• History computers technology science black history american history STEM knowledgeequalsblackpower •
Clarence “Skip” EllisDavid Hedgley
James E. West Mark Dean
Marc Hannah

Fathers of Technology and Innovation

  • Clarence “Skip” Ellis was the first African-American to earn a PhD in Computer Science. He helped develop the concept of clicking icons which lead to the development of user friendly operating systems such as Windows or Mac. 
  • David Hedgley created a mathmatical algorithim that would tell computers which lines to display and which lines to make invisible, thus creating 3-D graphics. 
  • James E. West holds 47 U.S. and more than 200 foreign patents. He is best known for co-inventing the electroacoustic transducer, an electret microphone that revolutionized microphones and is used in 90% of microphones today (including in telephones, tape recorders, and other devices). 
  • Mark Dean developed a number of landmark technologies for IBM, including the color PC monitor and the first gigahertz chip. He holds three of the company’s original nine patents with more than 20 patents associated with his name. He also co-invented the Industry Standard Architecture system bus allowing for computer plug-ins such as disk drives, modems, and printers.
  • Marc Hannah co-founded SGI (Silicon Graphics, Inc.) and was named its principal scientist for inventing computer graphic programs like Personal IRIS, Indigo, Indigo2, and Indy graphics, which were used to create effects for commercials, television shows, films (like Jurassic Park and Terminator 2). engineering, research, and for military applications. Hannah is also the chief technology officer for SongPro, a technology company specializing in making multimedia plug-ins used for listening to music on hand-held video game players and MP3 players.
  • Gerald Lawson invented the modern game console, the first home video game system with interchangeable game cartridges. 

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