The 2013 Stibitz & Wilson Awards



Dr. George R. Stibitz

Dr. George R. Stibitz (1904-1995) is internationally recognized by computer scientists and historians as the seminal pioneer of the modern digital computer. As a mathematical physicist at the AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1937 and while performing research on the electromechanical properties of telephone relays, he had a hunch that a computer could be built using binary numbers with the relays representing ones and zeros using their on and off switching characteristics. In November of 1937, on the kitchen table of his home, Dr. Stibitz built a two-digit binary adding circuit using two telephone relays, two batteries, two light bulbs and a switch fashioned out of a tobacco tin. It was dubbed the Model K - for kitchen. In 1938, with the help of S.B. Williams, also of Bell Laboratories, he developed a full-scale calculator for the arithmetic of complex numbers. This computing machine was fully operational in late 1939 and was demonstrated in 1940. Dr. Stibitz used this demonstration to also showcase the first remote controlled computer using a teletype in Hanover, New Hampshire (on the Dartmouth campus) while the computer itself was in New York City. He joined the Department of Physiology at Dartmouth Medical School in 1964 as a research associate on the applications of physics, mathematics, and computers to biophysical/biomedical technologies. He became a professor in 1966 and professor emeritus in 1970. Dr. Stibitz was awarded 34 patents. Dr. Stibitz built a functioning replica of the Model K for the American Computer Museum (the original was dismantled long ago) and agreed to have an award named after him to be presented by the American Computer Museum and Montana State University that would recognize individuals who have significantly contributed to the progress of computing, communications and the information age in general.

Dr. Edward O. Wilson

Known as the Father of Biodiversity, Dr. Edward O. Wilson is Pellegrino University Research Professor in Entomology for the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Dr. Wilson has authored over 20 books and hundreds of technical papers. Dr. Wilson has discovered hundreds of new species of ants during his lifelong passionate pursuit of myrmecology (the scientific study of ants). Arguably one of the most famous, respected and trusted scientists in the world, Dr. Wilson continues to lead an intensely active life as a researcher, theorist and passionate naturalist. In 2009 Dr. Wilson agreed to have an award named after him to be presented by the American Computer Museum and Montana State University to scientific, technical and literary pioneers who have made significant contributions to the understanding and preservation of the biodiversity of life on Earth.

For previous years' Honorees, please click here.

The 2013 George R. Stibitz Computer and Communications Pioneer Award:

Walter E. Disney, posthumous lifetime achievement award for his seminal contributions to the development of robotics and animatronics - a key technological and social contribution to today's field of Social Robotics. The award will be received in person by Diane Disney-Miller, daughter of Walter E. Disney.

Charles W. Hull, is the co-founder, executive vice president and chief technology officer of 3D Systems. He is the inventor of the solid imaging process known as stereolithography (3D Printing), the first commercial rapid prototyping technology, and the STL file format. He holds more than 60 U.S. patents as well as patents around the world including in the fields of ion optics and rapid prototyping. Seemingly a week cannot pass by without the mention of 3-D printing for advanced manufacturing in BOTH the general and technical media… It is, bar none - the "hottest" technology for modern and future manufacturing in the world. In fact, much of President Obama's and the Congress' manufacturing initiatives center themselves around the proliferation of Mr. Hull's invention (3D Printing). 

Dr. John Holland, Professor of Psychology and Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Dr. Holland is a member of the Board of Trustees and Science Board of the Santa Fe Institute. He received the MacArthur Fellowship in 1992, and is a fellow of the World Economic Forum. Dr. Holland frequently lectures around the world on his own research, and on current research and open questions in complex adaptive systems (CAS) studies. In 1975 he wrote the ground-breaking book on genetic algorithms, "Adaptation in Natural and Artificial Systems". He also developed Holland's schema theorem. 

The 2013 Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award:

Dr. Frans de Waal, is a Dutch/American primatologist and ethologist. He is the Charles Howard Candler professor of Primate Behavior in the Emory University psychology department in Atlanta, Georgia, and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and author of numerous books including Chimpanzee Politics and Our Inner Ape. His research centers on primate social behavior, including conflict resolution, cooperation, inequity aversion, and food-sharing. He is a Member of the United States National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences. 

Jean B. Sweeney, Vice President for Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability at 3M. She has held a diversity of positions with 3M including product development, manufacturing management, general manager, and two international assignments as Manufacturing Director for 3M Australia in Sydney and Managing Director of 3M Taiwan in Taipei. In her current position, Ms. Sweeney is responsible for 3M's global environmental, health, safety, and sustainability programs. This includes technical and regulatory expertise in environmental, safety, ergonomics and industrial hygiene, and 3M's governance framework for sustainability strategies. Ms. Sweeney is a frequent guest speaker on 3M’s sustainability strategy and performance at conferences worldwide. Born and raised in Montana, she is a graduate of Montana State University with a B.A. in Chemical Engineering (1976) and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minn.

Schedule of Private & Public Events Including a Book Signing by Dr. Frans de Waal:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

MSU Bozeman Campus:

1:15 - 2:45 p.m.: Student-led discussion with Prof. de Waal in the Black Box Theatre (this event is for honors students and faculty/grad students only). 

Meanwhile the other honorees will be meeting separately with students and faculty in various MSU departments pertinent to the honorees' technical specialties. 

Jean B. Sweeney & Charles Hull: Engineering

John Holland: Computer Science

Diane Disney (Walter E. Disney's daughter): Robotics Program/Computer Science

3:10-4:30 p.m.:  Lecture by Prof. de Waal in Johnson 339 and brief comments by the other honorees (a free, but ticketed event open to the MSU community). Tickets to be distributed on a first come, first served basis by the MSU Honors Program.  

Downtown Bozeman:

5:30 p.m.:  Private, by invitation only at the Baxter Hotel - reception followed by dinner and awards ceremony with Wilson and Stibitz Awardees. 

7:30 p.m.: Book signing and meeting with the general Bozeman public by Professor de Waal and the other honorees at the Country Bookshelf in downtown Bozeman. This event is free and open to all.

The 2013 Stibitz & Wilson Awards are co-sponsored, in part by:

Montana State University - Bozeman

Office of the President

College of Engineering

College of Letters & Science

Humanities Institute

Department of Computer Science

The Nels and Liz Leutwiler Foundation

© American Computer Museum 2013