W. Daniel Hillis is chairman and co-founder of Applied Minds Inc., a research and development company that has created a variety of new products and services in software, entertainment, electronics, biotechnology, and mechanical design; the company also provides advanced technology, creative design, and consulting services.
Previously, Mr. Hillis was vice president, Research and Development, at Walt Disney Imagineering, and a Disney Fellow. He pioneered the concept of parallel computers that is now the basis for most supercomputers, as well as the RAID disk-array technology for storing large databases. Mr. Hillis owns more than 80 U.S. patents for parallel computers, disk arrays, forgery-prevention methods, and various electronic and mechanical devices. He is also the designer of a 10,000-year mechanical clock and author of The Pattern on the Stone (ScienceMasters Series, 1998).
Mr. Hillis has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the inaugural Dan David Prize for shaping and enriching society and public life, the Spirit of American Creativity Award for technological inventions, the Hopper Award for contributions to computer science, and the Ramanujan Award for work in applied mathematics. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Association of Computing Machinery, and International Leadership Forum and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.