American Philosophical Society
Member History

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1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences[X]
103. Engineering[X]
1Name:  Mr. Kenneth H. Olsen
 Institution:  Advanced Modular Solutions, Inc.
 Year Elected:  1999
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  103. Engineering
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1926
 Death Date:  February 6, 2011
Kenneth Olsen was well known as the cofounder of Digital Equipment Corporation. Under his leadership, DEC produced the first small interactive computer, the PDP-1 in 1960, the first mass produced minicomputer, the PDP-8 in the late 1960's, and the popular 32-bit VAX computer line in 1977. The VAX immediately became the "workhorse" of the research community. Early in his career as a post World War II graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology he developed basic circuits for driving the first magnetic core memories, for which he was recognized by induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Dr. Olsen served on the President's Science Advisory Committee and the Computer Science and Engineering Board of the National Academy of Sciences. He received an M.S.E.E. from M.I.T. (1952) and was a member of the National Academy of Engineering; the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers; and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Ken Olsen died February 6, 2011, at the age of 84.
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