Dan Bricklin Selected to Receive the 2023 IEEE Computer Society Women of ENIAC Computer Pioneer Award

Published 03/21/2023
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Dan Bricklin

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 21 March 2023 – Dan Bricklin has been named a recipient of the 2023 IEEE Computer Society Women of ENIAC Computer Pioneer Award, which acknowledges significant contributions to early concepts and developments in the electronic computer field that have clearly advanced the state of the art in computing.

Bricklin has been cited for “creating VisiCalc, the progenitor of the modern spreadsheet.” VisiCalc is widely credited with helping fuel the early rapid growth of the personal computer industry. Bricklin is best known for conceiving and co-developing VisiCalc, the trailblazing electronic spreadsheet, while he was a student at the Harvard Business School.

Currently CTO of Alpha Software Corporation, throughout the years Bricklin has served as president of Software Garden, Inc., a small consulting firm and developer of software applications that he founded in 1985. Software Garden’s currently most popular product is Note Taker HD for the Apple iPad, written by Bricklin and first released in 2010.

From 2006 through 2011, Bricklin worked with social software company SocialText, Inc., to develop the Open Source JavaScript SocialCalc spreadsheet, stemming from work he did at Software Garden. Until early 2004, he served as CTO of Interland, Inc., after it acquired his previous company, Trellix Corporation, in 2003. Prior to founding Trellix to develop hypertext (later web site) authoring tools in 1995, he served as president of Software Garden, Inc., where he developed a variety of software programs, including the award-winning Dan Bricklin’s Demo Program prototyping tool.

Bricklin also co-founded Slate Corporation in 1991, a developer of application software for pen computers, as well as Software Arts in 1979, the developer of VisiCalc. Prior to forming Software Arts, he had been a market researcher for Prime Computer Inc., a senior systems programmer for FasFax Corporation, and a senior software engineer for Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). In 1976. at DEC, he helped develop one of the first commercial screen-based, document-oriented word-processing systems, WPS-8, later sold on the DECmate system.

Bricklin is a founding trustee of the Massachusetts Software Council (now the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council) and has served on the boards of the Software Publishers Association and the Boston Computer Society. He has received many honors for his contributions to the computer industry from the ACM, IEEE, MIT, PC Magazine, the Western Society of Engineers, and numerous others.

Bricklin holds a BS in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science from MIT and an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and was elected to be a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Computer Pioneer Award was established in 1981 by the IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors to recognize and honor the vision of those whose efforts resulted in the creation and continued vitality of the computer industry. The award acknowledges outstanding individuals whose main contribution to the concepts and development of the computer field was made at least 15 years earlier.

This award is given for significant contributions to early concepts and developments in the electronic computer field, which have clearly advanced the state-of-the-art in computing. The contributions must have taken place fifteen or more years earlier. Recent recipients of the award include Daphne Koller, Jack Dongarra, Demetri Terzopoulos, Laura Haas, Jitendra Malik, Barbara Liskov, Bjarne Stroustrup, Michael Flynn, Peter Kogge, and Linus Torvalds. The award consists of a silver medal. Further information about the award, including a complete list of past recipients, may be found at https://www.computer.org/volunteering/awards/pioneer.

About the IEEE Computer Society

Through conferences, publications, and programs, the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE CS) sets the standard for the education and engagement that fuels global technological advancement. By bringing together engineers, scientists, researchers, and practitioners from all areas of computing and at every career phase, the IEEE CS enables new opportunities and empowers not only its members but also the greater industry. Visit computer.org for more information.