Ivan E. Sutherland (M’62) received his B.S. degree from the Carnegie Institute of Technology, his M.S. degree from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, and his Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, in 1963, all in electrical engineering. He holds honorary degrees from Harvard University, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Utah.

Photos from the 2018 Washington Awards

He joined Sun in 1990 as a Sun Fellow, Sun’s highest technical rank. He joined Portland State University in 2009 to found the Asynchronous Research Center with his research partner and wife, Marly Roncken. They lead a small group working on self-timed VLSI systems; the group develops self-timed circuit methodologies and design techniques for fast CMOS circuits and applies them to new hardware architectures. Ivan’s book, Logical Effort, published in 1999 with joint authors Sproull and Harris, describes the mathematics of designing fast circuits. His 1963 MIT Ph.D., Sketchpad, is very widely known: he has been called the “father of computer graphics.”

His very early work on what is now known as Virtual Reality demonstrated that computers should produce three-dimensional effects responsive to the observer’s motions.


He is author of more than 70 patents, as well as numerous publications and lectures. Dr. Sutherland holds the 1988 ACM Turing Award, the 2012 Kyoto Prize and the IEEE Von Neumann Award. He is a Fellow of the ACM and a member of both the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences.