Andries “Andy” van Dam is a major pioneer of computer graphics and hypertext. In this oral history he discusses his career at Brown University and the growth of the computer science department there. He begins by describing his early interests and education at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. He then recounts the events that led to him taking a faculty position at Brown University, including his love of teaching. Once at Brown, he helped set up a computer science department and became its first chairman. Over the course of his interview, van Dam describes many important hypertext projects that he worked on, such as the the Hypertext Editing System (HES) in collaboration with hypertext pioneer Ted Nelson, its successors FRESS and other hypertext systems. In his graphics work he co-founded ACM SIGGRAPH, worked on GPGS and did much other seminal work in graphics. He co-authored, with Jim Foley, the standard reference works in computer graphics, Fundamentals of Interactive Computer Graphics, and with Foley, Feiner, and Hughes, wrote Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice. He describes some of the first uses of hypertext in a classroom environment at Brown. He also discusses other important players and events in the development of computer science, hypertext, graphics, and online systems.
van Dam, Andries (Andy); SketchPad; Nelson, Ted; Xanadu; Hypertext Editing System (HES); File Retrieving and Editing System (FRESS); SIGGRAPH; Apple Lisa (Computer); Intermedia; Institute for Research Information and Scholarship (IRIS); General Purpose Graphics System (GPGS)