William Ralph “Will” Wright is an American video game designer and co-founder of the game development company Maxis, now part of Electronic Arts. In April 2009 he left Electronic Arts to run “Stupid Fun Club”, an entertainment think tank in which Wright and EA are principal shareholders. The first computer game Wright designed was Raid on Bungeling Bay in 1984 but it was SimCity that brought him to prominence. The game was released by Maxis, a company Wright formed with Jeff Braun, and he built upon the game’s theme of computer simulation with numerous other titles including SimEarth and SimAnt. Wright’s greatest success to date came as the original designer for The Sims games series which, as of 2009, is the best-selling PC game in history. The game spawned multiple sequels and expansions and Wright earned many awards for his work. His latest work, Spore, was released in September 2008 and features gameplay based upon the model of evolution and scientific advancement. The game sold 406,000 copies within three weeks of its release.
Sir Charles Antony Richard Hoare, commonly known as Tony Hoare or C. A. R. Hoare, is a British computer scientist best known for the development (in 1960, at age 26) of Quicksort, one of the world’s most widely used sorting algorithms. He also developed Hoare logic for verifying program correctness, and the formal language Communicating Sequential Processes (CSP) to specify the interactions of concurrent processes (including the dining philosophers problem) and the inspiration for the occam programming language. Hoare’s most significant work has been in the following areas: his sorting algorithm (Quicksort), Hoare logic, the formal language Communicating Sequential Processes (CSP) used to specify the interactions between concurrent processes, structuring computer operating systems using the monitor concept, and the axiomatic specification of programming languages. In 1982, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Donald Ervin Knuth is a computer scientist and Professor Emeritus of the Art of Computer Programming at Stanford University. Author of the seminal multi-volume work The Art of Computer Programming, Knuth has been called the “father” of the analysis of algorithms, contributing to the development of, and systematizing formal mathematical techniques for, the rigorous analysis of the computational complexity of algorithms, and in the process popularizing asymptotic notation. In addition to fundamental contributions in several branches of theoretical computer science, Knuth is the creator of the TeX computer typesetting system, the related METAFONT font definition language and rendering system, and the Computer Modern family of typefaces. A writer and scholar, Knuth created the WEB/CWEB computer programming systems designed to encourage and facilitate literate programming, and designed the MMIX instruction set architecture.
Michael Everson is an American and Irish linguist, script encoder, typesetter, and font designer. His central area of expertise is with writing systems of the world, specifically in the representation of these systems in formats for computer and digital media. He holds both American and Irish citizenship. He has been described as “probably the world’s leading expert in the computer encoding of scripts” for his work to add a wide variety of scripts and characters to the Universal Character Set. Since 1993, he has written over two hundred proposals which have added thousands of characters to ISO/IEC 10646 and The Unicode Standard. Everson is active in supporting minority-language communities, especially in the fields of character encoding standardization and internationalization. In addition to being one of the primary contributing editors of the Unicode Standard, he is also a contributing editor to ISO/IEC 10646, registrar for ISO 15924, and subtag reviewer for BCP 47. He has contributed to the encoding of many scripts and characters in those standards, receiving the Unicode “Bulldog” Award in 2000 for his technical contributions to the development and promotion of the Unicode Standard. In 2004, Everson was appointed convenor of ISO TC46/WG3 (Conversion of Written Languages), which is responsible for transliteration standards.
Hossein Derakhshan, also known as Hoder, is an Iranian-Canadian blogger currently imprisoned in Tehran. He is credited with starting the blogging revolution in Iran and is called the father of Persian blogging by many journalists. He also helped to promote podcasting in Iran. Derakhshan was arrested on November 1, 2008 and sentenced to 19½ years in prison on September 28, 2010. Derakhshan started out as a journalist writing about Internet and digital culture for a popular reformist newspaper, Asr-e Azadegan in 1999. Later, when this paper was closed down by the judiciary system, he moved to another newspaper, Hayat-e No, in which he continued to write about the same topic. His column there was called Panjere-i roo be hayaat (A Window to the Life, a reference to Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window), and later expanded to a weekly page on digital culture, Internet and computer games.
Chad Meredith Hurley is an American co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer of the popular video sharing website YouTube. In June 2006, he was voted 28th on Business 2.0’s “50 People Who Matter Now” list. In October 2006 he and Steve Chen sold YouTube for $1.65 billion to Google. Before starting YouTube with fellow PayPal colleagues Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, Hurley worked in eBay’s PayPal division. One of his tasks involved designing the original PayPal logo. Hurley was primarily responsible for the tagging and video sharing aspects of YouTube. Chad is the middle child of Don and Joann Hurley, and grew up near Birdsboro, Pennsylvania. He has two siblings, an older sister, Heather, and a younger brother, Brent. Since childhood, Chad showed extreme interest in the arts, but then later became interested in computers and electronic media during high school.
Bjarne Stroustrup is a Danish computer scientist, most notable for the creation and the development of the widely used C++ programming language. He is currently Professor and holder of the College of Engineering Chair in Computer Science at Texas A&M University. Stroustrup began developing C++ in 1979 (then called “C with Classes”), and, in his own words, “invented C++, wrote its early definitions, and produced its first implementation… chose and formulated the design criteria for C++, designed all its major facilities, and was responsible for the processing of extension proposals in the C++ standards committee.” Stroustrup also wrote what many consider to be the standard textbook for the language, The C++ Programming Language, which is now in its third edition. The text has been revised twice to reflect the evolution of the language and the work of the C++ standards committee.