Sketchpad – A Look Back.

January 20th, 2010

In 1963 Ivan Sutherland developed Sketchpad. In developing what was to be part of his phd thesis, Sutherland pioneered what would come to be known as the graphical user interface, parametric constraints and the very concept of object-oriented programming, which he developed in order to better manage memory on the limited capabilities of the machines he was working on.

Much has been written about Sketchpad, Sutherland and all of the developments in HCI, computer science and engineering that continue to flow from his work. In the context of this site however, it’s important to note that Sutherland’s innovative engineering solutions were all driven by the desire provide people the ability to express themselves more intuitively with technology. The application precedes the solution.

“A display connected to a digital computer gives us a chance to gain familiarity with concepts not realizable in the physical world. It is a looking glass into a mathematical wonderland.” –Ivan Sutherland.

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