Computer Nerd, Female Nerd, Internet Nerd, Technology Nerd, Writer Nerd

Gina Trapani (American tech blogger, web developer, and writer) was born on September 19, 1975

Gina Marie Trapani is an American tech blogger, web developer, and writer. Trapani founded the Lifehacker blog in January 2005, and led it until January 2009. She still writes a weekly column for Lifehacker. She co-hosts a netcast on the TWiT.tv network called This Week in Google with Leo Laporte and Jeff Jarvis. She also hosted twelve episodes of Work Smart, a weekly column, for Fast Company. Gina is currently leading development of a crowdsourcing platform (named ThinkUp) at Expert Labs. She has written two books and also writes for other publications including Harvard Business Online. Fast Company named her one of the Most Influential Women in Technology in 2009 and 2010, and Wired magazine awarded her its prestigious Rave Award in 2006. Trapani was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English/Writing from Marist College in 1997. Trapani received a Master of Science in Computer Information Science from Brooklyn College (City University of New York) in 1998. She resides in La Jolla, California.

Computer Nerd, Technology Nerd

Alvy Ray Smith (American engineer and pioneer in computer graphics) was born on September 8, 1943

Alvy Ray Smith III is an American engineer and noted pioneer in computer graphics. He is a co-founder of the animation studio Pixar which he co-founded along with Edwin Catmull and Steve Jobs. In 1965, he received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from New Mexico State University. In 1970 he received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University, with a dissertation on cellular automata. From 1969 to 1973 he was an associate professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at New York University. While at Xerox PARC in 1974, he worked with Dick Shoup on SuperPaint, one of the very first computer paint programs. Smith’s major contribution to this software was the creation of the HSV color space. In 1975, Smith was recruited to join the new Computer Graphics Laboratory at New York Institute of Technology, one of the leading computer graphics research groups of the 1970s. There he worked on a series of newer paint programs, including the first 24 bit one (Paint3); as part of this work, he co-invented the concept of the alpha channel. He was also the programmer for Ed Emshwiller’s pioneering animation Sunstone. He worked at NYIT until 1979. With Ed Catmull, Smith was a founding member of the Lucasfilm Computer Division, which developed computer graphics software, including early renderer technology. He and Ed Catmull co-founded Pixar. After the spinout from Lucasfilm of Pixar, funded by Steve Jobs, he served on the Board of Directors and was Executive Vice President. According to the Steve Jobs biography iCon by Jeffrey S. Young and William L. Simon, Alvy Ray quit Pixar after a heated argument with Jobs over use of a whiteboard. Despite being a co-founder of Pixar, Young and Simon claim that the company has largely overlooked his part in company history since his departure. For example, there is no mention of Smith on the Pixar website. In 1991, Smith left Pixar to found Altamira Software Corporation, which was acquired by Microsoft in 1994. He became the first Graphics Fellow at Microsoft in 1994. He is currently President, and Founder of Ars Longa, a digital photography company. Smith is married to Alison Gopnik, the author and Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Internet Nerd, Technology Nerd

Jay Adelson (American Internet entrepreneur) was born on September 7, 1970

Jay Steven Adelson is an American Internet entrepreneur. His Internet career includes Netcom, DEC’s Palo Alto Internet Exchange, co-founder of Equinix, Revision3 and Digg, and currently Adelson is CEO of SimpleGeo, Inc. In 2008, Adelson was named a member of Time Magzine’s Top 100 Most Influential People in the World and was listed as a finalist on the same list in 2009. Adelson was born in Detroit, Michigan and lived in Southfield, Michigan as a child. He attended Cranbrook Kingswood School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan until he left for college. He attended Boston University in 1988, where he studied Film and Broadcasting along with a concentration in Computer Science, graduating in 1992. Jay Adelson and Kevin Rose, along with co-founding team that included Ron Gorodetsky, Dan Huard, Keith Harrison and David Prager, founded Revision3 in April 2005.  In addition to co-founding and acting as CEO of Digg, Adelson remained CEO and Chairman of the Board of Revision3 for two and a half years, raising two rounds of capital. Jim Louderback was hired as CEO in June of 2007. Adelson remains Chairman of the Board of Revision3 presently.

