Donald L. Bitzer (born January 1, 1934) is an American electrical engineer and computer scientist. He was the co-inventor of the plasma display, is largely regarded as the "father of PLATO", and has made a career of improving classroom productivity by using computer and telecommunications technologies.
Education and career
Bitzer holds patents for inventions including the plasma-display panel, the binary-weighted solenoid, a high-quality modem, and new satellite communications techniques. The creation of the PLATO computer system, the first system to combine graphics and touch-sensitive screens, is the hallmark of his efforts.
Bitzer co-invented the flat plasma display panel in 1964. Originally invented as an educational aid to help students working in front of computers for long periods of time, plasma screens do not flicker and are a significant advance in television technology. The display was also a way of overcoming the limited memory of the computer systems being used.
In 1973 the National Academy of Engineering presented Bitzer with the Vladimir K. Zworykin Award, which honors the inventor of the iconoscope. The invention won the Industrial Research 100 Award in 1966.
- Member of the National Academy of Engineering (1974)
- Computer Society Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (1982)
- Slottow Creativity Award (1989)
- Emmy Award (2002)
- Inducted into National Inventors Hall of Fame (2013)
- Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (2018).
- Holladay Medal (2019).
- Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame 2006 inductee bio Archived October 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- "Donald L. Bitzer". Retrieved September 4, 2019.
- Ashish Valentine (November 26, 2014). "Professor Don Bitzer: Father of PLATO discusses his work". Retrieved September 4, 2019.
- "Dr. Donald Bitzer". November 29, 2011. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
- "Alma Mater Inducts Bitzer". North Carolina State University. March 23, 2011. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 30, 2007. Retrieved October 21, 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "NAE Elects 78 New Members". Science. 184 (4135): 446. 1974. doi:10.1126/science.184.4135.446.
- "Rouskas named IEEE Fellow" (PDF). North Carolina State University. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
- "Donald L. Bitzer and H. Gene Slottow Creativity Award". Retrieved September 4, 2019.
- Michael Barbaro (October 7, 2002). "The Emmy Goes to . . . Flat-Screen Plasma TV". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
- "Donald L. Bitzer". National Inventors Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
- "Bitzer named Fellow of National Academy of Inventors". National Academy of Inventors. May 2, 2018. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
- Emily Packard (May 7, 2019). "Two Faculty Win Holladay Medal". Retrieved September 4, 2019.
- NCSU Faculty Page
- Oral history interview with Donald L. Bitzer, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota. Bitzer discusses his relationship with Control Data Corporation (CDC) during the development of PLATO, a computer-assisted instruction system. He describes the interest in PLATO of Harold Brooks, a CDC salesman and his help in procuring a 1604 computer for Bitzer's use. Bitzer recalls the commercialization of PLATO by CDC and his disagreements with CDC over marketing strategy and the creation of courseware for PLATO.
- Oral history interview with Thomas Muir Gallie, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota. Gallie, a program officer at the National Science Foundation (NSF), describes the impact of Don Bitzer and the PLATO system.
- University of Illinois Computer-based Education Research Laboratory PLATO Reports, PLATO Documents, and CERL Progress Reports, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota. Archival collection contains internal reports and external reports and publications related to the development of PLATO and the operations of University of Illinois's CERL.