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Nicholas Negroponte

Nicholas Negroponte delivering the Forrestal Lecture to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD on April 15, 2009
Born December 1, 1943 (1943-12-01) (age 66)
New York City,
Occupation Academic and Computer Scientist
Spouse(s) Elaine
Children Dimitri Negroponte

Nicholas Negroponte (born December 1, 1943) is a Greek-American architect and computer scientist best known as the founder and Chairman Emeritus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab, and also known as the founder of the One Laptop Per Child Association (OLPC).

Contents

Early life

Negroponte was born to Dimitri John, a Greek shipping magnate, and grew up in New York City's Upper East Side. He is the younger brother of John Negroponte, former United States Deputy Secretary of State.

He attended Buckley School in New York City, Le Rosey in Switzerland, and The Choate School (now Choate Rosemary Hall) in Wallingford, Connecticut, from which he graduated in 1961. Subsequently, he studied at MIT as both an undergraduate and graduate student in Architecture where his research focused on issues of computer-aided design. He earned a Master's degree in architecture from MIT in 1966.

Career

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MIT

Negroponte joined the faculty of MIT in 1966. For several years thereafter he divided his teaching time between MIT and several visiting professorships at Yale, Michigan and the University of California, Berkeley.

In 1967, Negroponte founded MIT's Architecture Machine Group, a combination lab and think tank which studied new approaches to human-computer interaction. In 1985, Negroponte created the MIT Media Lab with Jerome B. Wiesner. As director, he developed the lab into the pre-eminent computer science laboratory for new media and a high-tech playground for investigating the human-computer interface.

Wired

In 1992, Negroponte became involved in the creation of Wired Magazine as the first investor. From 1993 to 1998, he contributed a monthly column to the magazine in which he reiterated a basic theme: "Move bits, not atoms."

Negroponte expanded many of the ideas from his Wired columns into a bestselling book Being Digital (1995), which made famous his forecasts on how the interactive world, the entertainment world and the information world would eventually merge. Being Digital was a bestseller and was translated into some twenty languages. Negroponte is a digital optimist who believed that computers would make life better for everyone[1] However, critics have faulted his techno-utopian ideas for failing to consider the historical, political and cultural realities with which new technologies should be viewed. Negroponte's belief that wired technologies such as telephones will ultimately become unwired by using airwaves instead of wires or fiber optics, and that unwired technologies such as televisions will become wired, is commonly referred to as the Negroponte switch.

Later career

In 2000, Negroponte stepped down as director of the Media Lab as Walter Bender took over as Executive Director. However, Negroponte retained the role of laboratory Chairman. When Frank Moss was appointed director of the lab in 2006, Negroponte stepped down as lab chairman to focus more fully on his work with One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) although he retains his appointment as professor at MIT.

Mary Lou Jepsen, Alan Kay and Nicholas Negroponte unveil the $100 laptop.

In November 2005, at the World Summit on the Information Society held in Tunis, Negroponte unveiled a $100 laptop computer, The Children's Machine, designed for students in the developing world. The project is part of a broader program by One Laptop Per Child, a non-profit organisation started by Negroponte and other Media Lab faculty, to extend Internet access in developing countries.

Negroponte is an active angel investor and has invested in over 30 startup companies over the last 30 years, including Zagats, Wired, Ambient Devices, Skype and Velti. He sits on several boards, including Motorola (listed on the New York Stock Exchange) and Velti (listed on the London Stock Exchange). He is also on the advisory board of TTI/Vanguard. In August 2007, he was appointed to a five-member special committee with the objective of assuring the continued journalistic and editorial integrity and independence of the Wall Street Journal and other Dow Jones & Company publications and services. The committee was formed as part of the merger of Dow Jones with News Corporation.[2] Negroponte's fellow founding committee members are Louis Boccardi, Thomas Bray, Jack Fuller, and the late former Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn.

References

  • Kirkpatrick, David (November 28, 2005). "I'd Like to Teach the World to Type". Fortune, pp. 37–38.
  • Negroponte, N. (1995). Being Digital. Knopf.  (Paperback edition, 1996, Vintage Books, ISBN 0-679-76290-6)
  • Negroponte, N. (1991)."Products and Services for Computer Networks" - Scientific American Special Issue on Communications, Computers and Networks, September, 1991
  • Negroponte, N. (1970). The Architecture Machine: Towards a More Human Environment. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-64010-4
  1. ^ Hirst, Martin and Harrison , John, (2007)Communication and New Media, Oxford University Press, p. 20
  2. ^ Wall Street Journal, August 1, 2007. "Text of Dow Jones Editorial Agreement". Online edition retrieved on October 21, 2007.

Video links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Nicholas Negroponte

Nicholas Negroponte (born 1943) is a Greek-American computer scientist best known as founder and director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab.

Contents

Sourced

  • Think of it: the lowest common denominator in being digital is not your operating system, modem, or model of computer. It's a tiny piece of plastic, designed decades ago by Bell Labs' Charles Krumreich, Edwin Hardesty, and company, who thought they were making an inconspicuous plug for a few telephone handsets. Not in their wildest dreams was Registered Jack 11 - a modular connector more commonly known as the RJ-11 - meant to be plugged and unplugged so many times, by so many people, for so many reasons, all over the world.
  • Young people, I happen to believe, are the world's most precious natural resource.
    • Pricing the Future [2]
  • You can see the future best through peripheral vision.
    • Foreword of Unleashing the Killer App: Digital Strategies for Market Dominance (Harvard Business School Press, Revised edition March 2000) ISBN 1578512611

Being Nicholas, The Wired Interview by Thomas A. Bass

  • MIT is governed by a second, even higher rule: the inalienable right of academic freedom.
  • The Internet for us was like air. It was there all the time - you wouldn't notice it existed unless it was missing.
  • I've spent my whole life worrying about the human-computer interface, so I don't want to suggest that what we have today is even close to acceptable.
  • I think the Net is scaling very well. Because of the way it was designed, I don't think it will come to its knees and crash. I see it as very organic in the way it's capable of living and reproducing itself.
  • Cyberlaw is global law.
  • Unlike television - at least as it currently exists - the Internet is a medium of choice.
  • If you think about it, being digital is Italian. It's underground, provocative, interactive. It has humor, discourse, and debate. It has a kind of liveliness to it.

Being Digital (1995)

ISBN 0679762906

  • The change from atoms to bits is irrevocable and unstoppable. Why now? Because the change is also exponential - small differences of yesterday can have suddenly shocking consequences tomorrow.
  • True personalization is now upon us. It's not just a matter of selecting relish over mustard once. The post-information age is about acquaintance over time: machines' understanding individuals with the same degree of subtlety (or more than) we can expect from other human beings, including idiosyncrasies (like always wearing a blue-striped shirt) and totally random events, good and bad, in the unfolding narrative of our lives.
  • Personal computers will make our future adult population simultaneously more mathematically able and more visually literate. Ten years from now, teenagers are likely to enjoy a much richer panorama of options because the pursuit of intellectual achievement will not be tilted so much in favor of the bookworm, but instead cater to a wider range of cognitive styles, learning patterns, and expressive behaviors.

Attributed

  • Isn't it odd how parents grieve if their child spends six hours a day on the 'Net, but are delighted if those same hours are spent reading books?

External links

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