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On March 20, 2017, Thomas Haigh, PhD engaged in conversation with Alan J Weissberger, ScD at an IEEE Silicon Valley History meeting in Santa Clara, CA. Tom talked about his education, industrail and academic career, upcoming book projects and the evolution of computing. Of particular interest was his remark that "you don't learn about history of computing in a university computer science program.
When I came to Santa Clara, CA in the Spring of 1970 the hottest topics were artificial intelligence and its manifestation in Shakey the robot. There were several IEEE talks per quarter on that topic at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Menlo Park.
SHAKEY has had a huge impact on artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous vehicles. Technology used by the Mars rovers and in Google Maps is based on the Shortest Path Algorithm devised at SRI during SHAKEY's 1966-72 development period. This video is fun to watch.
Session 302-C: An Interview with Simon Sze, Co-Inventor of the Floating Gate (History Track)
Simon Sze, Professor, National Chiao Tung University (Taiwan)
What was the origin of the “floating gate” transistor, the foundation for all of today’s nonvolatile memory? Believe it or not, it arose out of a lunchtime conversation at Bell Labs about replacing core memory and layered chocolate or cheesecake! Come hear Simon Sze, father of the floating gate, share details of this and many other interesting stories about how storage technology has progressed, including work by Intel, Toshiba, and many now-forgotten companies.
At a superb IEEE CPMT lecture by Paul Wesling on the Origins of Silicon Valley, computer historian Roy Mize insisted that the term "Silicon Valley" was not coined by either Ralph Vaerst or Don Hoeffler, whom generally get the credit. Roy insists that the term was in popular use before 1971, but can not identify a single individual that made it up.
I first came to Santa Clara in March 1970 (worked at Fairchild Systems Technology in Sunnyvale). At that time, this area was referred to as Santa Clara Valley- the orchard capital of the U.S. I don't remember people referring to this place as Silicon Valley until many years later.
Metcalfe's key points are summarized in this article:
The World IP Day program was to promote and celebrate the many benefits of intellectual property in San Jose and the SF Bay Area. San Jose and Silicon Valley lead the nation in patent generation and the City cohosted this West Coast event to celebrate the contributions of innovators and creators worldwide. Marcian E. "Ted" Hoff's keynote speech is summarized in this article.