind the fact that he invented the category of iPod, iPad, and of course selling music digitally.” He’s a rock star and a technical genius not to mention that he had cancer. So also he’s my favorite for fighting that.

Donna Dubinsky

Donna Dubinsky is CEO, board chair, and co founder of Numenta, Inc., a software company creating fundamental technology designed to lead the coming era of machine intelligence. After graduating from Yale and earning an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, she worked at Apple Computer and then as a founder of Claris Corporation. In 1992 she joined Jeff Hawkins at Palm Computing, serving as president and chief executive officer. The handheld computer, the PalmPilot, introduced four years later, became the fastest-selling computer and consumer electronics product in history at the time. In 1998 Ms. Dubinsky and Mr. Hawkins founded Handspring, Inc., creator of the Treo Smartphone, which set the standard for next-generation phones.

Douglas C. Engelbart

Born on January 25, 1925, in Portland, Oregon, Douglas C. Engelbart was a pioneer in the design of interactive computer environments who invented the computer mouse in 1964. He also created the first two-dimensional editing system, and was the first to demonstrate the use of mixed text-graphics and shared-screen viewing. He was director of SRI International's Augmentation Research Center in Palo Alto and founded Stanford University's Bootstrap Project. Engelbart died in Atherton, California, on July 2, 2013, at age 88.