W. Daniel (Danny) Hillis is Chairman and Chief Technology Officer of Applied Minds, Inc., a research and development company creating a range of new products and services in software, entertainment, electronics, biotechnology and mechanical design.
Previously, Hillis was Vice President, Research and Development at Walt Disney Imagineering, and a Disney Fellow. He developed new technologies and business strategies for Disney's theme parks, television, motion pictures, Internet and consumer products businesses. He also designed new theme park rides, a full sized walking robot dinosaur and various micro mechanical devices. Danny Hillis is an inventor, scientist, author, and engineer. He pioneered the concept of parallel computers that is now the basis for most supercomputers, as well as the RAID disk array technology used to store large databases. He holds over 40 U.S. patents, covering parallel computers, disk arrays, forgery prevention methods, and various electronic and mechanical devices. Danny Hillis is also the designer of a 10,000-year mechanical clock.
Hillis is co-chairman of The Long Now Foundation, a member of the Science Board of the Santa Fe Institute, the SETI Institute's Technical Advisory Committee, the Advisory Board of Yale's Institute for Biospheric Studies, the National Academy of Engineering, and the board of the Hertz Foundation. Dr. Hillis is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Spirit of American Creativity Award for his inventions, the Hopper Award for his contributions to computer science and the Ramanujan Award for his work in applied mathematics. He is a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Fellow in the International Leadership Forum.