Douglas Engelbart

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Douglas Carl Engelbart (born January 30, 1925) is an American inventor and early computer pioneer. He is best known for inventing the computer mouse,[1] as a pioneer of human-computer interaction whose team developed hypertext, networked computers, and precursors to GUIs; and as a committed and vocal proponent of the development and use of computers and networks to help cope with the world’s increasingly urgent and complex problems.[2]

Engelbart had embedded in his lab a set of organizing principles, which he termed his "bootstrapping strategy", which he specifically designed to bootstrap and accelerate the rate of innovation achievable.[3]

Contents

Early life and education

Engelbart was born in the U.S. state of Oregon on January 30, 1925 to Carl Louis Engelbart and Gladys Charlotte Amelia Munson Engelbart. He is of German, Swedish and Norwegian descent.[4]

He was the middle of three children, with a sister Dorianne (3 years older), and a brother David (14 months younger). They lived in Portland in his early years, and moved to the countryside to a place called Johnson Creek when he was 9 or 10, after the death of his father. He graduated from Portland's Franklin High School in 1942.

Midway through his college studies at Oregon State University (then called Oregon State College), just at the end of World War II, he was drafted into the Navy, serving two years as a radar technician in the Philippines. It was there on a small island in a tiny hut up on stilts that he first read Vannevar Bush's article "As We May Think", which greatly inspired him. He returned to Oregon State and completed his Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering in 1948, a B.Eng. from UC Berkeley in 1952,[5] and a Ph.D. in EECS from UC Berkeley in 1955. While at Oregon State, he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon social fraternity.

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