July 2, 2012
Fernando J. Corbato, a professor emeritus in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and a principal investigator at CSAIL, has been honored by the Computer History Museum as a 2012 Fellow. Corbato was recognized at the Computer History Museum in Mountainside, CA, event on April 28, 2012, for his role as a pioneer of timesharing and the Multics operating system. [This article was posted by the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, July 2, 2012.]
Corbato has achieved wide recognition for his pioneering work on the design and development of multiple-access computer systems and timesharing systems, which allowed many users to share the resources of a single large computer. He was associated with the M.I.T. Computation Center from its organization in 1956 until 1966. In 1963 he was a founding member of Project MAC, the antecedent of CSAIL. An early version of the Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS) was first demonstrated in November 1961, at the M.I.T. Computation Center. In the fall of 1963, after further development, the system began daily operation at Project MAC.
Out of the CTSS experience, further research and development began of a new system, Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computing Service). Multics became available for general use at M.I.T. in October 1969 and a Honeywell product in 1973.
Fernando Corbato received his Ph.D. from M.I.T. in 1956 in Physics. He was appointed Associate Professor in 1962, promoted to Professor in 1965, and was Associate Department Head for Computer Science and Engineering from 1974-1978 and 1983-1993. In 1990, Corbato received the ACM Turing Award for his work on modern operating systems.
The Computer History Museum Fellow Awards have honored distinguished technology leaders who have changed the world with their accomplishments. The award recognizes each Fellow’s role in the advancement of computing history, as well as the impact of their contributions.