Jeff Rulifson

Jeff Rulifson photo

Computer Scientist, software designer for Mother of All Demos


While still a student, Johns Frederick (Jeff) Rulifson designed the software for the most impressive event in computing history, the legendary “Mother of All Demos” at the Computer Society’s Fall Joint Computer Conference in which Douglas Engelbart demonstrated essentially all the fundamental elements of modern personal computing: windows, hypertext, graphics, efficient navigation and command input, video conferencing, the computer mouse, word processing, dynamic file linking, revision control, and a collaborative real-time editor.

Rulifson’s subsequent career as a computer scientist is an unbroken series of significant contributions in artificial intelligence, office information systems, research, standards, and engineering management. He has advanced the computer art at Stanford Research Institute’s Augmentation Research Center, Xerox PARC, ROLM Corporation, Syntelligence, Inc., Sun Microsystems, and Oracle. The Jeff Rulifson Papers at the Computer History Museum take up five linear feet.

He holds a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University and a BS in Mathematics from the University of Washington, and he is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery. He was inducted into the SRI International Hall of Fame and was named a Bolt Beranek and Newman ARPANET Pioneer for his pioneering work on a common language to allow dissimilar systems to communicate. His 1990 Software System Award from the ACM recognizes his pioneering work on augmenting human intellect with hypertext, outline processors, and video conferencing that was implemented in the NLS System.