John van Geen

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John van Geen
Born (1929-08-17)August 17, 1929
Etterbeek, Belgium
Died June 6, 2000(2000-06-06) (aged 70)
Monterey Peninsula, California
Institutions SRI International
Alma mater Brussels University

John van Geen (August 17, 1929 - June 6, 2000)[1] was a researcher at the Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International) who was known for his advances in the acoustically coupled modem.

Early life and education[edit]

Van Geen was born in 1929 in Etterbeek, Belgium. In 1953, he received a degree in electrical and radio engineering from Brussels University.[1]


In 1959, Van Geen joined the Stanford Research Institute. Van Geen's enhancements to the modem in 1966 allowed the designed receiver to detect data (in the form of bits) and distinguish it from background noise more reliably than any previous models.[2]

His advancements also led to the release of the first public modem. It appealed to the public because it mimicked the characteristics of a standard telephone handset at that time.[3]

Van Geen retired from the Stanford Research Institute in 1989 after 30 years there.[1] He died on June 6, 2000 in Monterey Peninsula.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Van Geen, John 1929-2000". Monterey County Herald. 2000-06-11. 
  2. ^ "Timeline of Computer History". Computer History Museum. Retrieved 2007-02-12. 
  3. ^ "The Acoustic Modem is Improved for General Use in 1966". CED Magic. Retrieved 2007-02-13.