Richard Alan “Rick” Mastracchio is an American engineer and a NASA astronaut. He has flown on three NASA Space Shuttle missions as a mission specialist. Mastracchio is currently assigned as the Flight Engineer on the Soyuz TMA-11M/Expedition 38/Expedition 39 long duration spaceflight scheduled for 2013-2014. Richard Mastracchio was born in Waterbury, Connecticut and graduated from Crosby High School in 1978. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering/computer science from the University of Connecticut in 1982, a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1987, and a Master of Science degree in physical science from the University of Houston–Clear Lake in 1991. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Mastracchio worked for Hamilton Standard in Connecticut as an engineer in the system design group from 1982 until 1987. During that time, he participated in the development of high performance, inertial measurement units and flight control computers.
Kevin Warwick is a British scientist and professor of cybernetics at the University of Reading, Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom. He is known for his studies on direct interfaces between computer systems and the human nervous system, and has also done research in the field of robotics. Warwick carries out research in artificial intelligence, biomedical engineering, control systems and robotics. Much of Warwick’s early research was in the area of discrete time adaptive control. He introduced the first state space based self-tuning controller and unified discrete time state space representations of ARMA models. However he has also contributed in mathematics, power engineering, and manufacturing production machinery.
Nolan Key Bushnell is an American engineer and entrepreneur who founded both Atari, Inc. and the Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza-Time Theaters chain. Bushnell has been inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame and the Consumer Electronics Association Hall of Fame, received the BAFTA Fellowship and the Nations Restaurant News “Innovator of the Year” award, and was named one of Newsweek’s “50 Men Who Changed America.” Bushnell has started more than twenty companies and is one of the founding fathers of the video game industry. He is currently on the board of Anti-Aging Games, but his latest venture is an educational software company called Brainrush that is using video game technology in educational software, incorporating real brain science, in a way that Bushnell believes will fundamentally change education. Nolan, who is co-founder and chairman of Brainrush, believes that Brainrush will be his biggest success.
Grote Reber was a pioneer of radio astronomy, which combined his interests in amateur radio and amateur astronomy. He was instrumental in investigating and extending Karl Jansky’s pioneering work, and conducted the first sky survey in the radio frequencies. His 1937 radio antenna was the second ever to be used for astronomical purposes and the first parabolic reflecting antenna to be used as a radio telescope. For nearly a decade he was the world’s only radio astronomer. In the summer of 1937, Reber decided to build his own radio telescope in his back yard in Wheaton. Reber’s radio telescope was considerably more advanced than Jansky’s, consisting of a parabolic sheet metal mirror 9 meters in diameter, focusing to a radio receiver 8 meters above the mirror. The entire assembly was mounted on a tilting stand, allowing it to be pointed in various directions, though not turned. The telescope was completed in September 1937.
Robert Norton Noyce, nicknamed “the Mayor of Silicon Valley”, co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957 and Intel in 1968. He is also credited (along with Jack Kilby) with the invention of the integrated circuit or microchip. While Kilby’s invention was six months earlier, neither man rejected the title of co-inventor. Noyce was also a mentor and father-figure to an entire generation of entrepreneurs, including Steve Jobs at Apple, Inc. Noyce and Gordon E. Moore founded Intel in 1968 when they left Fairchild Semiconductor. Arthur Rock, the chairman of Intel’s board and a major investor in the company said that for Intel to succeed, Intel needed Noyce, Moore and Grove. And it needed them in that order. Noyce: the visionary, born to inspire; Moore: the virtuoso of technology; and Grove: the technologist turned management scientist. The relaxed culture that Noyce brought to Intel was a carry-over from his style at Fairchild Semiconductor. He treated employees as family, rewarding and encouraging team work. His follow-your-bliss management style set the tone for many Valley success stories. Noyce’s management style could be called “roll up your sleeves.” He shunned fancy corporate cars, reserved parking spaces, private jets, offices, and furnishings in favor of a less-structured, relaxed working environment in which everyone contributed and no one benefited from lavish perquisites. By declining the usual executive perks he stood as a model for future generations of Intel CEOs. At Intel, he oversaw Ted Hoff’s invention of the microprocessor—that was his second revolution.
Leo Gordon Laporte is an American technology broadcaster, author, and entrepreneur. Laporte studied Chinese history at Yale University before dropping out in his junior year to pursue his career in radio broadcasting, where his early radio names were Dave Allen and Dan Hayes. He began his association with computers with his first home PC, an Atari 400. Laporte said he purchased his first Macintosh in 1984. He operated one of the first Macintosh-only bulletin board systems, MacQueue, from 1985 to 1988. Laporte owns and operates a podcast network, TWiT.tv. It is available on iTunes and other podcast subscription services. Before the expansion to new facilities in 2011, Laporte said TWiT earns $1.5 million annually on a production cost of only $350,000. In a 2012 Reddit posting, he commented that revenue is approaching $4 million. Laporte calls his audio and video shows “netcasts,” saying “I’ve never liked the word podcast. It causes confusion … people have told me that they can’t listen to my shows because they ‘don’t own an iPod’ … I propose the word ‘netcast.’ It’s a little clearer that these are broadcasts over the Internet. It’s catchy and even kind of a pun.”
Gene Myron Amdahl is a Norwegian American computer architect and hi-tech entrepreneur, chiefly known for his work on mainframe computers at IBM and later his own companies, especially Amdahl Corporation. He is perhaps best known for formulating Amdahl’s law, which states a fundamental limitation of parallel computing. Amdahl was born to immigrant parents of Norwegian and Swedish descent in Flandreau, South Dakota. After serving in the Navy during WWII he completed a degree in engineering physics at South Dakota State University in 1948. He went on to study theoretical physics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and completed his doctorate there in 1952 with a thesis titled A Logical Design of an Intermediate Speed Digital Computer and creating his first computer, the WISC. He then went straight from Wisconsin to a well-paid position at IBM in June 1952.