Alan Kotok

Programmer, Academic

1941 – 2006

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Who was Alan Kotok?

Alan Kotok was an American computer scientist known for his work at Digital Equipment Corporation and at the World Wide Web Consortium. Steven Levy, in his book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, describes Kotok and his classmates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as the first true hackers.

Kotok was a precocious child who skipped two grades before college. At MIT he became a member of the Tech Model Railroad Club, and after enrolling in MIT's first freshman programming class, he helped develop some of the earliest computer software including a digital audio program and what is sometimes called the first video game. Together with his teacher John McCarthy and other classmates, he was part of the team that wrote the Kotok-McCarthy program which took part in the first chess match between computers.

After leaving MIT, Kotok joined the computer manufacturer DEC, where he worked for over 30 years. He was the chief architect of the PDP-10 family of computers, and created the company's Internet Business Group, responsible for several forms of Web-based technology. Kotok is known for his contributions to the Internet and to the World Wide Web through his work at the World Wide Web Consortium, which he and Digital had helped to found, and where he served as associate chairman.

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Born
Nov 9, 1941
Philadelphia
Spouses
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Education
  • Clark University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Lived in
  • Philadelphia
Died
May 26, 2006
Cambridge

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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