On Saturday, April 28, 2018, the Computer History Museum (CHM), proudly inducted three extraordinary Fellows to its elite Hall of Fellows: Dov Frohman-Bentchkowsky, Dame Stephanie Shirley CH, and Guido van Rossum. The Museum’s Hahn Auditorium was filled with technology leaders, innovators, and visionaries from Silicon Valley and around the world, including past Fellows Gordon Bell, John Crawford, Ed Feigenbaum, Don Knuth, Carver Mead, Martin Hellman, and Marcian Hoff.
As is custom at the Fellow Awards, Museum Chairman Len Shustek kicked off the night, quipping that he and the computer are almost the same age, depending on which adjective you put in front of computer—electronic, digital, etc. He went on to share his personal introduction to computers at the age of 13 during an IBM program for public school students. “That weekend changed my life,” he said, going on to assert similar goals for the Museum’s own exhibits, events, and educational programs to provide meaning and inspiration to youth, especially girls. One such prime example are CHM’s annual Fellow Awards, a tradition that dates back to 1987 when Grace Hopper was inducted as the Museum’s first Fellow.
Shustek introduced and was followed by the Museum’s new president and CEO Dan’l Lewin, who reiterated, as he did on his first day on the job, that his being at the Museum is “a dream come true.” Lewin emphasized the Fellow Awards as a celebration of the spirit and possibility of computing, but not before sharing some of his 40-year journey in technology, including his first meeting with Len nearly 20 years ago when the Museum’s collection was still housed at Moffett Field.
Lewin went on to thank Accenture, who has been the Fellow Awards’ Headline sponsor for the fifth year in a row and whose chief technology officer, Paul Daugherty, spoke later in the evening; Fellows sponsors Dropbox and Intel; and special Presenter Intuit. A number of important Gala and Supporting sponsors as well as Film sponsor Microsoft were also thanked. Special thanks went to trustee Peggy Burke and graphic design firm 1185, who have done the design work for the Fellow Awards for the past 15 years. Last, but not least, Lewin thanked the Museum’s tight-knit community of supporters, including trustees, staff, and volunteers. (A full of list of sponsors and supporters can be found at the end of this post.)
Following dinner and conversation, the awards ceremony commenced. Video and select photos from the evening can be viewed below. A full photo gallery can be viewed here.
For the invention of the first commercial erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM), which enabled rapid development of microprocessor-based systems.
Introduction & Remarks
Presenting the Fellow Award to Frohman-Bentchkowsky is Albert Fazio, senior fellow and director of memory technology development at Intel.
Learn More: Dov Frohman-Bentchkowsky, by David C. Brock, Director, Center for Software History
Dame Stephanie Shirley CH
For a lifetime of entrepreneurship promoting the growth of the UK software industry and the advancement of women in computing.
Introduction & Remarks
Presenting the Fellow Award for Dame Stephanie Shirley is Eileen Fagan, vice president of innovation and transformational change programs at Intuit. Roberta d’Eustachio, founder and editor-in-chief of Giving Magazine, accepted the Fellow Award on behalf of Dame Shirley, who was unable to attend the event.
Learn More: Dame Stephanie Shirley, by Dag Spicer, Senior Curator
Guido van Rossum
For the creation and evolution of the Python programming language, and for leadership of its community.
Introduction & Remarks
Presenting the Fellow Award to Guido van Rossum is Drew Houston, cofounder and CEO of Dropbox.
Learn More: Guido van Rossum, by Hansen Hsu, Curator, Center for Software History
2018 Full Program
About the Fellow Awards
Since its inception in 1987, when the Museum inducted its first Fellow, computer scientist and US Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, the Fellow Awards at the Computer History Museum have honored distinguished individuals and pioneering teams whose contributions have forever transformed our world. Backed by technology leaders, innovators, and visionaries from around world, the Fellow Awards are a time-honored tradition that celebrate the creative spirit and preserve the stories of each honoree, advancing the world’s collective history and inspiring future generations. Fellow nominations are open to the public and reflect a diverse range of viewpoints and areas of computing. Final selections are made by a panel of historians, researchers, industry leaders, Museum staff and past Fellows. Learn more about the Fellow Awards here.