Technology Nerd, Writer Nerd

Andrew Grove (pioneer in the semiconductor industry) was born on September 2, 1936

Andrew Stephen (“Andy”) Grove is a Hungarian-born American businessman, engineer, and author. He is a science pioneer in the semiconductor industry. He escaped from Communist-controlled Hungary at the age of 20 and moved to the United States where he finished his education. He later became CEO of Intel Corporation and helped transform the company into the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductors. In 1968, Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore co-founded Intel, after they and Andrew Grove left Fairchild Semiconductor. Andrew Grove joined on the day of its incorporation, although was not a founder according to the company. He became the start-up company’s chief operating officer (COO), where he directed all management functions, and in 1987 became its chief executive officer (CEO). During his tenure as CEO, Grove oversaw an increase in Intel’s stock value by 2,400%, making it one of the world’s most valuable companies. With Grove managing development and promotion of Intel’s microprocessors, they would, in the 1980s, be used to power all IBM PCs as well as those of IBM’s competitors. As a result of his work at Intel, and from his books and professional articles, Grove had a considerable influence on the management of modern electronics manufacturing industries worldwide. He has been called the “guy who drove the growth phase” of Silicon Valley. Steve Jobs, when he was considering returning to be Apple’s CEO, called Grove, who was someone he “idolized,” for his personal advice. One source notes that by his accomplishments at Intel alone, he “merits a place alongside the great business leaders of the 20th century.”

Music Nerd, Technology Nerd

Jean-Michel Jarre (French composer, performer, and music producer) was born on August 24, 1948

Jean Michel André Jarre is a French composer, performer and music producer. He is a pioneer in the electronic, ambient and New Age genres, and known as an organiser of outdoor spectacles of his music featuring lights, laser displays, and fireworks. Jarre was raised in Lyon by his mother and grandparents, and trained on the piano. From an early age he was introduced to a variety of art forms, including those of street performers, jazz musicians, and the artist Pierre Soulages. He played guitar in a band, but his musical style was perhaps most heavily influenced by Pierre Schaeffer, a pioneer of musique concrète at the Groupe de Recherches Musicales. His first mainstream success was the 1976 album Oxygène. Recorded in a makeshift studio at his home, the album sold an estimated 12 million copies. Oxygène was followed in 1978 by Équinoxe, and in 1979 Jarre performed to a record-breaking audience of more than a million people at the Place de la Concorde, a record he has since broken three times. More albums were to follow, but his 1979 concert served as a blueprint for his future performances around the world. Several of his albums have been released to coincide with large-scale outdoor events, and he is now perhaps as well known as a performer as a musician. As of 2004 Jarre had sold an estimated 80 million albums. He was the first Western musician to be allowed to perform in the People’s Republic of China, and holds the world record for the largest-ever audience at an outdoor event.

Computer Nerd, Technology Nerd

Steve Wozniak (American computer engineer and programmer) was born on August 11, 1950

Stephen Gary “Woz” Wozniak is an American computer engineer and programmer who founded Apple Computer, Co. (now Apple Inc.) with co-founder, Steve Jobs, and Ronald Wayne. His inventions and machines are credited with contributing significantly to the personal computer revolution of the 1970s. Wozniak created the Apple I and Apple II computers in the mid-1970s. Wozniak has several nicknames, including “The Woz”, “Wonderful Wizard of Woz” and “iWoz” (a reference to the ubiquitous naming scheme for Apple products). “WoZ” (short for “Wheels of Zeus”) is also the name of a company Wozniak founded. He is sometimes known as the “Other Steve” of Apple Computer, the better known Steve being co-founder Steve Jobs. He is of mostly Polish ancestry. Wozniak portrays a parody of himself in the first episode of the television series Code Monkeys; he plays the owner of Gameavision before selling it to help fund Apple. He later appears again in the twelfth episode when he is in Las Vegas at the annual Video Game Convention and sees Dave and Jerry. He also appears in a parody of the “Get a Mac” ads featured in the final episode of Code Monkeys’ second season. Wozniak is also interviewed and featured in the documentary Hackers Wanted and on BBC. On September 30, 2010 he appeared as himself on The Big Bang Theory dining in The Cheesecake Factory where Penny works and is approached by a robot Sheldon. Leonard tries to explain to Penny who Steve is, but she says she knows him from Dancing with the Stars.

Computer Nerd, Science Nerd, Technology Nerd

Jan Rajchman (American electrical engineer and computer pioneer) was born on August 10, 1911

Jan Aleksander Rajchman was an American electrical engineer and computer pioneer. He received the Diploma of Electrical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich in 1935, and became a Doctor of Science in 1938. Rajchman emigrated to America in 1935. He joined RCA Laboratory directed by Vladimir K. Zworykin in January 1936. He was a prolific inventor with 107 US patents among others logic circuits for arithmetic. He conceived the first read-only memory, which was widely used in early computers. He conceived and developed the selectively addressable storage tube, the ill-fated Selectron tube, and the core memory. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is also a member of Sigma Xi, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Physical Society, the New York Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Franklin Institute. He received the 1960 IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award and the 1974 IEEE Edison Medal For a creative career in the development of electronic devices and for pioneering work in computer memory systems.