John Alan Lasseter is an American animator, director and the chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. He is also currently the Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering. Lasseter’s first job was with joined The Walt Disney Company, where he became an animator. Next, he joined Lucasfilm, where he worked on the then-groundbreaking use of CGI animation. After Lucasfilm became Pixar in 1986, Lasseter oversaw all of Pixar’s films and associated projects as executive producer and he directed Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, and Cars. He has won two Academy Awards, for Animated Short Film (Tin Toy), as well as a Special Achievement Award (Toy Story). Lasseter is a close friend and admirer of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, and has been executive producer on several of Miyazaki’s films for their release in the United States, also overseeing the dubbing of the films for their English language soundtrack.
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.
Stephen William Hawking is an English theoretical physicist and cosmologist, whose scientific books and public appearances have made him an academic celebrity. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and in 2009 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. Hawking’s key scientific works to date have included providing, with Roger Penrose, theorems regarding gravitational singularities in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes should emit radiation, which is today known as Hawking radiation (or sometimes as Bekenstein–Hawking radiation). Hawking has a neuro-muscular dystrophy that is related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a condition that has progressed over the years and has left him almost completely paralysed. He became the first quadriplegic to float free in a weightless state. This was the first time in 40 years that he moved freely beyond the confines of his wheelchair.
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.
Colin Michael Foale is a British-American astrophysicist with dual citizenship and a NASA astronaut. He is a veteran of six space shuttle missions and extended stays on both Mir and the International Space Station. He was the first Briton to perform a space walk, and until 17 April 2008, he held the record for most time spent in space by a US citizen: 374 days, 11 hours, 19 minutes. He still holds the cumulative-time-in-space record for a UK citizen. Foale joined the mission operations directorate of NASA in Houston in 1983 aged 26, working on the shuttle’s navigation system. Born with dual-UK/US citizenship, he applied and was turned down twice as an astronaut candidate. After the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in January 1986, Foale changed his application essay from writing about his dreams to focusing on the realities of leadership faced by NASA, and was selected in 1987.