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The i-Technology Right Stuff

Searching for the Twenty Top Software People in the World

 

Nathan Myhrvold

 

Brief Description: Theoretical and mathematical physicist, former CTO at Microsoft

Further Details:

Nathan Myhrvold was a postdoctoral fellow in the department of applied mathematics and theoretical physics at Cambridge University and worked with Professor Stephen Hawking on research in cosmology, quantum field theory in curved space time and quantum theories of gravitation. Then, in 1986, his company Dynamical Systems was acquired by Microsoft.

A period of 13 years working for Microsoft followed; he ended up as CTO.

"I have the best job in the world - combining technology, strategy and business - in the most exciting industry and company in the world," said Myhrvold in June 1999, when Microsoft announced that after 13 years he was taking what it called a "leave of absence to turn his attention to scientific pursuits and enjoy his family."

"Working directly with Bill Gates has been an incredible experience," he explained. "The only drawback is trying to fit my broad range of interests into very little spare time. As great as Microsoft has been for me, it's the right stage in my life to address some other interests."

Myhrvold's personal commitment and vision had enabled him to build Microsoft Research into one of the world's premier computer science research institutions, reporting to Microsoft CEO Bill Gates as a member of the Executive Committee, the group responsible for the broad strategic and business planning for the entire company. As head of the Advanced Technology and Research Group, he was responsible for an R&D budget of more than $2 billion a year.

The same commitment and vision led him in 2000 to found Intellectual Ventures. Myhrvold himself holds 14 patents and has numerous patents pending, and at Intellectual Ventures he focuses on a variety of business interests relating to the funding, creation and commercialization of inventions.

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More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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Agility Pays 12/09/04 03:34:19 AM EST

There are bound to be glaring omissions in any list. It would have been good to see a few more names from the 17 developers who met in Feb 2001 to discuss problems in software development and who devised the so-called "Agile Manifesto." I see that Martin Fowler is here but what about Kent Beck, Alistair Cockburn, Ron Jeffries, Robert "Uncle bob" Martin, and Dave Thomas - people who have all made substantial contributions to software development?

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