Famous Mormons

Computer Scientists, Computer Programmers, Computer Software Engineers, Mathematicians and Statisticians

 

Alan Ashton
computer software engineer
Dr. Ashton deserves credit for his pioneering work in word processing that has forever changed the way we use computers. Since selling his ownership in WordPerfect he has built Thanksgiving Point. Ashton is the grandson of late Mormon Church president David O. McKay.

 



 
James Cannon
mathematician
He is a professor of mathematics at BYU who played a key role in the classification of simple groups.
Source: Famous LDS Scientists

 

www.ieee.org

Edwin Catmull

computer animation

Computer animation pioneer; co-founder of Pixar

From CNN A COMPANY like Pixar wasn't what Ed Catmull had in mind when he first hatched his plan to use computers to make animated films. But in hindsight, this company couldn't exist without a leader who cites Pinocchio, Peter Pan, and Einstein as the cultural heroes of his youth. Catmull grew up in Salt Lake City as one of five children in a Mormon family. As a kid he made "flip-books" filled with crude animation, and dreamed of working for Disney one day. His favorite character was a hybrid of a man and a unicycle." CNN.com

Dr. Ed Catmull, president and co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, has made groundbreaking contributions to the field of computer graphics in modeling, animation and rendering that have revolutionized the way live-action and animated motion pictures are created. Dr. Catmull is one of the architects of the RenderMan® software product utilized to create animated films such as Pixar’s Toy Story and Finding Nemo and special effects in live-action films. www.ieee.org

Bernard Daines

Creator of new and innovative cluster computing solutions

In 1999 Time magazine did an article on the 100 people most likely to influence the next century and included Bernard on the list.

Daines is widely recognized as instrumental in pioneering  Ethernet technology, especially the IEEE standards for Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet  networking technology. In 2002, Daines was elected chairman of the board of Linux NetworX.

 

Who's Who in Internet and Computer Technology


 

Robert G. Freeman

Oracle Consultant

Robert is a Principal Engineer and Team Manager at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

 He is the author of eleven popular Oracle books
including the best selling Oracle RMAN Backup and Recovery series and the Oracle Database New Features series from Oracle Press.

Robert G. Freeman's Blog

 

Tom Hales
mathematician
He is a professor of mathematics at the University of Michigan who proved a long standing conjecture about the optimal stacking method of spheres.
Source: Famous LDS Scientists

After receiving his PhD from Princeton in 1986, Tom Hales took up a post doc at Berkeley, and then positions at Harvard, Chicago and Michigan. Tom's research interests lie in algebra and geometry. In 1998 Tom Hales astonished mathematicians across the World by confirming the 400 year old Kepler Conjecture, and followed that by proving the even more venerable Honeycomb Conjecture. (For more information on the Kepler and Honeycomb Conjectures see Cannonballs and Honeycomb below.)
The proof of the Kepler Conjecture relied in part on extensive and intricate computer calculations, and Tom is now looking at ways to take that further, and investigate to what extent computers can be used to prove other difficult theorems.


 
Drew Major
computer software engineer
He helped develop the original NetWare, and has played an integral role in designing and developing every release of the Network Operating System which seems to be everywhere. In 2000, Drew was inducted into the Computer Hall of Fame. He was also named as one of the top ten most influential persons in the computer industry by BYTE Magazine.

 

 


Photo: Ensemble Studios

Sandy Petersen
computer game designer

He is a member of the Gaming Hall of Fame (1990), and was involved  in the production of such award winning game titles as Civilization, Doom, Doom 2, Quake, Rise of Rome, Age of Kings, The Conquerors, Age of Empires 3, and The War Chiefs.  As with some other successful computer game designers, Petersen's roots are in the board game industry. His illustrious portfolio includes Runequest, Call of Cthulhu, and Petersen's Field Guide to Monsters. As an internationally recognized game designer and writer, Petersen's works have been published worldwide.

He served a mission to Los Angeles and has been active in the Church since his early life.  He has five children ages 27, 25, 21, 20, and 16 and has 2 grandchildren.  He and his four sons are Eagle Scouts.  He is a High Priest in the Rockwall Ward in Texas.

Kim Peek

mega-savant

1951-2009

Kim Peek,  inspired the 1988 movie "Rain Man,"

Peek, Died when he was 58, He was  likely the world's most famous savant, enduring mental handicaps while at the same time possessing extraordinary gifts of memory and recall.

 

Peek was born on Nov. 11, 1951. At 9 months, doctors said he was severely mentally retarded. "They told us we should institutionalize him because he would never walk or talk," Fran Peek said. "But we refused to do that."

By 16 months, Peek demonstrated extraordinary abilities. He could read and memorize entire volumes of information.

"He could find anything he wanted to. He read all of Shakespeare, the Old and New Testaments," Fran Peek said.

An MRI later showed that his brain lacked a corpus callosum -- the connecting tissue between the left and right hemispheres. Peek said his son's brain lacked the normal filtering system for receiving information. The condition left him able to retain nearly 98 percent of everything he read, heard or watched on television. The average person only retains about 45 percent. As both a child and adult, Peek's favorite place was the library, where he devoured books at a confounding rate. At the time of his death, Peek is believed to have committed at least 9,000 books to memory.  Deseret news

  Roger Porter
economist
He served for more than a decade in senior economic policy positions in the White House, most recently as Assistant to the President for Economic and Domestic Policy from 1989-1993.  He served as Director of the White House Office of Policy Development in the Reagan Administration and as Executive Secretary of the President's Economic Policy Board during the Ford Administration.
Source: Harvard
 
Richard B. Wirthlin
 
Richard B. Wirthlin
economist
He is best known as President Reagan's strategist and pollster.  At the White House, he was a close and trusted advisor to President Reagan.  He directed all of the President's opinion surveys, analyzed trends and regularly briefed the President and Cabinet officers on American attitudes about everything from education, jobs and taxes to issues of war and peace.  He participated in White House planning and strategy sessions, and played a key role in communications planning.  He was chief strategist for two of the most sweeping presidential victories in the history of the United States.  In 1981 he was acclaimed "Adman of the Year" by Advertising Age for his role in the 1980 campaign.
 
 
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