Technology and Computing Inventors to Be Inducted into U.S. National Inventors Hall of Fame

By Renee Dopplick, ACM Director of Public Policy
May 8, 2015

Distinguished technology and computing inventors are among the 2015 Class of Inductees to the U.S. National Inventors Hall of Fame. Inductees will be honored at the 43rd Annual Induction Ceremony to held at the Smithsonian on May 12.

Edith Clarke
Edith Clarke (1883-1959), a computing and engineering pioneer, is honored for her early innovation of a graphical calculator in 1925 that “greatly simplified” calculations used in electrical transmission lines. The USPTO approved Patent No. 1,552,113 in 1925, four years after she submitted the application. She earned the first electrical engineering degree ever to be awarded to a woman at MIT.

Jaap Haartsen
Jaap Haartsen is honored for developing “frequency hopping piconets in an uncoordinated wireless multi-user system,” better known today as Bluetooth technology, and for playing an important role in obtaining worldwide regulatory approval for Bluetooth technology. The USPTO granted Patent No. 6,590,928 in 2003.

Kristina Johnson and Gary D. Sharp
Together, they co-invented polarization-control technology that introduced a new paradigm for digital displays. Their joint research led to a business venture, ColorLink, focused on transforming innovation in high-resolution displays and imaging technologies into a wide range of pragmatic applications, including television screens, 3-D digital cinema, near-to-eye displays, and medical imaging.

Kristina Johnson, who co-founded the NSF Engineering Research Center for Optoelectronics Computing Systems Center, is being recognized for their co-invention. The USPTO granted Patent No. 5,132,826 on ferroelectric liquid crystal tunable filters and color generation in 1992.

Gary Sharp also is being recognized for his enabling patent for modern display systems. The USPTO granted Patent No. 5,751,384 for polarization-control technology for additive color spectrum along a first axis and its complement along a second axis in 1998.

Inductees must hold a U.S. patent for an invention that “has contributed to the progress of science and the useful arts, as well as the nation’s welfare.” The USPTO sponsors the U.S. National Inventors Hall of Fame.