W. Daniel Hillis
Co-Chairman and Chief Technology Officer, Applied Minds, Inc.
Danny Hillis is co-chairman and chief technology officer of Applied Minds, Inc., a research and development company creating a range of new products and services in software, entertainment, electronics, biotechnology and mechanical design. The company also provides advanced technology, creative design and consulting services to a variety of clients.
Previously, Dr. Hillis was vice president, research and development at Walt Disney Imagineering, and a Disney Fellow. He developed new technologies and business strategies for Disney’s theme parks, television, motion pictures and consumer products businesses. He also designed new theme park rides, a full-sized walking robot dinosaur and various micro-mechanical devices.
Dr. Hillis is an inventor, scientist, author and engineer. He pioneered the concept of parallel computers that is now the basis for most supercomputers, as well as the RAID disk array technology used to store large databases. Hillis is also the designer of a 10,000-year mechanical clock. Dr. Hillis co-founded Thinking Machines Corp., which was the leading innovator in massive parallel supercomputers and RAID disk arrays. In addition to conceiving and designing the company’s major products, Dr. Hillis worked closely with his customers in applying parallel computers to problems in astrophysics, aircraft design, financial analysis, genetics, computer graphics, medical imaging, image understanding, neurobiology, materials science, cryptography and subatomic physics. Dr. Hillis is named as an inventor on 60 issued patents.