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UCSB Emeritus Professor and Computer Innovator Dies

Friday, May 16, 2003 - 17:00
Santa Barbara, CA

Glen J. Culler, professor emeritus of electrical engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and an important early innovator in the development of the Internet, died on Saturday, May 3, in Portland, Ore. He was 75 years old and a long-time resident of Santa Barbara.

In March 2000, President Clinton awarded Culler the National Medal of Technology for his "pioneering innovations in multiple branches of computing, including early efforts in digital speech processing, invention of the first on-line system for interactive graphical mathematics computing, and pioneering work on the ARPAnet." The ARPAnet eventually became the Internet.

He was also a recipient of the Seymour Cray Award from the IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).

Culler joined the UCSB mathematics faculty in 1959 and helped put the campus in the forefront of what would become the field of computer science. He later served as director of the UCSB Computer Center and professor in the College of Engineering and extended his revolutionary view of the role of computers to include their use in the classroom. He left UCSB to work in industry and establish his own company. In 1969 he founded Culler-Harrison, later called CHI Systems, and, later Culler Scientific. He returned to UCSB as an adjunct professor from 1982 through 1984.

Over 25 companies in Santa Barbara were spun out of Culler's work and the College of Engineering's Computer Research Laboratory.

(In 1995 the College of Engineering presented the Glen Culler Honorary Lecture, an occasion that included special tributes to Culler. Those testimonials to the man and his work are posted on the UCSB web site.)

UCSB On-Line System 1965